Monday, June 30th, 2014
The bizarre story of a live-in nanny who reportedly refused to leave a California family’s home for weeks after she was fired appears to have concluded, as news sources are reporting that Diane Stretton has left the home.
Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte of Upland, California say they fired Stretton a few weeks after they hired her, claiming she was refusing to work because of health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The story took its strange turn at that point, when the Bracamontes allege that Stretton refused to accept her firing, remaining in her room in the family’s home and only coming out to eat. When the Bracamontes presented her with a letter requiring she leave their home within 30 days, they say Stretton, who is 64 years old, responded that she would sue the family for elder abuse and wrongful firing. A call to the police by the family proved fruitless, as police declined to get involved in a “civil matter.”
The Bracamontes have three children, who are ages 11, 4, and 1. Their agreement with Stretton was reportedly that she would care for the children and do some housework in exchange for room and board.
According to ABC News, the story took yet another bizarre turn when Stretton went to a local police station after leaving the Bracamontes and said she was being followed (she was–by a photographer). She left the station but allegedly hid in her car outside the station for hours before leaving.
More from ABC on the story, including emerging details about Stretton’s history of filing lawsuits that are later deemed to be frivolous (she is on California’s Vexatious Litigant List):
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Lt. John Moore of the Upland Police Department confirmed to ABC News that there is no immediate action that can be taken against Stretton, saying “generally, once somebody has established residency, you have to go through a formal eviction process.”
While Stretton initially refused to leave the Bracamonte home, Marcella Bracamonte confirmed to ABC News that Stretton disappeared from the home early Thursday morning.
“She left around 7 a.m. yesterday morning and she never came back,” Bracamonte told ABC News on Friday.
The former nanny was not seen until Friday, when she was spotted by the press as she arrived at a local police station according to KABC-TV.
It was unclear whether Stretton would return for her belongings or file suit against the Bracamonte family as they claimed she threatened to do.
Court documents obtained by ABC News revealed that Stretton was involved in at least six lawsuits in Riverside, Calif., since 2005, four in which she was the plaintiff, one in which she was the defendant and one in which she was the petitioner.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
A major child porn bust in New York resulted in 71 arrests today, and revealed a shocking list of perpetrators, including a New York City policeman, a rabbi, a fire department paramedic, and a scoutmaster. More from CNN:
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The investigation, involving agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as New York authorities, began as part of an undercover operation into peer-to-peer networks, authorities told reporters Wednesday. The suspects, who do not appear to know one another, were able to search files using graphic terms and descriptions. Software continuously scanned files and automatically uploaded images to personal computers, laptops and mobile phones.
Special Agent in Charge James Hayes, head of Homeland Security Investigations New York, called the arrests the largest enforcement operation in New York “targeting predators (who) possess, produce or distribute sexually explicit images of children.” The activity, he said, has “reached epidemic proportions.”
“The backgrounds of many of the individuals … is shocking,” Hayes said. “These defendants come from all walks of life … This operation puts the lie to the classic stereotypical profile that child predators are nothing more than unemployed drifters. Many of the defendants are, in fact, well-educated and successful in private and professional lives. They work as registered nurses, paramedics, caretakers for mentally ill adults, computer programers and architects.”
The continuing operation resulted in 71 arrests — including one woman — and the seizure of nearly 600 devices, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and thumb drives with tens of thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children, Hayes said.
The pornographic images of children were shared at no charge, authorities said. About a third of the suspects remain in custody, and the others were released on bonds ranging from $30,000 to $500,000.
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
A 13-year-old Chicago boy who allegedly threw a snowball at a police officer was arrested and charged with battery to a police officer, which is a felony charge. More from KY3 News:
According to The Chicago Tribune, the incident happened close to the school the boy attends. The officer reported that the boy threw a snowball and hit him in the arm while he sat in a marked squad car. The eight-grader claims he wasn’t the one who threw the snowball and that it didn’t hit the officer directly. Regardless, he was arrested and charged with battery to a police officer, which is a felony.
In addition to the charges, the school has suspended the boy for five days, his mother said. Police confirmed it was the suspect’s first arrest.
Check out our activity finder for fun ideas using common household items to keep kids entertained indoors.
Image: Snowball, via Shutterstock
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Friday, October 25th, 2013
Police in Sonoma County, California shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez after the boy refused to drop a rifle that resembled an AK-47 but was later determined to be a fake. More from NBC News:
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The Sonoma County deputies on patrol saw the boy, identified as Andy Lopez, walking in a blue hoodie with what appeared to be a rifle at 3:14 p.m. Tuesday, Sheriff’s Lt. Dennis O’Leary said in a statement. The replica gun resembled an AK-47 with a black magazine cartridge and brown butt, according to a photograph the sheriff released. It did not have the traditionally orange tip of a replica firearm.
Andy’s father, Rodrigo Lopez, said he can’t believe his son wouldn’t listen to authorities if they asked him to drop the weapon. His son, he said, had a lot of respect for police.
“I sense that he did obey orders,” Rodrigo Lopez said.
Other community members also stood behind the boy.
“He was not a gang member, he was an 8th grader,” said Anita Ruiz, whose son was friends with the victim. “He was not a criminal, but yet he’s dead. He’s 13 years old. Couldn’t something else have been done?”
Friday, March 15th, 2013
A preschool teacher from Morgan Hill, California has been fired–and arrested–amid allegations that she put sleeping pills in the sippy cups of kids who are not yet 2 years old. More from ABC News:
“We do not know the quantity, but we believe she was breaking the pill into smaller pieces and putting it into the children’s sippy cups,” Morgan Hill Sgt. of Investigations Troy Hoefling told ABC News.
The school told ABC News it had “terminated” Debbie Gratz, 59, last Friday “for failure to follow Kiddie Academy standards and processes.”
“Ms. Gratz was witnessed adding a substance to the water cups for her classroom of 10 children,” Morgan Hill Kiddie Academy added in a prepared statement. “The cups were confiscated before they came in contact with any children prior to the academy opening for business that day.”
A fellow employee saw Gratz place an unknown substance in the toddler’s sippy cups on Friday and notified school officials, according to Morgan Hill Police – though police apparently weren’t told until Monday.
“They made notifications internally. Unfortunately, the problem with that is not only do we not get on the case right away but we lose precious evidence,” Hoefling told ABC News. “We only found out those cups had been washed out and rinsed.”
Police said they had no plans to charge the school regarding the delay in reporting the incident, but the district attorney could review the matter.
Image: Sippy cup, via Shutterstock
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