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Election Notes

Over at 538, Nate Silver and crew now calculate that the Republican chances of a Senate majority are over 2 to 1, the first time they have crossed that threshold.  The 538 forecasts have been among the most favorable to the Democrats.  At the WaPo’s Monkey Cage, it’s 93%.  Looks good for “Goodbye, Chairman Leahy, hello Chairman Grassley.”

In Colorado, the Quinnipiac Poll has Bob Beauprez up by 5% over incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper.  The 538 folks rate Quinnipiac fairly highly at a B+.  They also calculate a “house effect” of +1%R, so let’s say Beauprez is really up 4%.  That is still a shade above the 3.4% confidence interval.  See this post for why I’m particularly interested in this one.

A Deadly Law Enforcement Week



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Harris County Sheroff’s Office, Deputy Jesse Valdez, III (ODMP photo)

Pomonoa Police Department, Officer Shaun Richard Diamond (ODMP photo)

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko (ODMP photo)

Summerville Police Department, Patrolman Robert Blajszczak (ODMP photo)

Butler County Sheriff’s Officer, Deputy John Timothy Williamson (ODMP photo)

Harris County Sheroff’s Office, Deputy Jesse Valdez, III – October 29, 2014
Deputy Sheriff Jesse Valdez was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a SUV at the intersection of East Wallinsville Road and Honeysuckle Street.

He was en route to conduct a welfare check when the SUV crossed the center line and struck his patrol car head-on. The patrol car was pushed into a ditch and Deputy Valdez was trapped inside. Rescue crews extricated him from the wreckage and transported him to Memorial Hermann Trauma Center where he succumbed to his injuries at approximately 1:00 am.

It is believed the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the crash. She was charged with possession of methamphetamine. She had been paroled from prison only three weeks earlier while serving a two year sentence for a previous conviction of the same charge.

Deputy Valdez had served with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. He is survived by his 10-year-old son and mother.

Pomonoa Police Department, Officer Shaun Richard Diamond – October 29, 2014
Police Officer Shaun Diamond succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day as he and members of the Pomona SWAT team attempted to serve a search warrant.

Officer Diamond was the breach officer as the team attempted to make entry into the home in the 100 block of San Marino Avenue in San Gabriel. As they breached the storm door the subject inside opened the main door and fired a single shot from a shotgun, striking Officer Diamond in the back of the neck. The shot also wounded the subject’s father in the arm.

Other officers immediately pulled Officer Diamond to a safe location and he was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he died early the following morning.

The subject was taken into custody at the scene.

Officer Diamond had served with the Pomona Police Department for eight years and had previously served with the Los Angeles Police Department and Montebello Police Department. He is survived by his two children.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko – October 28, 2014
Deputy Sheriff Eugene Kostiuchenko was struck and killed by a drunk driver on the Ventura Freeway, near Lewis Road, while conducting a traffic stop.

He was returning to his vehicle at the completion of the stop when the drunk driver struck him and then fled the scene. Two other deputies witnessed the collision.

The drunk driver fled the scene but crashed his vehicle a short distance away. One of the deputies who witnessed the collision took the man into custody at the scene of the second crash. He was arrested and charged with felony DUI and felony hit and run, with additional charges pending.

Deputy Kostiuchenko had served with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and stepchild.

Summerville Police Department, Patrolman Robert Blajszczak – October 26, 2014
Patrolman Robert Blajszczak died six days after suffering a heart attack while conducting a traffic stop on the 600 block of Main Street.

During the stop he began to suffer a medical emergency. A passing officer saw Patrolman Blajszczak in distress and immediately radioed for assistance. He was transported to a local hospital where he remained until passing away.

Patrolman Blajszczak had served with the Summerville Police Department for seven years and was assigned to the Traffic Division. He had previously served with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Moncks Corner Police Department, and Edisto Beach Police Department.

Butler County Sheriff’s Officer, Deputy John Timothy Williamson – October 25, 2014
Deputy Sheriff Tim Williamson suffered a heart attack following a struggle with a subject he was attempting to arrest.

Believing he had strained a muscle during the struggle, he did not seek medical treatment. The pain in his chest continued and on October 23rd, 2014, it became severe after he responded to several calls for service. He drove himself to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with having a heart attack. He suffered a massive heart attack while being transported to a second hospital, where he died two days later.

Deputy Williamson was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years. He is survived by his father, sister, and two brothers.

Fight (In Progress)


Incidents listed are selected by the Officer In Charge of each shift that may have significant public interest.
Incidents listed are not inclusive of all incidents. Requests for information can be directed to the MPD Records Unit: (608) 266-4075.

Incident Report for Case #2014-356789

Incident Type

Fight (In Progress)

Incident Date

10/29/2014 – 7:08 PM


5600 block Tokay Blvd.


Shaybrianna M. James, age 17, Madison
Suspect was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Resisting.

Female, age 15, Madison
Teen was cited for Battery.


 The MPD responded to a fight in progress near the West Transfer Point Wednesday night. As officers pulled up, there were about a half-dozen young women in the roadway, pushing and throwing punches. They scattered as squad cars arrived. A 22-year old woman – who had several facial cuts – was crying and screaming that she had just been “maced.” Officers located several teens involved in the fracas. One, age 17, was taken to jail for disorderly conduct and resisting. A 15-year-old was cited for battery. Several interviewed indicated there is an ongoing dispute between a couple of the young women, although it was not clear what that dispute is about.

Released 10/30/2014 at 12:03 PM by PIO Joel Despain

Not OK: Woman In Viral Street Harassment Video Receives Rape Threats

Hollaback.org has a specific mission to end street harassment. According to their website, the organization wants to take the power away from the harasser by documenting what really happens in street harassment incidents.

So what is street harassment? According to the website, it’s a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces.

Recently Shoshana Roberts teamed up with Hollaback to bring awareness to this behavior.

Hollaback sent a man with a camera in his backpack to walk in front of Shoshana. During the course of a 10 hour period in August. During that time, she experienced more than 100 catcalls.

Th  YouTube video has been viewed more than 12 million times and received more than 58,000 comments on YouTube about this video.

Although the mission and awareness is great, Shoshana is now reportedly receiving rape threats. WPIX said, “The organization’s office also received approximately 10 threatening phone calls, Executive Director Emily May told the New York Daily News.”

The subject of our PSA is starting to get rape threats on the comments. Can you help by reporting them? http://t.co/NMYCFd9YOm

— Hollaback! (@iHollaback) October 28, 2014

So what can you do to help? If you see threats against Shoshana or anyone else online, they would like for you to report them. Emily May, co-founder of the organization, told the NY Daily News to please take screen shots of the alleged harassment and send it to her office so she can file reports with police.

This disturbing turn of events only proves the need for videos like this to continue to be produced.

Read more:  WPIX

Read more:  Hollaback YouTube

Read more:  NY Daily News

Men charged in woman’s 2011 drugging, kidnapping and rape in Saginaw …

Men charged in woman’s 2011 drugging, kidnapping and rape in Saginaw
The Saginaw News
SAGINAW, MI — Two men face up to life in prison after a Saginaw County jury convicted them of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman after drugging her at the Dixie Motor Speedway in 2011. After deliberating for parts of two days, a jury on Monday

21-year-old man guilty of capital murder in slaying of 72-year-old Dallas woman he called ‘Granny’


James Mitchell

A Dallas County jury found a man guilty Thursday of killing the 72-year-old woman he called “Granny.”

James Mitchell, 21, was found guilty of capital murder and he was automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors say Mitchell robbed Mouda Erskine and beat her to death with a hammer. Her blood was found on his clothes and both of their DNA was found on a hammer at the South Dallas home where Erskine was killed in January 2013.

The jury deliberated about eight hours over two days. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.