It started as a teenage egging prank. It ended in a murder charge for a 14-year-old boy. Police in Aldine, Texas (near Houston) say a 14-year-old male driver and two teenage passengers were inside a GMC Acadia throwing eggs at cars driving by on a road when the driver of one of those cars allegedly pulled a gun and gave chase. The boys fled in the SUV, ran a red light, and hit a Ford F-150 truck - killing its driver, 45-year-old Silvia Zavala - according to police. Zavala "was totally innocent; seems she had just gone shopping based on some debris strewn at scene," tweeted Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. The 14-year-old, who suffered a broken ankle in the crash, was arrested, charged with murder, and booked into a juvenile detention center. He was driving his father's car during the incident and his parents are also being investigated as cops try to figure out why the teen had access to the car. Police have also identified the driver who pulled a gun on the boys. He didn't stop at the scene of the crash after allegedly chasing the boys and the sheriff says "efforts are being made to interview him." (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
It's a McDonald's Life
Down in Florida, it would seem 40-year-old transient Daniel Taylor has a bit of a temper problem. He reportedly became infuriated by his failure to find a plastic straw at McDonald's and so lunged at and grabbed one of the workers. Brenda Biandudi, who recorded a video of the incident said Taylor became angry and abusive after being told of a new St. Petersburg law that requires customers to specifically request plastic straws. "She told him that it's the law now that they're not supposed to have the straws in the lobby. He said there's no such law." But Taylor picked the wrong employee to pick on. The worker, 20-year-old Yasmine James, knew how to defend herself and repeatedly punched Taylor after he grabbed her by the shirt and pulled her forward. She gained the upper hand before fellow workers stepped in. Taylor was arrested the same day and faces two charges of battery. According to an arrest affidavit, he kicked another female employee in the stomach while managers were escorting him out of the building following the first altercation. Meanwhile, James is currently on leave and receiving workers' compensation. She later said, "My family, they know how to box. My big cousin used to box professionally ... I just know how to fight. You know, I know how to protect myself." (Washington Post)
Kids. Guns. Florida.
More tragedy in Florida as an 11-year-old Gilchrist County boy has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly shooting his friend last month and then lying, telling police that his friend came at him with a knife. Jadon Vaughn, the 14-year-old victim, had visited the boy and his 13-year-old brother at their Lake City home when the fatal shooting occurred on Dec. 26. The parents had left for the evening, leaving the teens home alone. Around 7 p.m., Vaughn and the boy wrestled to see if the family dog would respond to the friend attacking the boy. Then the boy retrieved a pistol, removed that magazine and fired it. A police report stated that the boy then called his father and told him that Vaughn had come at him with a knife, but later, the boy and his brother admitted to deputies that they had placed a knife near the teen after the shooting, which they believed would help them get in less trouble. Sheriff Mark Hunter said in a release: "This is a tragic and avoidable death. Our hearts are broken for both families; one has lost a son and the other will struggle with these events for the rest of their lives." (FOX News)
Worst Mom! Worst Son!
In York County, Pennsylvania, 46-year-old Theresa Jarbeck and her 23-year-old son, Zachary Jaroszewski, are facing charges after police said they hosted an underage drinking party on New Year's Eve. Both were charged with corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children and selling/furnishing alcohol to minors. A parent of one of the girls at the party, an 18-year-old, called police after observing a Facebook Live video posted by the girl that depicted underage drinking. Officers found nine people under the age of 21, including two under the age of 17, drinking in the house. Police said they also discovered several empty and full Bud Light cans scattered "everywhere" inside the residence, along with a card table that had been set up to play a drinking game, which was covered with empty plastic cups, empty beer cans and a shot glass. All the underage people in the residence were cited for underage drinking. Their parents and guardians were notified. One juvenile from New Jersey was placed in the care of York County Children and Youth Services after police were unable to contact any parent or guardian. (FOX 6 Now)
A new study from Public Health England says the average child has consumed 18 years' worth of sugar by the time they reach their 10th birthday. The data - gathered from household eating habits across the UK - comes as the government agency launches a campaign encouraging parents to reduce the amount of sugar their children eat. It is recommended that the maximum amount of sugar for 10-year-olds is 20 to 24g a day - the equivalent of five sugar cubes. But the survey found children are consuming an average of 52.2g a day, eight more cubes than the recommended level. These levels are most likely even higher in the U.S. PHE's Change4Life campaign is encouraging parents to change their shopping habits by switching the brands of yogurts, drinks and cereals they buy - a move which could cut a child's sugar intake by half. Parents can download an app which makes it easier to identify low-sugar options. (Sky News)
Obama Hits the R & B Charts!
He's the former leader of the free world, and now he's an R&B hit-maker! Former President Obama gets a credit on "One Last Time (44 Remix)," a gospel-inspired remix of a song from Hamilton, which debuts at the No. 22 spot on Billboard's Hot R&B Songs chart with 307,000 on-demand US streams and 9,000 downloads in the week ending Dec. 27. Released by Lin-Manuel Miranda on Dec. 22, the song featuring original Hamilton cast member Christopher Jackson, gospel musician BeBe Winans, and President Obama-who begins George Washington's farewell address around the 1:40 mark-and is part of a series of "Hamildrops" benefiting multiple nonprofits. (Newser)
What the What?
Alex attended Huntington High School on Long Island, and he apparently committed three big sins in the eyes of the authorities: He once wore blue sneakers to the school, he wrote "504" on his school bag and on a school calculator, and he doodled a devil with horns on his bag. As far as the authorities were concerned, those actions suggested that Alex was affiliated with the notorious MS-13 gang. They didn't believe his explanations: The shoes were a gift from his mother, never worn again after school security guards told him the color was linked to MS-13; "504" wasn't for a gang, it was to show pride in his native Honduras, where those numbers are the country code; and as for the devil with horns, well, that just happens to be the high school mascot for crying out loud! Nevertheless, despite his protestations of innocence, Alex ended up being deported to Honduras, much to the devastation of his parents on Long Island. As it turns out, Alex was one of several students arrested under a program known as Operation Matador, in which police departments share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. However, now that the story has hit the media, the Huntington Union Free School District said it's formally reviewing its agreement with the Suffolk County Police Department in regard to the role of school resource officers. (ProPublica)