North Charleston man facing federal charges over $.89 drink refill

A North Charleston man was hit with a federal fine for refilling his drink without paying. The on-site constructionworker says he didn’t know refills at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston came at a price, and Wednesday, during his lunch hour, he was slapped with federal charges.

The ticket was issued by the Federal Police Force at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston after Christopher Lewis refilled his soda without paying the $0.89. A hospital spokesperson called it a “theft of government property.”

“Every time I look at the ticket, it’s unbelievable to me,” says Lewis, who works construction. “I can’t fathom the fact that I made a $0.89 mistake that cost me $525.”

Lewis is now out of a job. According to a hospital spokesperson, signs are posted in the cafeteria informing patrons that refills aren’t free. Lewis says he never noticed the signs and admits he had refilled his drink without paying on other occasions. He says after he went back for seconds on Wednesday, a man who identified himself as the chief of police, stopped him.

“As I was filling my cup up, I turned to walk off and a fella grabbed me by the arm and asked me was I going to pay for that, and I told him I wasn’t aware that I had to pay for that.”

Lewis says he tried to pay the $0.89 right there, but wasn’t allowed to. He says he wasn’t given the chance to pay the cashier either.

“I never had an option to make right what I had done wrong.”

He says he was taken to a room, given the $525 ticket for shoplifting and told not to return to the property.

“I’m done there, at the VA hospital. I’m not allowed to go on the premises anymore. I asked him can I still work on the job site and just bring my lunch and not got to the cafeteria and he said he wanted me off the premises.”

A hospital spokesperson says it was her understanding that Lewis was aggressive during the confrontation.

The medical center released the following statement:

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is fortunate to have a highly trained Federal police force to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and employees. As Federal police they are responsible for enforcing the law. Today a Federal citation was issued for shoplifting in the VA cafeteria to an individual who stated to VA police he had not paid for refills of beverages on multiple occasions, even though signs are posted in the cafeteria informing patrons refills are not free. Shoplifting is a crime. The dollar amount of the ticket is not determined by VA as it is a Federal citation. The citation may be paid or the recipient may choose to appear in Federal court to contest it.

Lewis and his fiancé have contacted the Internal Affairs Office in Columbia. He says he will contest the fine in federal court.

“It’s about pretty much I guess you would say getting your face back. I want everybody to know that I made a simple mistake, that I’m not a thief, that I’m not dishonest. I’m trying to do the right thing.”

‘X-Men’ Director Bryan Singer Accused of Sexually Abusing Teenage Boy

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer  has been accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in 1999 in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Hawaii federal court.

The plaintiff, Michael Egan, claims he was 17 when Singer forcibly sodomized him, among other allegations. Egan’s lawyers, led by Jeff Herman, allege that Singer provided him with drugs and alcohol and flew him to Hawaii on more than one occasion in 1999. His suit claims battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion, and it seeks unspecified damages.

Singer’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the lawsuit “absurd and defamatory.”

“The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit,” the attorney said. “We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated.”

Marc Collins-Rector, the former chairman of Digital Entertainment Network, an ambitious Internet startup that sputtered in the dotcom bust of 2000, is also cited in the Singer lawsuit, although he is not named as a defendant. He is accused of initiating the sexual abuse of Egan and arranging for Singer to assault Egan at a house in Encino, Calif.

Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender, having plead guilty in 2004 to luring minors across state lines for sexual acts.

The lawsuit alleges that Collins-Rector and his Digital Entertainment Network investors, including Singer, would lure young men to a house dubbed the M & C Estate in Encino to intoxicate and sexually assault a number of teenage boys and that many in the Hollywood industry were aware of the “notorious parties.”

Egan, an aspiring actor and model at the time, claims that Singer provided him with several drugs, including cocaine, a pill identified as “green triangle” which is believed to be a reference to the drug Ecstasy, Xanax, Rohypnol, and Vicodin or Percocet, in addition to alcoholic beverages.

Herman is a sexual abuse attorney based in Boca Raton, Fla. who also represented the plaintiffs who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexual abuse. He and Egan are scheduled to appear at a press conference on Thursday in Beverly Hills.

“Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children,” Herman said in a statement. “This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue.”

The suit claims that Egan was 14 or 15 when he moved to Los Angeles with his family to pursue and acting career. A friend from a small private school in the San Fernando Valley, Scott Shackley, introduced him to his older brother, Chad, in 1998. Chad Shackley, according to the suit, lived in the M & C Estate in Encino with Collins-Rector, and Egan Scott Shackley would visit. Eventually, Egan was placed on the DEN payroll, and provided with extravagant gifts, and taken via private jet on various trips, along with the opportunity to audition for acting and modeling jobs, the suit states.

But the parties at the M&C Estate were “well known and notorious” among “many men in the Hollywood entertainment industry,” the suit states, as they “typically sordid and featured sexual contact between adult males an the many teenage boys who were present,” along with the distribution of alcohol and drugs.

Wednesday’s suit detailed one of the encounters at the M & C Estate between Collins-Rector, Singer and Egan:

Collins-Rector ordered Plaintiff out of the pool, and Defendant Singer hugged Plaintiff and grabbed his bare buttocks. They then went to the jacuzzi where Collins-Rector had Plaintiff sit on his lap and fondled Plaintiff’s genitals. Collins-Rector then passed Plaintiff to Defendant Singer and Plaintiff was made to sit on Defendant Singer’s lap. Defendant Singer provided an alcoholic beverage to Plaintiff and mentioned finding a role for him in an upcoming movie that he was directing. Defendant Singer told Plaintiff how “this group” controls Hollywood, and that he was sexy. Defendant Singer masturbated Plaintiff and then performed oral sex upon him. Defendant Singer solicited Plaintiff to perform oral sex upon him which Plaintiff resisted. Defendant Singer flagrantly disregarded Plaintiff’s unwillingness to submit, and forced Plaintiff’s head underwater to make Plaintiff perform oral sex upon him. When Plaintiff pulled his head out of the water in order to breathe, Defendant Singer demanded that he continue which Plaintiff refused. Defendant Singer then forced Plaintiff to continue performing oral sex upon him outside of the pool, and subsequently forcibly sodomized Plaintiff.

When he was 17, Egan claims in the suit that he was flown to Hawaii to stay at the Paul Mitchell estate, and on the first of the trips he was instructed to spend the first two nights in a room with Singer. He claims that Singer forced him to inhale cocaine and later forced him to have oral and anal sex. Egan claims that Singer sexually assaulted him on a second trip to Hawaii as well.

Egan claims in the suit that he never “freely, voluntarily and knowingly consented to these sexual interactions, and often resisted them.”

The filmmaker, 48, is the director 20th Century Fox’s upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and most recently helmed “Jack the Giant Slayer” for Warner Bros.

Jay-Z Bringing Made In America Festival to LA

After two years in Philly, Jay Z is bringing the Budweiser sponsored Made In America Festival to the city of Los Angeles this Summer. But don’t worry Philadelphia, you’re still getting your two day event as well. The Festival will take place in both cities simultaneously over Labor Day weekend, and performances from both locations will be live streamed on the internet. Jay, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and executives from Budweiser and Live Nationannounced the expansion of the event at a press conference earlier today. Additional details and lineups will be announced in the near future. A portion of the proceeds from the events will be used by event partner United Way to benefit educational, housing and job development programs in LA, Pennsylvania and South Jersey

Florida woman gives birth in motel bathtub after crack binge: report

A Florida woman is in jail after she gave birth to a premature baby in a seedy motel bathroom while binging on crack cocaine.

Chrystal A. Hassel, 37, cut the newborn’s umbilical cord with her teeth after she went into labor at the Vacation Host Inn in Ocala on Friday, the Ocala Star-Banner reported.

She was seven or eight months pregnant.

Hassell called 911 after the child turned blue and the baby was eventually brought to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where he was in critical condition Tuesday, the newspaper said.

Hassell, who has three other children, was arrested on charges of child neglect early Saturday.

The Star-Banner said she was on suicide watch at Marion County Jail.

After her arrest, she told police she’s struggled with drugs since a teen.

She also she didn’t know she was pregnant until March and had vowed to stay off crack while carrying the child.

 

Alabama woman guns down son’s gay lover at truck stop

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An Alabama woman has been charged with murder after allegedly fatally shooting her son’s boyfriend.

Tuscaloosa County Deputies said that 51-year-old Anita T. Hill’s son was “involved in a long-term relationship” with 36-year-old Jamie R. Johnson. According to deputies, the three agreed to meet at Love’s Truck Stop in McCalla on Monday to talk.

Investigators determined that the group talked for a while and then Hill’s son returned to his vehicle. Hill and Johnson continued speaking for a few more minutes. When Johnson turned to walk away, Hill shot him in the back, WBRC reported.

Police also said that they believed that Hill shot Johnson because he had been “violent” and abusive with her son. But no criminal records were immediately available to back up that story.

“We don’t see this in any way being a hate crime,” Sgt. Dale Phillips noted. “We see this being a family having issues in this. All the people involved in this were either related or had been acquaintances for several years.”

Phillips said the he did not believe Hill went to the truck stop with the intention of killing Johnson.

Hill was being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond in the Tuscaloosa County Jail.

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Stevie J’s Babymama has a $ex Tape coming out

For Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, releasing sex tapes eventually led to reality show stardom. It appears Mimi Faust is taking the reverse route.

Reportedly, video of the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star and boyfriend Nikko Smith engaging in sex acts is about to hit the streets.

According to TMZ, Faust and Smith agreed to let Vivid Entertainment release the video, and producers of LHHATL okayed the tape for mass production as well.

Faust is the ex-girlfriend of music producer Stevie J who also had his own sex tape scandal. An intimate video of Stevie J and rapper Eve leaked in 2000.

Mimi & Nikko: Scandal in Atlanta is apparently scheduled for release in May. Season 3 of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta is set to debut that same month on VH1.

Flava Flav Pleads Guilty

Flava Flac pled guilty in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, NV to reduced misdemeanor charges of attempted battery in connection to an October 2012 argument with his girlfriend’s 17 year old son.

Flavor Flav’s fiancee, accused the rapper of threatening her son with a “20 inch butcher knife” and throwing her around when she attempted to prevent him from harming her son.

Flav’s was originally facing felony assault and child endangerment with a weapon charges with a possible jail bid of 12 years. The next court date for Flav is August 18th. It seems like there is more to this story than what is being reported.

Nas Working On ‘Life Is Good’ Follow Up

For the last month or so, Nas has been promoting the re-release of his classic debut, Illmatic XX. But, according to one producer, he has also been crafting his 12th solo studio album. Beat maker, Reefa, whose credits include “What A Shame” off Rick Ross’ Mastermind and Game’s “It’s Okay (One Blood)” from Doctor’s Advocate, confirmed that he’s been working on the follow up to Nas’ Grammy nominated LP, Life Is Good. “Nas is working on his album,” he told AllHipHop. “I don’t know too much about it. I just know for a fact that we’ve been collaborating.”

The album would be the last for the Queens rapper in his contract on Def Jam and could make way for the Nas and DJ Premier full-length project that people have been clamoring for. Illmatic XX hits shelves, April 15.

Trina And French Montana Are Done

French Montana and Khloe Kardashian’s budding relationship apparently doesn’t sit well with some people, mainly Trina according to TMZ.

Prior to dating Khloe Kardashian, French Montana was dating Trina. All of that came to an end when he elected to move to Los Angeles to work on his sophomore album. Before his initial move, he and Trina were also rumored to be living together in New Jersey.

With photos surfacing of him and Khloe Kardashian at numerous parties and strip clubs, sources say Trina is highly upset about the situation, considering she hasn’t heard from him since his move to LA.

While neither has confirmed or denied the relationship, the two have been seen cuddling together during a studio session.