The U.S. attorney's office announced this morning the indictment of Alberto Solaroli, 59, of Jacksonville, Fla., for a bank fraud scheme in which he obtained a $1.5 million loan from OneBanc in 2007 on the strength of a false financial statement. He defaulted on the loan.
The indictment seeks recovery of the $1.5 million.
According to a news release:
Solaroli, a Canadian citizen purporting to be the owner of patents for technology related to a more efficient combustion engine, was living and working in Jacksonville, Florida when he borrowed $1.5 million, via a personal line of credit, from OneBanc in April 2007. He was approved for the loan based on financial statement he signed in which he claimed assets of $170,900,000 with a net worth of more than $169 million. According to the Indictment, Solaroli falsified the nature and scope of his assets, the value of his assets, and his overall personal net worth. As a result of his sworn financial statement, Solaroli received a one year line of credit which he took within the first month of the loan approval, with over $900,000 being paid to Porche Motorsport, N.A. Solaroli never made a single payment on the loan causing OneBanc to sue Solaroli. In 2008, OneBanc received a civil judgment in Florida for $1.5 million dollars which Solarioli has not paid.
The indictment is part of the work of a national effort to target financial fraud. U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer said the task force was scrutinizing irregularities in loan transactions to look for deceit.
Little Rock police today used a K-9 dog to make an arrest of a robbery suspect in a daycare center on West Tenth Street about 3 a.m. today.
A police report said officers responded to a report that a man hit a 37-year-old woman in the face with a gun while trying to take her car in the 5300 block of Maryland Avenue. The suspect was spotted soon after inside the Archild Daycare at 5306 W. 10th. An officer with a police dog arrested the suspect, Joseph Stephens, 55, inside the center. He was charged with robbery, battery, burglary, theft by receiving, possession of a firearm and attempted burglaries.
Channel 4 reports that a robbery suspect shot himself in the leg and another was arrested after the suspects ran into a house on Trinity Circle after a robbery attempt about 1 p.m. today. A third suspect was still on the loose. The house is in the Wakefield area of Southwest Little Rock.
Alerted by an employee who jumped out a window and then dialed 911, the Little Rock police came upon suspects fleeing an attempted robbery of the McDonald's at 7th and Broadway about 2 a.m. this morning.
Three men had tried to rob the restaurant, but became antsy and fled when an employee had trouble opening the safe. Police responding to the call took two suspects into custody, the driver of a car that was stopped and a man who'd tried to flee but was found hiding in a dumpster and was caught when he tried to run.
Gov. Mike Beebe (left) listens to prison board chairman Benny Magness at today's press conference.
Gov. Mike Beebe today released a State Police report on the state's community correction system that followed an uproar over a slaying in which a parole absconder was charged.
Read David Koon's report on the press conference below, but the governor's summary hits the high spots of the ASP report. No crimes were found, but "systemic problems" were identified, particularly in Pulaski County. The systemis in need of work, some of it already underway with changes in top leadership. Tightening the parole system means more prisoners in county jails and more prisoners in state lockup, problems that could cost millions, the governor said. Beebe's release:
Governor Mike Beebe today released the results of an exhaustive Arkansas State Police investigation into the Office of Adult Probation and Parole at the Department of Community Correction. Beebe requested the administrative investigation this summer after a parolee was charged in a Little Rock murder.
“While finding no criminal activity, this investigation detailed individual and systemic problems within our parole system, particularly in Pulaski County,” Governor Beebe said. “While corrective actions have already been taken to address those problems, our work is not over yet. It is always difficult to strike a balance between taking proper actions against those who violate their terms of parole while working to avoid overcrowding in our jails.”
The ASP report details the procedures that previously existed at DCC and the administrative decisions of some managers that slowed or avoided revocation hearings for some parole violators in Area 7, which includes Pulaski County. Many of those managers are no longer in supervisory positions at DCC, having been removed for other reasons or retiring as a result of these occurrences.
Policy changes made by the Board of Corrections have resulted in the incarceration of more parole violators, to the point where jail overcrowding has again become an issue. The Board of Corrections is scheduled to meet this week to further clarify certain procedures in the hope of alleviating those incidents of overcrowding.
A report from Sgt. Cassandra Davis of the Little Rock Police Department:
At 2:30am officers responded to a shooting At 7305 Marsha. Suspect Justin Bledsoe, B/M, 4-22-88, shot his grandfather, James Bledsoe, 11-30-36 and his mother, Jacqueline Bledsoe, 6-6-68, multiple times. The Grandfather is in grave condition at St. Vincent’s and the mother was taken to Baptist hospital with non-life threatening injuries to her leg. Grandmother, Betty Bledsoe, 4-23-42 was also in the residence but was not injured. She fled from the room. Suspect is in custody unknown chargers at this time but likely to included Battery 1st.
Channel 4 reports that Kelly O'Rourke, a former teacher at Mount St. Mary Academy, was sentenced to 10 years in prison this morning for sexually assaulting a student.
O'Rourke, 42, had been sentenced previously in the case to 120 days in jail, with the rest of a 15-year sentence suspended. But she was ordered to have no contact with the victim. The prosecuting attorney's office asked for revocation of the suspended sentence after O'Rourke made repeated phone calls to the young woman, now of college age.
O'Rourke testified at the trial in September of Kathy Griffin, her former partner and also a former staff member at Mount St. Mary. Griffin was convicted of failing to report O'Rourke's abuse of the student. Griffin, who got a probationary sentence, said she didn't know of the relationship until after the girl was no longer a student and had turned 18.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is featured prominently, for the discussion he's tried to begin over the inability to conduct executions in Arkansas (none since 2005, despite 40 Death Row inmates) and his pessimism about correcting the lack of drugs.
"Our system is completely broken, and I don't know how to say it more bluntly than that," McDaniel told National Journal. "It's a complete impossibility. I can no more flap my arms and fly across the state than I can carry out an execution."
Doctors and researchers aren't exactly clamoring to develop new methods of killing people, and no one is advocating a regression to older forms of execution, like the electric chair or gas chamber. But even if a new, cutting-edge technique was developed somewhere, that too would almost certainly provoke a torrent of litigation.
"Let's say that there was magically a vapor, a mist, a pill, a fatal hypnotic stare. You still have to find American manufacturers who are willing to produce it and courts who are willing to accept it," McDaniel said. "I don't see any of that happening. It's science fiction and legal fiction."
McDaniel said he has considered turning to compounding pharmacies—where products are chemically crafted to fit an individual person's needs—within the state to produce lethal-injection cocktails as "the only remaining option." But despite successes found in Georgia, South Dakota, and Texas, McDaniel predicts that "there is no way a compounding pharmacy will pass the litigation muster."
* RAPE SUSPECT ARRESTED: The Pulaski sheriff's office said Colin Toatley, "most wanted" on the sheriff's fugitive list, surrendered to authorities today.
Toatley is accused of raping a woman he met last week at Midtown Billiards. He's accused of following her home, ostensibly to provide protection. He went inside her home to use a bathroom, then attacked her, according to the victim's account.
* FAYETTEVILLE SCHOOL OFFICIALS RESIGNS: The Fayetteville School District announced today that Superintendent Vicki Thomas had received Friday and accepted the resignation of athletic director Barry Gebhart, effective immediately. He was arrested this week at a shopping mall where he'd allegedly gone thinking he'd be meeting a juvenile girl he'd been communicating with on the Internet. It was a sting.
Barry Gebhart, 50, Fayetteville School District athletic director, was arrested Tuesday night at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade where he'd allegedly gone to meet a juvenile girl. The TV station said he was arrested on suspicion of internet stalking of a child.
Report for Sgt. Cassandra Davis of the Little Rock police:
At 9:21p.m. officers were called to 3705 W 16th to people loitering in the alley. When officers arrived several subjects then fled on foot. One of the suspects reached the intersection of 15th and Oak where he turned and pointed a handgun at an officer. The officer then fired at least one round striking the suspect in either the right hand or arm. The suspect was transported to UAMS for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The suspects 9mm was recovered from the intersection. Only one officer fired. At this time we are investigating whether the suspect fired at officers. The officer will be placed on administrative leave which is routine in these matters. At this time the name of the suspect is not being released pending positive Identification. The name of the officer is not being released at this time.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports on the hijacking of a Pulaski County school bus in Jacksonville by a man with a knife. A police pursuit — not at high speed — developed. But the bus eventually stopped with no harm to children and the man was taken into custody. Children reported the suspect, Nicholas Miller, cussed a lot.
Channel 4's Greg Yarbrough says Miller has been charged with vehicle piracy, 12 counts of kidnapping, and 2 counts of aggravated assault.
AT THE SCENE: A police unit and others gather near the scene of Sunday night shootout.
No one was hurt seriously when shooting broke out Sunday night at a house in midtown Little Rock. Sgt. Cassandra Davis provides this summary:
At 9:45 pm, communication received a 911 call to two individuals on the porch of 1001 S. Monroe taking pictures of themselves holding long guns. When officer arrived they observed the two black males run inside the residence. Officers then heard gun fire coming from inside the house toward them. Officers returned fire. Once the gunfire was complete 3 black males and one black female exited the residence and were taken into custody. One of the black male suspects was shot in the foot and one officer received a graze wound to the right leg. The investigation will determine who was shot with what type of weapon and how many rounds were fired by each individual.
There were two officer who responded to the initial call of 911. SWAT was later called out to go through the residence in an attempt to recover the weapons seen by the caller. At this time the weapons have not been recovered. The name of the officers involved will not be released at this time until they have had a chance to contact their family.
The address is two blocks south of I-630, two blocks east of Jonesboro Drive leading into War Memorial Park. It's near the new children's branch library.
Juanita's, the venerable Tex-Mex restaurant and music venue, is leaving the South Main Street location it's called home since 1986 for the River Market and the former home of Bill St., 614 President Clinton Ave.