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Phoenix Police Say Car Theft Suspect May Face Charges for News Chopper Crash That Killed Four
Fox News ^ | July 28, 2007 | Associated Press

Posted on 07/29/2007 3:43:38 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi

PHOENIX — Federal investigators on Saturday began gathering debris from two news helicopters that collided while covering a police chase on live television and crashed, killing all four people aboard.

The investigators plan to lay out the wreckage elsewhere to try to determine the point where the two aircraft collided Friday, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Howard Plagens said.

"We're just mapping out the locations ... how things are scattered, that's our main focus," he said.

Investigators said they'll need at least another day to finish going through the debris, which was sprayed across the ground and landed atop nearby buildings.

On Saturday, investigators allowed reporters into the crash site.

The helicopters' hulls were flipped over and squashed in two twisted heaps. The explosion blackened grass and trees. Curved metal sheets from the choppers floated upside down in a nearby pond.

Meanwhile, the man suspected of starting the chase was booked into jail on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of theft and one count of resisting arrest.

Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.

Formal charges are expected to come later. At an initial court appearance, bail was set at $1 million.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: abuseofpower; charges; christopherjones; donutwatch; helicoptercrash; helicopters; ivorytower; nifongism; phoenix
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I'm OK with charging suspects when police pursuits end up in crashes......but news accidents are now the fault of the suspect?
1 posted on 07/29/2007 3:43:44 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi
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To: Erik Latranyi
The investigators plan to lay out the wreckage elsewhere to try to determine the point where the two aircraft collided Friday, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Howard Plagens said. Now that's really important to find that out using taxpayer's money isn't it Mr Plagens?
2 posted on 07/29/2007 3:53:21 AM PDT by tommix2
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To: Erik Latranyi

I wonder who they charge if a news chopper crashes in the middle of a traffic report.


3 posted on 07/29/2007 3:55:25 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: Erik Latranyi
I can’t see how the guy could be charged with any crime regarding the copter collision.If one or both copter were police involved in the pursuit I could see it...but not two news copters.
4 posted on 07/29/2007 3:55:39 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If martyrdom is so cool,why does Osama Obama go to such great lengths to avoid it?)
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To: Erik Latranyi

With the newer zooming cameras these guys have to work with I can’t undersdtand why they all have to orbit DIRECTLY over the point of interest.

I heard a snippet of conversation between two of them yesterday and it sounded to me like they both knew they were flirting with disaster. It sounded as though they were comparing altitudes as if they could not see each other.

RIP. My sympathy for the families.


5 posted on 07/29/2007 3:56:02 AM PDT by Howie
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To: Erik Latranyi

“......but news accidents are now the fault of the suspect?”

Someone does something that you don’t like or that makes you angry, you sicc the law on them and make believe that that’s OK and well within the law’s jurisdiction. The kids swatting butts case comes to mind.

It kills me that so many people recognize that the Great American culture is dying and as they point it out and comment on it they refrence the ramifications as coming years from now. It’s now. Kid has a sunburn from his outing at the beach? You’re under arrest. It’s now, not later.


6 posted on 07/29/2007 3:57:49 AM PDT by TalBlack
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To: Erik Latranyi

That just doesn’t seem right to me either.


7 posted on 07/29/2007 4:02:32 AM PDT by Global2010 (Oregon Coast our lil town. Nah nah nah nah It's our town.)
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To: TalBlack

Horrible isnt it.

What the saying about busybodies and minding their own affairs.

Gang shootings and no one will snitch but your right a sunburn and they throw the book at you.


8 posted on 07/29/2007 4:05:51 AM PDT by Global2010 (Oregon Coast our lil town. Nah nah nah nah It's our town.)
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To: Erik Latranyi
B.S. Just because the sensation-ravenous drive-by media believes it needs to cover your dust-up with the authorites doesn't mean you should be held responsible when the drive-by media literally crashes and burns. The drive-by media needs to be reminded it is not an arm of government. It is, as it has always been, as Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur characterized it 75 years ago:

Journalists! Peeking through keyholes! Running after fire engines like a lot of coach dogs! Waking people up in the middle of the night to ask them what they think of Mussolini. Stealing pictures off old ladies of their daughters that get raped in Oak Park. A lot of lousy, daffy buttinskis, swelling around with holes in their pants, borrowing nickels from office boys! And for what? So a million hired girls and motormen's wives'll know what's going on.

Hecht and MacArthur were being kind.

9 posted on 07/29/2007 4:09:30 AM PDT by JennysCool ("The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -Mencken)
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To: TalBlack; Global2010; Erik Latranyi

“Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.”

Perhaps its under the doctrine of “attractive nuisance”, as when the owner of a swimming pool is held liable for neighborhood kids sneaking into it late at night and drowning. Criminals in the act of their crimes are “attractive nuisances” for rubber-necking passersby, especially the universal representatives of the fatuously inquisitive: journalists.


10 posted on 07/29/2007 4:11:48 AM PDT by Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek
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To: Erik Latranyi

That’s streching it.


11 posted on 07/29/2007 4:24:35 AM PDT by freekitty
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To: Howie
With the newer zooming cameras these guys have to work with I can’t undersdtand why they all have to orbit DIRECTLY over the point of interest.

Before gyroscope stabilized cameras, news helicopters tried to get close for the best picture.

Now they try to get close to show the perpetrator's face inside the car.

With our media, it is never enough.

The police *must* pursue a suspect. The media do not have such an obligation.

12 posted on 07/29/2007 4:29:27 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (The Democratic Party will not exist in a few years....we are watching history unfold before us.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

Prosecutorial overreach. Lots of that going around these days.


13 posted on 07/29/2007 4:50:36 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Islam is the religion of violins, NOT peas.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

This is complete BS. I think the perp has a stronger case for suing the news stations — after all, it was HIS life that was put in danger when they negligently ran into each other and rained debris, including possibly contagious biological debris, into his proximity!


14 posted on 07/29/2007 4:54:24 AM PDT by zipper
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To: Erik Latranyi
Phoenix Police Say Car Theft Suspect May Face Charges for News Chopper Crash That Killed Four.

If cops or someone else on the ground had been killed during the pursuit, that would be warranted. But media hounds killed in competion over coverage DUE TO PILOTS' ERROR.... ABSURD!

15 posted on 07/29/2007 4:57:07 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Erik Latranyi

I suspect that the prosecutor thinks the perp is an easy target due to his past convictions and this police chase. He’s counting on the public not caring about the perp and he thinks he has 4 convictions for some form of homicide in the bag. I’m sure it’s an awfully nice feather in his cap on the road to becoming a judge or any political future.

If he tries it I suspect it’s going to blow up in his face.


16 posted on 07/29/2007 4:58:24 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

They need to agree on some kind of altitude separation.


17 posted on 07/29/2007 4:59:25 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Islam is the religion of violins, NOT peas.)
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To: Paladin2
Let me once again state my personal opposition to charging any person with "secondary" injuries,etc. It should be the responsibility of all,including the police to so carry out their duties that they injure neither themselves nor innocent third parties.

If the suspect himself rams another car or forces another vehicle into a collision then and only then ought he be charged.

The police do not need nor deserve carte blanche for any acts of carelessness or stupidity committed in the line of duty.Nor do newspeople or any other busybody who injures anyone while observing any activity.

The doctrine of personal responsibilty for one's acts cannot reasonably be expanded to include the bad judgments of everyone;else we all better do nothing for fear of prosecution.

18 posted on 07/29/2007 5:02:09 AM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a creditcard?)
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To: Erik Latranyi
I'm OK with charging suspects when police pursuits end up in crashes......but news accidents are now the fault of the suspect?

I'm in total agreement with you. Place the blame where blame belongs, with the pilots. That said, it is very sad that there was any loss of life.

19 posted on 07/29/2007 5:12:13 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (Soon to be Fredbacker1)
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To: JennysCool

I forget who said it, but there’s a great quote out there:

“There are two kinds of people in this world...
those who want to be left alone and
those who won’t leave them alone!”


20 posted on 07/29/2007 5:13:29 AM PDT by djf (Bush's legacy: Way more worried about Iraqs borders than our own!!! A once great nation... sad...)
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To: Erik Latranyi
Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.

Regardless of what this suspect did, or that he was leading police on a chase, he is IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE for these ratings hungry reporters crashing their choppers. This is absurd, and it will never hold up (I pray, but in this bizzaro world we live in....)

21 posted on 07/29/2007 5:14:29 AM PDT by southern rock
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To: Erik Latranyi

Yeah. This is ridiculous.


22 posted on 07/29/2007 5:15:49 AM PDT by jammer
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To: Erik Latranyi

In this particular case I think it could be strongly argued that the media actually INTERFERED with the proper administration of the police duties.


23 posted on 07/29/2007 5:17:29 AM PDT by djf (Bush's legacy: Way more worried about Iraqs borders than our own!!! A once great nation... sad...)
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To: Erik Latranyi
The news choppers followed on their own volition - and they crashed through the negligence of one or both of their own pilots. That is NOT the fault of the man being pursued.
24 posted on 07/29/2007 5:21:14 AM PDT by meyer (It's the entitlements, stupid!)
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To: Erik Latranyi

Four counts of murder.

Hang the person in the public square within 30 days. Within one year the carjackings will drop way down.


25 posted on 07/29/2007 5:21:40 AM PDT by 2ndClassCitizen
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To: southern rock

Talk about a slippery slope. The news crews didn’t have to be there. I could see the point if police crashed/died while in pursuit, or innocents were mowed down by this perp. There would even be some relevence if these were police helicopters aiding in the pursuit, but news crews salivating for ratings? Egads.

This was a tragic accident but the fault lies with the terminally negligent pilot(s).


26 posted on 07/29/2007 5:28:40 AM PDT by Thinkin' Gal
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To: Erik Latranyi
This is quite possibly one of the most twisted misapplications of the felony murder rule that I have ever seen. It's a complete stretch, and would not hold up on appeal.

CC

27 posted on 07/29/2007 5:47:27 AM PDT by Celtic Conservative ("Minutum Cantorum, Minutum Baloram, Minutum Carboratum Descendam Pantorum")
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To: Erik Latranyi
Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.

Sure, what the hell.

Might as well charge him for the sinking of the Lusitania and Sacking of Rome in 410 AD by Alaric and his Visigoths too.

28 posted on 07/29/2007 5:49:24 AM PDT by Condor51 (Rudy makes John Kerry look like a Right Wing 'Gun Nut' Extremist)
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To: cripplecreek

“I’m sure it’s an awfully nice feather in his cap on the road to becoming a judge or any political future.’
__________________________________________________________

Not to mention the future favorable press coverage he will have “earned.”


29 posted on 07/29/2007 5:52:30 AM PDT by Roccus (Fighting politicians IS the war on terror!)
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To: ExSES

“If cops or someone else on the ground had been killed during the pursuit, that would be warranted. But media hounds killed in competion over coverage DUE TO PILOTS’ ERROR.... ABSURD”

I respectfully disagree. If someone on the ground had been killed - then the TV stations that owned the helicopters and sent them in the air should be sued.


30 posted on 07/29/2007 5:53:06 AM PDT by SAMS ("I may look harmless, but I raised a U.S. MARINE!" Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: Erik Latranyi

Ok, now that’s going a bit far. He didn’t ask the news helicopters to rush in for ratings. The pilots were at fault, period.


31 posted on 07/29/2007 5:58:15 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: milford421; FARS; Calpernia

Ping.


32 posted on 07/29/2007 5:58:31 AM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( Today is a good day for working on some heavy praying. The world needs God to hear them.)
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To: Howie
I can’t undersdtand why they all have to orbit DIRECTLY over the point of interest.

I worked in Brentwood, about 200 yards from the condo where Orenthal butchered Nicole and Goldman. One wall of the office was solid window, so we had a great view of the entire 'hood.

On what turned out to be the morning of the "Bronco Chase", OJ had gone missing and it was speculation for several hours that he had gone to - or was enroute to - the murder scene to off himself.

I can't recall now how many choppers were circling overhead, but I do remember being halfway scared to walk out and look at 'em, because a midair sure appeared imminent.

33 posted on 07/29/2007 5:59:29 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (...forward this to your 10 very best friends....)
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To: Erik Latranyi
Unless the perp shot down one of the helicopters, he shouldn’t be charged for their crash.

It was pilot error or mechanical problems.

34 posted on 07/29/2007 6:08:08 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: SAMS
If someone on the ground had been killed - then the TV stations that owned the helicopters and sent them in the air should be sued.

Agreed..., but the POS perp is not responsible for deaths due to media competition...

35 posted on 07/29/2007 6:15:22 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Erik Latranyi
Curved metal sheets from the choppers floated upside down in a nearby pond.

The first time in history metal has ever floated. Call Rosie...
36 posted on 07/29/2007 6:21:52 AM PDT by AndrewB
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To: Erik Latranyi

The cops have it wrong here. They obviously have no idea of the meaning of CAUSE. The fleeing suspect didn’t cause the helicopter accident. If the cops had crashed into a pole while chasing the creep, they would have a case.


37 posted on 07/29/2007 6:22:33 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: Erik Latranyi

Ridiculous!


38 posted on 07/29/2007 6:25:36 AM PDT by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: cripplecreek
I’m sure it’s an awfully nice feather in his cap on the road to becoming a judge or any political future

The prosecutor is getting ready for the next election, got to have that TV time !

39 posted on 07/29/2007 6:34:02 AM PDT by TYVets (God so loved the world he didn't send a committee)
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To: ExSES

sorry, read your post wrong...needed more coffee; shouldn’t post before the second cup!


40 posted on 07/29/2007 6:36:39 AM PDT by SAMS ("I may look harmless, but I raised a U.S. MARINE!" Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: Erik Latranyi

Is Nifong working in Phoenix now?


41 posted on 07/29/2007 6:36:42 AM PDT by digitalbrownshirt (http://digitalbrownshirt.blogspot.com)
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To: Erik Latranyi

By this logic we must charge the news directors with manslaughter for sending helicopters into a dangerous situation to garner ratings. NO freaking way this criminal is responsible for the helicopters crews.


42 posted on 07/29/2007 6:38:52 AM PDT by omega4179 (is it Global war against global Jihad yet?)
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To: mtbopfuyn

Its pretty cut n dried when 95% of the FRiends agree to back the criminal in a situation. His rights are in fact being violated if indicted.


43 posted on 07/29/2007 6:40:53 AM PDT by omega4179 (is it Global war against global Jihad yet?)
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To: Erik Latranyi

I agree with most everyone on this thread.

I also sympathize with the families of these familiies.

News crews are out on these things because their station sends them to cover it.

The criminal is just that, a criminal the police were after.

He should be charged with the crime he did commit, not for the horrible accident that didn’t need to happen.


44 posted on 07/29/2007 6:45:48 AM PDT by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: redgolum

It seems like there should be some kind of assigned altitudes or something. As choppers arrive they would be stacked and any deviation should bring hefty fines.

NASCAR has a pretty detailed air traffic control and ground crew that travel with the series these days. I talked to one of the controllers a few years ago and he explained a bit about how it works.

They will have 6 or so choppers circling at a mile or so out as 3 are on the ground. As 3 take off, 3 more are rotating to come in for a landing. At peak periods they may be stacked 3 high circling for a for a landing. As the choppers in the lowest level land, choppers from the next level take their spots in the holding pattern.

There isn’t enough money in the world to make me want to be an air traffic controller for busy airspace.


45 posted on 07/29/2007 6:47:02 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: omega4179

As a former SoCal resident, it amazes me how many times I’ve seen 5-6 news helicopters hovering over the (VERY) small space over a crime scene or following along with a police pursuit.

Now while the police have the right of way and lowest clearance, the news choppers are all hovering at around 1500 feet AGL with minimal separation closer than I’ve seen even experienced military pilots flying.

Bottom line, it’s a miracle something like this hasn’t happened sooner.


46 posted on 07/29/2007 6:48:51 AM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: Erik Latranyi
Does this mean that a family can sue the driver if someone has a heart attack watching the chase on tv?

The chopper "news reporters" were no different from paparazzi. The pilots should've been charged with wreckless endangerment (although they DID wreck).

47 posted on 07/29/2007 7:34:07 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

Felony murder, I think they call it- a death caused indirectly by the commission of a felony.


48 posted on 07/29/2007 7:36:16 AM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?" TERM LIMITS, NOW!)
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To: tommix2

“The investigators plan to lay out the wreckage elsewhere to try to determine the point where the two aircraft collided Friday, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Howard Plagens said. Now that’s really important to find that out using taxpayer’s money isn’t it Mr Plagens?”
EGGS ACKLEY! This crash even has video. What a waste of money. They will gain information that is TOTALLY USELESS!


49 posted on 07/29/2007 7:40:58 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: cripplecreek

RE post 45:
INTERESTING:

I used to fly sailplanes a lot (in my younger days). It was not unusual to have a dozen sailplanes climbing in a small thermal. We had rules that work pretty good. First man on scene establishes rotation, any gliders joing the gaggle must turn in the same direction.

If one machine out climbs another he must “pass” on the outside as he climbs up past the other.

Once in a great while “fender benders” would occur. Parachutes have a purpose.
Powered aircraft of course have the option of controlling altitude that we didn’t. I suppose bailing out of a chopper would be near impossible.


50 posted on 07/29/2007 7:44:15 AM PDT by Howie
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