Ryan Jerome was enjoying his first trip to New York City on business when the former Marine Corps gunner walked up to a security officer at the Empire State Building and asked where he should check his gun.
That was when Jerome’s nightmare began. The security officer called police and Jerome spent the next two days in jail.
The 28-year-old with no criminal history now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison. If convicted, his sentence could be as high as fifteen years.
Jerome has a valid concealed carry permit in Indiana and visited New York believing that it was legal to bring his firearm. He was traveling with $15,000 worth of jewelry that he planned to sell.
The online gun-law information Jerome read was inaccurate, however, and his late September arrest initiated what may become a protracted criminal saga. He hasn’t yet been indicted by a grand jury, but there may be little legal wiggle-room if he is.
“If he does get indicted, and they want to give him something less, then the legal minimum would be two years,” noted Mark Bederow, Jerome’s attorney. “They couldn’t even offer less if they wanted to.”
The law in New York has the potential to wreak havoc on the lives of unwitting and otherwise law-abiding visitors, Bederow explained to The Daily Caller.
“The law itself is clear,” he said, “if you knowingly possess a loaded firearm in New York, then you are technically guilty of a serious crime. The fact that somebody in another state has a valid concealed carry permit is, legally speaking, irrelevant in New York.”
But the recent spate of tourist arrests wasn’t what was intended when the law was passed, said Bederow. “Subjecting the toughest gun laws in the country — here in New York — to subject these people to them is just not a good use of discretion.”
“The law is not equipped to deal with these situations, and they happen all the time,” he added. “Here are people trying to be responsible.”
There is a significant degree of uncertainty regarding how the case will proceed. Right now, Bederow said he’s hoping that the district attorney will use discretion and recognize that his client “is not a criminal.”
“I’ve been a law-abiding citizen my entire life, and for something like this to come down, it rips me apart,” Jerome told the New York Post.
“It’s like taking a good dog and scolding him for something he didn’t do.”
It was a real Christmas miracle for Maria Vargas, a cancer patient, when she discovered a $10,000 check left on her doorstep.
“We just feel blessed that a stranger is coming over to do something so big for us in our biggest need,” said Vargas.
The 51-year-old’s biggest need right now is the money to pay for medication to battle stage four cancer.
Vargas found a bag dropped off on her doorstep.
Inside, under several avocados she found a ten thousand dollar cashier’s check.
Maria’s daughter, Mariela Vargas, has no idea who would be so generous.
“I would just give them a big hug, and a thank you, and a big kiss on the cheek and just let them know how much it means to our family,? said Mariela. ?There was a tumor about the size of a baseball hiding in there.”
The family says after chemotherapy failed, they took Maria to a doctor in Texas but treatment Maria started on is $10,000 a month.
Now, with an anonymous gift, Maria says she has a chance to fight the disease.
UK parents, don’t blame Father Christmas if he doesn’t allow your child to sit on his knee at a school event — teachers may have banned him from coming into contact with youngsters.
As is typical of our ‘over-reaction’ society, while those playing Father Christmas are no longer required to pass a Criminal Records Bureau check, many schools have decided to “err on the side of caution” and impose rules on grotto behaviour.
Parents who have offered to don the red suit have been told they must not allow youngsters to sit on their laps and cannot be left alone with them. Because CRB checks are required only for volunteers who have regular contact with children, Father Christmases are exempt.
However, government guidance states: “Under no circumstances must a volunteer who has not obtained a CRB disclosure … be left unsupervised with children.”
Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said this meant many of its members had decided it was better if Father Christmases avoided all physical contact with children.
“The climate we work in, and the risks of getting it wrong, mean many school leaders err on the side of caution,” he said. “And if you are going to ‘err’ I think that’s the side most parents would prefer.”
A spokesman for the Department for Education said children could still sit on Father Christmas’s knee as long as parents were consulted and were “completely comfortable” with the situation.
“Santas in schools should be treated in the same way that other visitors to the school are managed. Our guidance recommends that for such visitors a member of staff is present,” added the spokesman.
Here’s a warning to the big-haired travelers of the world: Your voluminous hairdo might prompt a second round of security screening the next time you’re traveling through the airport.
Hairstylist Isis Brantley of Dallas said she can’t believe she was chased down this week at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport so that her afro-styled hair could be checked for weapons.
The 53-year-old woman said that she was halfway to her gate to catch an American Airlines flight to Dallas when she started hearing shouts.
“‘Hey you! Hey you! Ma’am! Ma’am! Stop! Stop! The lady with the hair! You!” Brantley said. When the Transportation Security Administration agent caught up with Brantley, she was told she would miss her flight if she didn’t allow her hair to be searched.
Brantley said she was in tears as the agent started “digging” through her hair to check for weapons. She asked the agent to “just find what you’re looking for and please hurry and leave.
It was just humiliating,” Brantley said. “I was so embarrassed.” In a statement, the TSA said Brantley left the checkpoint area before screening was completed and she refused a private screening that was offered.
“Additional screening may be required for clothing, headwear or hair where prohibited items could be hidden,” the statement said. Brantley, who said she hasn’t cut her hair since age 12, said her hair had never been searched before.
After complaining, Brantley said a TSA supervisor at Hartsfield-Jackson apologized.
The United Arab Emirates Central Bank has sent an urgent letter to the country’s banks, warning them against an illegal Chinese pen, dubbed the “magic pen” which it says can be used to forge documents with its vanishing ink.
The letter, headed “important and very urgent”, said such Chinese pens have been illegally smuggled into the UAE, citing a warning letter from Dubai’s general administration for criminal investigation.
According to the warning, the ink used in the Chinese pen could vanish within one hour to four days after writing on normal paper.
“Banks are urged not to use customers’ pens to sign on any official document and cheques to avert those Chinese pens…banks are advised to use only their own pens and to be extremely cautious when completing transactions with normal pens,” the letter said.
“This Chinese pen look like a normal pen but its ink is different as it disappears from cheques, documents and other types of paper, rendering those documents valueless…these pens are very cheap and are entering the UAE illegally.”