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School guard fired for using security camera to watch cheerleaders

OCEAN CITY, N.J. - February 12, 2005 - School officials have fired a security guard who they say used a surveillance camera to watch cheerleaders practice.

Dean Spencer, a retired police officer from Upper Township, said he and his union will challenge his dismissal from Ocean City High School. "We're fighting it. That's all I'm going to say," Spencer told The Press of Atlantic for Saturday editions.

Spencer was fired Thursday for inappropriately using public equipment, infringing on privacy rights and betraying the trust of his position, school Superintendent Donald Dearborn said.

Dearborn would not detail Spencer's actions, saying citing litigation concerns. But the superintendent said digital tape from cameras was reviewed by school officials.

The new $40 million high school, which opened in September, is equipped with 60 surveillance cameras in hallways, rooftops, the school's auditorium, gymnasiums and the cafeteria. No cameras are installed in locker rooms.

Dearborn said the surveillance system is copy-protected to block operators from reproducing images the cameras capture.

"We feel there's no breach in our security system. Our investigation found it was limited to one incident," he said.


Information from: The Press of Atlantic City,

Security guard charged with assault and battery

C. Clark Ballew - Staff Writer
Culpeper Star Exponent

February 11, 2005 - A Culpeper Middle School security guard has been suspended with pay following an alleged incident with a 14-year-old last week.

Rudolph E. Makle, 50, of Fredericksburg, is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, Culpeper County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Fox said.

Fox said the boy’s parents filed the complaint to sheriff’s investigators this week in reference to an incident at the school Feb. 3.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Makle allegedly became upset when he thought the student was making comments about him to friends.

When he saw the boy whisper something to a friend, Makle allegedly grabbed the 14-year-old by his bookbag straps and “slammed him against (the) wall,” the sheriff’s report said.

According to the report, two school employees immediately stopped the altercation by separating the two. The report said the boy showed no visible injuries when he came with his parents to the Sheriff’s Office.

Larry Parker, the school system’s public information officer, said the security guard has not worked since the incident. He added that security officers are employed by the school division and hired on an individual basis.

School officials including Superintendent David Cox and Culpeper Middle School Principal Bill Zierden are investigating to determine the necessary disciplinary action.

Attempts to reach Makle Thursday evening were unsuccessful.
Fox said deputies attempted to serve Makle with the misdemeanor warrant Thursday; however, Fox was unaware if the warrant was actually served.

Makle is to appear in Culpeper County General District Court Feb. 22 at 8:30 a.m.

C. Clark Ballew can be reached at 825-0771 ext. 110 or

Taser Prevails in Wrongful Death Suit

LOS ANGELES, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- After two years of contentious litigation, a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Taser International, Inc., brought by the City of Madera. The City of Madera alleged that one of its police officers shot and killed a man after mistaking her Glock service weapon for her Taser M26 stun device.

In 2002, after responding to a disturbance of the peace call involving several youth, City of Madera police officer Marcy Noriega shot and killed 24 year old Everardo Torres, an up and coming Golden Gloves boxer, who was handcuffed in the back of a squad car. Noriega claimed that she mistook her Glock for her Taser M26. Torres' family -- represented by the famed and recently deceased attorney Johnnie Cochran and his firm -- sued the City and Officer Noriega.

The City and Noriega sued Taser, claiming the Taser M26 was defectively designed due to it's similarity to a real firearm, and that Taser failed to warn about the possibility of confusing it with a firearm. In a rare 50-page dismissal order, a federal judge dismissed the case Tuesday, saying the resemblance was obvious.

"Assuming that Plaintiffs' allegations that the M26 is defectively similar to a handgun in functionality, design, and muscle memory, then the possibility of weapons confusion is obvious, especially when the M26 is worn close to a firearm," U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii wrote in the order. "Under these circumstances, there is no duty to warn."

Ishii dismissed all the claims, including negligence, design defect, and indemnity, that the City brought against Taser.

Attorneys Daniel A. Berman and Aneta B. Dubow of the firm Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP represented Taser International, Inc.



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