• iStock/Thinkstock(ROCKVILLE, Md.) -- A Maryland mother was charged with attempted murder after allegedly trying to decapitate her 11-year-old son with a bow saw because she felt "overwhelmed" by his autism diagnosis, according to charging documents.Kristina Petrie, 46, was denied bail at her bond hearing on Tuesday, which she attended via jailhouse video. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Rockville, Maryland, on April 20.Petrie allegedly called her husband and confessed that she attempted to behead her oldest son with a bow saw on March 12, according to a charging affidavit obtained by ABC affiliate WJLA-TV.The child said he was playing video games when his mother came into his room with the saw in her hand, asking him why he wasn't doing his homework, according to the affidavit. She then raised the saw and began to chase after him, eventually pinning him down in the "kneeling position" as she "jammed" the saw's teeth against the back of his neck, according to the charging documents.The boy told police that he "screamed out loud" and that his mother, who he said was also crying and screaming, had "tried to kill" him, the documents said. The boy managed to escape and protect himself until his father returned home from work.Investigators said they observed "several thin lines" and broken skin with "scabbing" on the boy's neck, according to the charging documents. There were also red cuts and marks on his left shoulder, back and left hand.Petrie's husband told authorities that he took her to a local hospital, where she allegedly told staff that she felt "overwhelmed" and that her husband "was not doing enough to help her children with their autism," the affidavit said. When staff asked Petrie why she was at the hospital, she allegedly said it was because she "tried to kill her kids again," adding that the children "needed to die," according to the affidavit. She also said she feared they would "grow up to be a burden to society" because of their special needs.Petrie has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and second-degree child abuse, according to Montgomery County District Court records. Her defense attorney, Sharon Diamant, told WJLA-TV her client had "absolutely no intent" to harm anyone.When asked about possible mental health issues, Diamant said she was unable to discuss such a topic at this time, according to WJLA-TV.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At least 11 people were arrested, most for disorderly conduct, during a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City Wednesday night as hundreds gathered to express their anger over the recent death of Stephon Clark.The protesters marched from Columbus Circle to Times Square, approximately 15 to 20 blocks, according to ABC station WABC-New York. Social media videos of the march showed at least one police officer leaping over a barricade to make an arrest.Clark, 22, was killed in Sacramento on March 18 when two police officers shot at him 20 times as he stood in his grandmother's backyard holding a cellphone.Police were responding to a 911 call that a suspect allegedly was breaking car windows and hiding in a yard nearby. According to body-cam footage, the officers thought Clark may have been holding a toolbar or some other form of weapon.The Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to deliver the eulogy at Clark's funeral Friday in Sacramento. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Fitted with an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, Gisella Collazo says she's been made to feel like a common criminal, forced to seek sanctuary in a Massachusetts church to avoid immigration authorities who have ordered her deported to her home country of Peru.She admitted to ABC news she entered the country 17 years ago as an undocumented immigrant, but said she has made a life here, married an American and given birth to two American sons, ages 10 and 4, who don't understand why their government wants to send their mother nearly 4,000 miles away."There's a lot of fear, anxiety for both my husband and I, but even worse for my kids," Collazo, 40, told ABC News on Wednesday, a day after she went to the South Congregational United Church of Christ in Springfield to seek sanctuary.She said she defied an order from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to board a plane to Lima, Peru, on Tuesday, a flight she paid $600 for with her own money, because she couldn't bear to leave her family behind."I think it's unfair, especially for people like me, who come to this country for a better future and come here to work," said Collazo, speaking in Spanish with the help of an interpreter.She said she has worked as a farm laborer and recently as a maintenance worker."I understand if it were to be for people who are committing crimes, but at least for me, I don't think I have done anything," she said.Instead of staying with their father, Collazo's two sons are living with her in a furnished apartment inside the church, but because they are U.S. citizens they are free to leave to go to school and day care."My oldest guy, I try to have conversations with him and make him understand what is happening, but he just tells me not to leave him and he just becomes really sad because he doesn't want me to leave," Collazo said at the church on Wednesday afternoon. "And my youngest, I don't have any conversation like that. He doesn't understand yet."Since Collazo began staying at the church, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno has publicly warned that Springfield is not a sanctuary city and has threatened to take action against the church for harboring Collazo."They are in violation of building and housing codes and proper non-taxable use of their property. Our city inspection teams will be notified," Sarno said in a statement released on Tuesday."I am disappointed that they would use and exploit this family in question, but there must be a clear path to American citizenship, whether it's this case in Springfield or in other parts of our country," Sarno said. "Being first generation, it's simply not fair to all those immigrants, including my parents, who played by the rules and followed the legal immigration path into America."In an email posted on the city's website, Sarno instructed city officials to re-inspect the church for "illegal housing aspects" and to "review the process to strip them of their tax exemption status.""Please again pursue to the fullest extent of the law," Sarno wrote in the email.ABC News requested an interview with Sarno on Wednesday, but his spokeswoman, Marian Sullivan, responded in an email, "The mayor has no comment."The Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer, senior minister of the South Congregational United Church of Christ, told ABC News he and his congregation are not going to turn their backs on Collazo."To be a sanctuary church, basically, it's an exercise in faith for us," Gerstenlauer said. "Our core faith values include love for our neighbor and welcoming the strangers among us with as much hospitality as we can muster.”Gerstenlauer said he has sent word inviting the mayor to "engage directly with me," but Sarno has not responded."I have felt threatened," Gerstenlauer said. "Is it a threat? I can't say. But it has felt threatening to people in this congregation."He said the mayor's reaction has only strengthened the church's desire to help Collazo and anyone else in her situation."I wo
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  • Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Six Howard University employees were fired last year for allegedly misusing institutional funds, the school's president confirmed Wednesday.University President Wayne Frederic said an investigation revealed that between 2007 and 2016 several employees who had received both tuition remissions - or reductions - as well as university-funded grants - took advantage of their combined aid packages that went beyond the cost of attendance, resulting in "inappropriate" refunds. The employees allegedly pocketed the excess money.Frederic, who said he launched an investigation immediately after being alerted about a potential problem in 2016, said the grants were institutional, not federally-funded.Many students, including those involved with HU Resist and HUSA, both student government organizations that challenge university policies, took to social media to express concerns.Olivia McDowell, a junior biology major and English minor, who said she's had frustrating encounters with the university's financial aid office in the past, said she found the situation disconcerting.A representative from the university told ABC News that it is working with outside experts to "ensure every dollar" is "accounted for" and that the university will exercise all of its options to "recoup" funds.According to Frederic, steps his administration has taken to improve the matter include ensuring that all money received is being vetted by the university budget office, as well as hiring a new associate provost for enrollment management.The federal Department of Education declined to comment.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- About a year before a 10-year-old Kansas boy was killed in 2016 on a water slide, lifeguard Nathan Campbell experienced firsthand just how dangerous the ride was, he said.Campbell, 20, was a lifeguard at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City the summer Caleb Schwab was killed on the ride, called Verruckt, and was among a group asked in 2015 to volunteer one morning to do test runs on the attraction, he told ABC News."Every morning before the park opened, lifeguards had to test the ride three times and the first two times we rode it everything went well," Campbell said.But on the third test run, something went wrong, he said. The rubber raft he and another lifeguard were strapped into failed to slow down as it reached the run-off pool at the bottom of the 17-story slide."The brakes just didn't work, so we never stopped," Campbell said.He said the raft slammed into a concrete wall at the end of the run-off pool."We kept going, hit a wall and flipped," Campbell said. "I mean, it was going pretty fast. It wasn't a hard hit, but it wasn't quite a soft hit as well."He told ABC News the crash left him with minor back injuries that didn't require medical treatment but nonetheless he was afraid to ever go on the Verruckt again.ABC News has reached out to Schlitterbahn regarding Campbell's allegations but did not immediately hear back."Nobody ever followed up," said Campbell.On Monday, Jeffrey Henry, 62, co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated child endangerment stemming from the Aug. 7, 2016, death of Caleb Schwab on Verruckt. Henry's business partner, John Schooley, was indicted on the same charges and Tyler Austin Miles, the water park's former operations director, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, among many other charges.Henry appeared briefly today in a court in Cameron County, Texas, where he was arrested on Wednesday. His attorney asked a judge to set bond for Henry.An indictment unsealed Tuesday alleges Henry and Schooley designed the water slide without any certifiable expertise and constructed it in violation of "nearly all aspects" of industry safety standards.Investigators said a raft Caleb was in collided with one of a series of metal hoops that held netting over the slide to prevent rafts from going airborne, decapitating the boy. Two women riding with Caleb were also injured; one suffered a fractured jaw bone and the other was left with an orbital bone fracture.The defendants, according to the indictment, also allegedly tried to hide from investigators evidence of at least a dozen other incidents in which passengers were injured on Verruckt leading up to Caleb's death. The water slide opened to the public in July 2014, the same year it was certified as the world's tallest by the Guinness Book of World Records.Corporate emails, memos, blueprints, videos, photos and statements from witnesses allegedly showed that "this child's death and the rapidly growing list of injuries were foreseeable and expected outcomes," according to the indictment.Among the numerous alleged flaws investigators found with the water slide, the braking system appears to have been a persistent problem that Miles was made well aware of, according to the indictment."In addition to numerous oral reports, [there were] 21 written staff reports advising Miles that Verruckt's brake system was in the process of failure..." the indictment reads."On July 15, 2016, 23 days before the death of [Caleb Schwab], a seasonal manager finally heeded the various reports and flagged the brake system as an urgent priority level 1 maintenance issue. Rides that have priority level 1 maintenance issues are not supposed to operate until the repair has been completed," the indictment states."Miles possessed authority to close the Verruckt for this repair, but ... staff did not. Miles chose to continue operating Verruckt unceasingly. No rep
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  • Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With spring underway, many students and parents are facing the pressures of prom season.Actress Kyle Richards, a star of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, has four daughters, and has gone through prom season before as a parent, and will go through it again. She recently spoke with ABC News, offering advice on handling the pressures of prom and what parents can do to stay calm and ensure their teens have memorable experiences.Richards says it is important to recognize that the nerves teens experience ahead of and during prom season are entirely normal. Teens have a lot to think about, such as what they should wear, what to do after prom, and whether or not they will be asked out. Richards tells ABC News, instead of thinking about the unknown, teens should take steps to make themselves feel their best even if things do not go according to plan."You want to look beautiful and elegant. You don't want to look back and be like, 'What was I thinking?'" Richards told her daughter when she was picking out her prom outfit. Richards recommends whatever outfit feels best for that person, but they should take their time considering what they want to wear.Richards says employing good skin care practices is another way to boost confidence ahead of prom:"You've got to keep your regimen going because otherwise if it gets out of control, you know what's going to happen and it's going to affect how you feel."She advises cleaning and treating skin weeks in advance, rather than in the final days leading up to prom, recommending teens try products like Clearasil.When it comes to actually going, teens may feel the reservations of not attending prom if they do not have a date."If you're not asked, get your girlfriends and go," Richards told her daughter ahead of one of her school dances. That was exactly what her daughter did, instead of bringing a date, she and her best friend planned to go together, and Richards says there is no shame in doing that.A date is not required, but Richards believes teens should know it is helpful to have a friend or two to go with for support.For parents, Richards recommends keeping an open line of communication with their children, which is something she tries to establish with each one of her daughters. She believes it gave her children the opportunity to open up about their fears early and often so that they could be addressed ahead of prom night.She concedes certain topics like drinking or sex are not the easiest to bring up in conversation, and sometimes kids do not want to talk about them. Richards offered a helpful strategy for opening up those tough discussions though:"I like to have some conversations while I'm driving because then I can keep my eyes on the road... if it's something embarrassing to talk about."Richards also recommended teens and parents could help each other by avoiding one thing in particular: social media."One of the things that tortures me as a parent right now--I feel like what we're seeing on social media and with a lot of these celebrities is everybody has 'facetuned' themselves so much and [with] all of these [camera] filters, you're presenting a fake version of yourself... it's getting to the point where people are getting such unrealistic expectations. You don't look good unless you have a Snapchat filter on? What's the bar?"Richards' generally recommends teens should do what makes them feel like their best selves, and it is important for parents to support that. She is not condemning social media in all of its forms, but is highlighting some of the dangers of it, and believes it is especially important to not focus on the things other people and classmates are doing.It is also a topic parents can bring up with young teens:"My girls, we talk about that a lot... representing a real or fake version of yourself... I'd rather they say that's not the best picture than one that looks nothing like the person I thought they were... just havin
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