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Police reports in Illinois paint disturbing profile of Travis Reinking

Travis Reinking, the man police are seeking in connection with the killing of four people at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, was well-known to police in the Illinois county where he lived, the Journal Star of Peoria reported.

>> Read more trending news

Police reports present a disturbing picture of the man who allegedly opened fire at the restaurant. 

Tazewell County Sheriff Bob Huston distributed reports at a news conference Sunday that detailed Reinking’s brushes with authorities near his hometown of Morton, Illinois, the Journal Star reported.

>> Where is Travis Reinking? Search continues

“The police reports speak for themselves. I think anyone can conclude after reading them that there’s evidence (Reinking) has mental health issues,” Huston said.

Here are some of the incidents:

On May 26, 2016, Reinking was in the parking lot of a CVS in Morton and told police he believed that singer Taylor Swift was stalking him and had hacked into his cellphone, the Journal Star reported. Several weeks earlier, Reinking told deputies that Swift had hacked his Netflix account and wanted to meet him at a Dairy Queen in Morton, the newspaper reported. 

>> Who is Travis Reinking?

On June 16, 2017, police in Tremont were called to the city’s public pool after a man identified as Reinking dove into the pool wearing a pink woman’s house coat, the Journal Star reported. According to police, Reinking took off the coat and swam in his underwear. When told to exit the pool, Reinking yelled at the lifeguards and exposed his genitals, according to the report. 

A report from August 2017 noted that Reinking believed as many as 30 people were hacking his cellphone because he could hear them through his speakers, the Journal Star reported. On Aug. 11, Reinking spoke with a Tazewell sheriff’s deputy and claimed he heard people outside his home barking like dogs.

Two weeks later, deputies confiscated Reinking’s four weapons and ammunition, the Journal Star reported. Reinking’s Illinois Firearms Owners’ Identification Card had been revoked by the Illinois State Police after his arrest by U.S. Secret Service agents in July 2017 for being in a restricted area near the White House.

Reinking's father was present when the deputies came to confiscate the guns, Huston  told The Tennessean. Reinking’s father had a valid state authorization card and asked police if he could keep the weapons. Deputies gave Reinking's father the weapons, Huston said. 

"(Reinking’s father) was allowed to do that after he assured deputies he would keep them secure and away from Travis," Huston told the Tennessean. 

A 27-year-old Morton resident who asked to remain anonymous recalled an incident five years ago, when Reinking leveled what was described as an assault rifle at some friends.

>> Waffle House shooting: 4 dead after nude gunman opens fire

“I think (Reinking) brought the gun out to show it to us. He leveled it at our heads, then he put it away,” the man told the Journal Star. “I didn’t feel threatened, but I was unnerved.”

The man did not call the police, the newspaper reported.

“I hadn’t thought that night until (Sunday), when I learned about the shooting in Nashville,” he told the Journal Star. “I haven’t seen or spoken to Travis for at least five years.”

The Morton resident said he recalls Reinking had anger issues.

“He’d get angry or frustrated easily,” he said.

Meanwhile, Morton Police Chief Craig Hilliard said his office fielded several complaints about Reinking’s driving but otherwise heard no serious allegations about him.

“We haven’t had many calls with him,” Hilliard told the Journal Star. “We haven’t had much contact with him.”

Walmart shooting: Man killed in front of bystanders, including kids, outside Arkansas store

A man reportedly was shot and killed Sunday night outside an Arkansas Walmart as bystanders, including kids, looked on.

>> Waffle House shooting: 4 dead after nude gunman opens fire in Tennessee; victims identified

According to KAIT, police said the slaying began as a domestic dispute at the front of the store in Trumann about 9:15 p.m. CDT. Police arrived and negotiated with an armed man who walked out of the store with a woman. The man then shot and killed a second man who "tried to intervene," KAIT reported. The armed man eventually surrendered to police and was arrested.

Police did not release the names of the people involved in the incident, but officers said the slain man was likely connected to the woman and armed man.

>> Read more trending news 

Dozens of shoppers were nearby when the man was shot, police said.

"A lot of people witnessed something tonight that they should have never seen," Trumann police Chief Chad Henson told KAIT. "We're going to have to go through a lot of healing from here on out. It was just a terrible day."

Read more here.

Police use anti-KKK law to arrest people protesting neo-Nazis

Faced with hundreds of demonstrators rallying against a crowd of neo-Nazis in Newnan, Georgia, authorities turned to a little-known Georgia law adopted in 1951 to combat the Ku Klux Klan.

>> Tension, arrests at neo-Nazi rally in metro Atlanta

The law, which makes it illegal to wear a mask at most public events, was cited in several of the arrests of counterdemonstrators who joined a protest Saturday against white supremacists.

And the irony was not lost upon the organizers of the counterdemonstration, who were fuming Sunday that a law aimed at weakening white supremacists was used to arrest protesters who opposed a neo-Nazi rally.

“They were trying to stop us, and we were trying to dial down the racist stuff,” said Jeremy Ortega, a 19-year-old who was among the counterprotesters charged with a misdemeanor for wearing a mask.

He said many of the demonstrators wore masks to avoid being identified and threatened by white power groups.

“We were peacefully protesting, yet they put guns in our faces and told us to take our masks off,” said Ortega, who added that he is considering filing a civil lawsuit. “It made no sense.”

State and local authorities did not comment on specific allegations of abuse on Sunday. But Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said the overwhelming security – nearly 700 law enforcement officers were on hand – helped prevent the clashes from escalating.

“Making arrests in a volatile situation is never going to be pretty,” Keenan said.

No one from the white supremacist group was arrested on Saturday, and they largely avoided confrontations with police or the counterdemonstration group. The two dozen white supremacists who attended the rally were separated from the group by an 8-foot fence – and hundreds of armed officers.

‘Remove your mask’

On Sunday, a coalition of counterprotest groups planned a vigil at the Coweta County Jail to criticize what they said was excessive violence by police.

The Huffington Post reported that a contingent of officers approached a group of 50 counterdemonstrators before the rally and demanded they remove their masks or face arrests. The news outlet wrote that officers then “grabbed those who were still masked, tossing them to the ground and handcuffing them.”

A video posted on social media by freelance journalist Daniel Shular appeared to show authorities scuffling with counterdemonstrators. Authorities demanded that the counterprotesters remove their masks, and the footage showed an officer raising his rifle at demonstrators.

“Remove your mask, or you will be arrested,” said an officer in the video, which shows a ring of demonstrators standing with their hands raised aloft. Several are chanting “hands up, don’t shoot.”

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who attempted to report on the confrontation during the rally was obstructed by authorities.

Several other counterdemonstrators faced violations that have nothing to do with the anti-mask law.

Daniel Hanley was charged with obstruction of a pedestrian roadway after he said he nonviolently resisted a police officer who confronted him. He said he believes he was arrested because he was wielding a megaphone and leading chants against the white supremacists.

“They were trying to find any pretext to shut us down,” Hanley, 36, said of the authorities. “The moment we stepped foot there, they intimated us and strategically tried to target people.”

‘Absolutely satisfied’

State law bans the wearing of masks, hoods or other devices that conceal a person’s identity if they’re on public property or on private property where the owner has not consented. It includes exceptions for holidays, theatrical productions, civil emergencies and sporting events.

The laws have been adopted by about a dozen states, most aimed at weakening the KKK in the middle of the 20th century. The Georgia Supreme Court in 1990 upheld the state’s ban after a Klansman donned a hood on the Lawrenceville Square, citing his First Amendment rights.

The law has mostly been used to target KKK demonstrations, though it has also been employed before to arrest demonstrators who are objecting to white power groups. At a 2016 rally, the law was used to arrest eight demonstrators protesting a white supremacist rally at Stone Mountain Park.

In a strange turn, it also was invoked ahead of a press conference last year at the Gold Dome, when supporters of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle threatened to hire performers in circus masks to interrupt a rival’s event. The clowns never showed up.

>> Read more trending news 

Authorities said they were intent on enforcing that law and others as they studied how law enforcement officials handled white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 to prepare for the Newnan event.

In Charlottesville, officers remained largely passive as bloody clashes raged around them, and the event soon spiraled out of control. One person was killed and dozens more were injured in the violence.

“You have to have adequate resources and the intent to enforce the law,” Keenan said. “We had both.”

He said officers made clear to both groups that masks and some weapons were not allowed. He said authorities found an abandoned backpack with smoke bombs at one checkpoint. State law allows demonstrators to carry firearms if they are licensed; on Saturday, several were spotted sporting firearms.

“We maintained security. We would not let there be disorder. We didn’t have civil disorder, property damage. And we had just a few arrests,” Keenan said. “We are absolutely satisfied.”

MORE COVERAGE FROM AJC.COM: 

>> Reports from Newnan as the rally and counterprotest were underway

>> How social media reacted

>> In-depth look at how protest was contained 

Missing brothers found: Pittsburgh police locate 2 boys who disappeared Friday

UPDATE, 10 a.m. April 22: The two brothers who went missing Friday have been found, police said. 

Police said Amier Windsor, 12, and Robert Windsor Jr., 11, have been located. Pittsburgh police thanked all involved for their assistance in finding the boys. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Pittsburgh police are seeking assistance in finding two brothers

>> Watch the news report here

Police said Amier Windsor, 12, and Robert Windsor Jr., 11, went missing about 5 p.m. Friday.

>> Read more trending news 

According to a news release, the two brothers are known to frequent the Brookline area. 

Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to call police at 412-323-7800

'Smallville' actress Allison Mack indicted for alleged role in sex trafficking case

Actress Allison Mack, who starred as Chloe Sullivan in the television series “Smallville,” was indicted Friday on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, the Justice Department said in a statement.

>> Read more trending news

Mack, 35, who starred in the series from 2001 to 2011, allegedly was involved with an organization called Nxivm that claimed to be a female mentorship but instead was a scheme in which some recruits “were exploited both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants' benefit," U.S attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in the statement.

Nxivm's founder, Keith Raniere, known as Vanguard, was also indicted Friday, CNN reported.

According to court filings, Mack directly or implicitly required her slaves, identified as Jane Does 1 and 2, to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere. 

“Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” Donoghue said. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.”

Raniere, 57, was arrested in March in Mexico by federal officials on sex-trafficking charges, The New York Times reported.

Mack was arraigned Friday afternoon and a plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf, the Times reported. She was held without bail, with a bail hearing set for Monday.

In addition to her role on “Smallville,” Mack was featured in the movies “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves” in 1997 and “The Ant Bully” in 2006.

2 Louisiana elementary school students arrested over nude Snapchat photos

Police in Louisiana arrested a female elementary school student who took nude pictures of herself, as well as her male classmate who shared the photographs through a social media app, WGNO reported.

>> Read more trending news

The students, who are enrolled at Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell, were charged with distribution of child pornography, the Slidell Police Department said.

The nude photographs were sent and shared through the Snapchat app, police said. The male student sent the picture to other students after receiving them, WGNO reported.

“Most kids are not aware, but sending a nude photo of themselves is a crime,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a Facebook post. “Parents need to have a candid conversation with their kids about the seriousness, and the long term effects, of taking and sending nude photographs.”

Both children were released into the custody of their parents, WGNO reported.

Florida commissioner allegedly fed, housed couple in exchange for sex twice a week

A Florida county commissioner was arrested Thursday on multiple prostitution-related charges after authorities said he housed and fed a couple in exchange for having sex with the man’s wife twice a week, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with one count of operating a location for the purpose of lewdness, assignation or prostitution and two counts of purchasing services from a person engaged in prostitution, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

The charges are second-degree misdemeanors for a first offense, and each has a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. Nicholson posted $3,000 bail, records show.

Florida law allows Gov. Rick Scott to suspend an elected official through an executive order, the Times reported.

"Governor Scott expects all elected officials to behave ethically and responsibility. Our office is aware of this and reviewing the details,’’ spokesman McKinley Lewis told the Times.

The charges followed an alleged domestic dispute in February between Kendel Surette, 33, and Valerie Surette, 30, who were living at Nicholson’s home in Spring Hill. Kendel Surette told deputies that Nicholson had housed and fed the couple for six months; in exchange, Surette said, Nicholson had sex with his wife on Tuesdays and Saturdays, according to court records. Nicholson paid the Surettes $100 every Tuesday and $200 every Saturday, the Times reported.

Kendel Surette also told deputies that Nicholson allowed his wife to have sex with other clients on a mattress in the commissioner’s garage or in a car in the driveway, the Times reported.

Nicholson said in February that he met Valerie Surette at Icon Gentlemen’s Club, where she was a stripper. He denied having sex with the woman.

“She keeps me company,’’ he told the Times. “I’m just a nice guy, so they just took advantage of me.’’

Woman steals identity via social media to land job with 6-figure salary

A Louisiana woman with a history of identity theft faces 10 years in prison after she was convicted Wednesday of stealing another woman’s background to land an executive position with a six-figure salary.

Cindy T. White, 41, of Slidell, was found guilty of identity theft over $1,000, according to a news release from the office of 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery. It took jurors just 15 minutes to find White guilty of the charges. 

Montgomery said in the news release that White used information stolen from another woman’s LinkedIn profile to beef up her resume in September 2015, when she applied for an executive-level position with Diversified Foods & Seasonings. NOLA.com reported that the company, based in Covington, was founded by the late entrepreneur Al Copeland.

White also used the other woman’s Social Security number and driver’s license number when applying for the job, the news release said

She was initially hired as a human resources manager, a position with a $95,000 annual salary, Montgomery said. Five months later, she was promoted to senior human resources director, a job with a $105,000 salary. 

>> Read more trending news

Company officials became suspicious a few months later when they noticed that White had trouble with duties that she should have been able to perform based on her alleged educational background. Her resume listed a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a master’s degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“That’s not this person,” prosecutor Casey Dieck said in court, pointing at White. “This person stole the victim’s hard work and used it to get a six-figure salary and benefits to boot.”

Officials at Diversified Foods & Seasonings also noticed that White delegated a large number of tasks assigned to her, Montgomery said in the news release. They took a closer look at her personnel file and found discrepancies in it. 

Company officials called the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in April 2016. 

Investigators determined that White lifted her educational background directly from the LinkedIn profile of a woman with a similar name, Montgomery said. They also discovered that she obtained the woman’s driver’s license and Social Security numbers from an unnamed online site. 

A look at White’s real background revealed that this was not the first time she had stolen someone’s identity, the news release said

White, a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office employee, was arrested in New Orleans in 1997 on suspicion of theft, forgery and malfeasance in office after she was accused of stealing a co-worker’s identity and emptying the woman’s bank account.

She was caught when she was spotted in surveillance photos and identified, the news release said. She pleaded guilty that September to two counts of forgery and received probation. 

Her probation was terminated in 1999 when the court was sent information that White had died, Montgomery said

White also had a 1998 conviction in Jefferson Parish for attempted theft of goods. 

Prosecutors argued that White, who admitted to St. Tammany Parish investigators that she used the victim’s identity to get the job, fraudulently collected $56,209 during the seven months she worked at Diversified Foods & Seasonings. Her defense attorney argued that she earned the salary she received. 

Dieck denied the defense claim, Montgomery said in the news release

“We have here a defendant who admits to stealing to cover up the fact that she’s a convicted thief,” the prosecutor said. 

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