The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 13, 2001 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, April 13, 2001
Page 4
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.A4 FRIDAY, APRIL 13. 2001 NATION THE SAUNA JOURNAL • KIDNAPPING Captive teen calm in the face of danger Authorities say teen's calm and cool manner helped police draw out the man who held her captive By TOM LACEKY The Associated Press ROLLINS, Mont. — A man accused of abducting a 17-year-old girl from a Nebraska mall last week surrendered at a lakeside cabin Thursday after the teenager calmly helped police end a 10-hour standoff Anne Sluti, an honor student from Kearney, Neb., had a black eye but otherwise appeared unharmed. She ran into the arms of a deputy and later was reunited with her parents in nearby Kalispell. "We have a miracle that happened," Sluti's father, Don, said by telephone from Kearney before leaving for Montana. He said he was able to talk with his daughter during the overnight negotiations: "What a kid!" Anthony Zappa, 29, allegedly grabbed the girl from a parking lot mall in her hometown last Friday and took her 900 miles away to this small resort town on Flathead Lake. He had eluded authorities since February for failing to appear in a Minnesota court on a burglary charge. Zappa, also known as Anthony Wright, is also wanted on charges that include assault, theft and illegal gun possession in Nebraska, Louisiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. The U.S. attorney's office in Omaha, Neb., filed kidnapping charges against Zappa Thursday A landlord who spotted a car outside the supposedly empty cabin tipped off authorities Wednesday evening. Negotiators said Slu­ ti was their only contact for hours, acting as a go-between with Zappa, who would not come to the telephone until the very end. "There's no doubt in my mind the role she played in ending this," said Undersheriff Mike Sargent, one of the negotiators. "The way she handled herself when dealing with me was very calm and cool and collected." Sheriff Bill Barron said Sluti was "very clever and very brave." The standoff ended shortly after 3 a.m. when Zappa walked out and surrendered, authorities said. Sluti followed close behind. Zappa was taken off to jail. Sargent said Sluti did a remarkable job of helping convince Zappa that the 50 or so officers surrounding the cabin would not harm him if he came out. "From our very first conversation, she expressed that Tony wanted to end this, and when it did end, he wanted it peacefully," Sargent said- "He needed reassurance that we wanted to end this peacefully I got him calmed down and he surrendered peacefully." Sluti disappeared Friday from the parking lot of the Hilltop Shopping Center in Kearney, where her purse and other be­ longings were found. Zappa was linked to the crime by a stolen 1987 Chevy Suburban later found 30 miles from the cabin. Sluti managed to make three brief phone caUs last weekend, including one to 911 from a cabin outside Livingston, about 300 miles from Rollins. By the time authorities arrived, the cabin was empty The girl also managed to call her family and a friend on Saturday, but those calls were cut off, authorities said. At one point last month, the manhunt for Zappa prompted police to close the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. — the nation's biggest mall — to search the place after he was spotted there. T CINCINNATI SHOOTING War in the city Mayor declares state of emergency to stop riots By The Associated Press CINCINNATI — The mayor declared a state of emergency and announced a citywide curfew as riots over the police shooting of an unarmed black man stretched into a fourth day Thursday Only people going to and from work will be allowed out between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.. Mayor Charles Luken said. "Despite the best efforts of the good citizens of our city, the violence on our streets is uncontrolled, and it runs rampant," Luken said at a news conference at City Hall. "The time has come to deal with this seriously The message ... is that the violence must stop." . Officials in the city of 331,000 hiave considered asking the state to call out the Ohio National Guard, but no decision had been made, Luken said. The fatal shooting over the weekend of Timothy Thomas, 19, by a white officer sparked days of unrest, a federal investigation and calls for accountability Thomas was killed as he fled Officer Steven Roach, who was trying to arrest him for failing to appear for misdemeanor charges and traffic violations. Tensions between blacks and police have heightened over the past few years. Since 1995, 15 black men have died at the hands of police, including four since November. Groups of vandals roamed neighborhoods Wednesday night and early Thursday, breaking windows, looting stores and assaulting at least one white motorist who was dragged from her car, police said. Others in the neighborhood came to the woman's aid. A police officer was shot Wednesday night, but the buckle of his gun belt caught the bullet and saved him, though he was severely bruised, Luken said. No arrest had been made in that shooting. "I think the black citizens are tired and scared, I think the white citizens are tired and scared," Luken said. "There's gunfire going on here like you might hear in Beirut. It's dangerous and it's getting more dangerous." At least 66 people have been arrested on such charges as disorderly conduct, criminal rioting, obstruction; felony assault, theft and breaking and entering since the violence began Monday Luken said he signed a document minutes before the news conference declaring the state of emergency and City Manager John Shirey authorized the curfew to begin Thursday night. T APARTMENT SHOOTINGS Eviction was on the way Victim had 3-month-old son Family of dead man says he was getting ready to start anew By The Associated Press CINCINNATI — With a wedding planned, the birth of his son, and a new job, Timothy Thomas was ready to start a new chapter in his life. Before he could, the 19-year- old man described by friends and relatives as an advocate of peace and love was killed. The shooting of the unarmed black teen-ager by a white police officer during the weekend has led to a citywide curfew. Friends said Thomas was leaving the apartment he shared with his fiancee and his 3-month-old son in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood when he was shot. Police say Thomas was killed as he fled Officer Stephen Roach, who was trying to arrest him for failing to appear for misdemeanor charges and traffic violations. The officer has been placed on leave. Roach's union said he feared for his life during the encounter A makeshift memorial remained Thursday at the site where he fell to the sidewalk as a bullet pierced his chest. "Everybody who met him loved him," said his mother, Angela Leisure. "My son was a good kid, a happy kid." Thomas' 16-year-old brother, Terry, said Thomas was a protective older brother who was kind to everyone. "I almost expect my brother to come through the door and wonder what the shouting is about," Terry Thomas said. Leisure moved her family from Chicago in 1997. She said she believed that at about 6- feet-2 and 200 pounds, Timothy Thomas would be a target of racial profiling there. Managers were ready to evict the man who senior citizen tenants had complained about in the past By The Associated Press CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A man who shot to death three fellow tenants at his senior citizen apartment building, then took his own life, was being evicted because of disputes with his neighbors, police said Thursday On Wednesday Eugene Molter, 68, fatally shot the husband-and-wife resident managers at Congregational Tower, then killed the tenant who lived in the apartment above him. He returned to his apartment on the 15th floor of the 16-story complex, stood on the balcony and fired several shots at arriving police. He then went inside and shot himself to death. Residents of Congregational Tower described Molter as a strange man who was a loner Fannie West, 74, said Molter did not socialize with anyone. "He seemed like he was always angry He never looked relaxed." David Ramos Rivera, 66, said Molter had a lot of arguments with 72-year-old victim Ariel Ibarra. Ibarra's son, also named Ariel, said his father repeatedly complained about the noise Molter made in his apartment below. "When I heard about the shooting, the first thing that went through my mind was that guy hurt my father," the younger Ibarra said. Molter's only known criminal history was a 1982 arrest for petty theft and shoplifting, for which he received three years probation, police Lt. Gary Wedge said Thursday He said he didn't have any additional details. Neighbors mourned the loss of complex managers Patricia Carignan, 60, and her 65-year-old husband, Albert Carignan. "They just pampered us like we were little • U.S. GUN VIOLENCE The Associated Press Police snipers atop a church in Chula Vista, Calif., Wednesday look for the gunman who killed two people in the building across the street. children," West said. Chula Vista is nine miles south of San Diego. The San Diego area has been the scene of several shootings in recent months. Two teen-agers opened fire in separate incidents last month in schools east of the city; two people were killed in one of the attacks. The good news is... gun deaths down BRIEFLY Police avert possible school bomb plot POOLER, Ga. — Police investigating rumors of a bomb plot at a middle school raided the homes of 11 students and arrested a 14-year-old boy who had several guns, Nazi posters, $4,900 in cash and bomb recipes in his room. Investigators said Thursday they found no explosives at the school or in the students' homes and still were investigating whether there was a conspiracy to bomb West Chatham Middle School. The 14-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age, was charged with possession of a firearm by a minor for two handguns police found in his room. The boy also had two shot­ guns and three rifles in his closet, but minors can legally possess such weapons under Georgia law. The boy's father said Thursday the handguns belong to his son-in-law, who is visiting from Illinois. The pistols were stashed in his son's room to keep them away from younger children, he said. Former charity Chief ^ sentenced for stealing COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former American Cancer Society executive was sentenced to about 13 years in prison Thursday for stealing nearly $8 million from the charity's Ohio chapter. "I had six years of exemplary service with the American Cancer Society all of which has been thrown away by the bad decisions I have made," Daniel Wiant said in federal court. "Because of what I did, I threw my life away" Wiant, 36, pleaded guilty in August to bank fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and illegal use of a credit card in thefts that began in 1997. U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus Jr said Wiant abused a position of trust as chief financial officer of the Cancer Society's Ohio chapter. From Wire Service Reports Still, guns are second leading cause of injury-related deaths By The Associated Press ATLANTA — Gun deaths in the United States dropped more than 25 percent during the mid- 1990s to the lowest level since 1966, the government said Thursday Analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention credited stricter sentencing in some areas, new laws that make it more difficult for criminals to get guns, the waning crack trade and low unemployment because of the booming economy The CDC reported 30,708 gun- related deaths —11.4 per 100,000 people — in 1998, the latest year for which statistics are available. The rate is down 26 percent from 1993, when there were 15.4 deaths per 100,000 people. Gun-related injuries fell by nearly half during the same five-year period, dropping to 64,484 in 1998, or 23.9 per 100,000 people. Guns remain the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States, trailing only auto accidents. The drop during the 1990s coincides with a fall in homicides to levels not seen in three decades. The new figures, however, show that gun injuries declined across all three categories of intent — assault, accidental and intentional self-infliction. The National Rifle Association said the lower death rates are evidence that gun-safety programs are reaching Americans and that gun laws are working. "This is obviously good news," said Patricia Gregory an NRA spokeswoman. "There are tens of thousands of firearms laws on the books. Strict enforcement of existing law could reduce these numbers even further." Gun-control advocates called for tighter restrictions on firearm sales and more money for law enforcement. "When we have 30,000 deaths a year, that's too many," said Soledad Roybal, a spokeswoman for the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. "There need to be real, comprehensive laws, not just laws that are there as a show." ^yX/ by Pipka 211 West Iron Open Tuesday-Friday 12-5, Saturday 10-5 & Sunday 1-5 r 825-8124 115 W. Woodland In north Sallna just off Santa Fe PRINTING COMPANY, INC. Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.® Marsha Hoffhines Agent 122 N. Santa Fe Ave., Salina 785-827-1707 State Farm Insurance Companies • Home OHices: Bloomington, Illinois Licensed & Bonded For Your Protection. Midwest Securitu Systems, Inc. 1006 E. Iron / Salina, KS 785-825-8157 / 800-732-7863 Ynot Come On Over! We'll Buy Out Any Competitors Contract! Mike WIRELESS STORE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9 - 6, Sat. 9 -1 128 N. Santa Fe / SALINA. KS 67401 / 785-823-5225 Ford Certified Mechanics SERVICE CENTER 340 N. Santa Fe, Salina • 823-2237 • 800-874-6316 APRIL IS NATIONAL FLOOR COVERING MONTHI Remember! WeMI meet or beat any local competitive price! /i SUNFLOWER GRP^TONE 2559 Market Place • 1/2 MiU North of Wal-Mart on 9th st. 825-6260 /1-800-748-7493 HourtiMonday & Thursday 9-7, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 9-5:30, Closed Sunday. Financing Available. Change

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