<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:33:22 -0800 Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:33:22 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Homeless Vet Dies After Attack]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:32:17 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Olney+Gas+Station+Beating.jpg

A homeless veteran has died months after a brutal attack outside a Philadelphia gas station that left him in a coma.

Robert Barnes, 51, died Wednesday.

Barnes was attacked by a group of six people on April 7 outside the Sunoco gas station at 5th Street and Somerville Avenue in the city’s Olney section.

The attack involved a hammer, a piece of wood and mace. The entire attack was caught on surveillance camera.

The video shows a group jump from a minivan and rush towards Barnes as he stood outside the gas station. They then punch him, stomp on him and strike him with a hammer.

After attacking Barnes, the group jumped back into the minivan and sped off.

Three adults -- Aleathea Gillard, 34, Shareena Joachim, 23, and Kaisha Duggins, 24 – are charged in the case. Gillard, Joachim and Duggins all rejected plea deals and will stand trial in January. The charges are expected to be upgraded following Barnes' death.

Police say one of Gillard’s children falsely accused Barnes, a homeless veteran, of hitting him, which prompted the attack.

Three teens, a 14-year-old boy, 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy ,all pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy and were remanded to juvenile detention centers.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[History of Thanksgiving: How Much Do You Know About Turkey Day?]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 08:30:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_51734552621.jpg

Millions of Americans will travel to visit family and friends and stuff themselves with turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. But how much do you know about the holiday’s origins and why we celebrate? Test your knowledge of the history behind Turkey Day with this quiz.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Kissed by Pope Sees Brain Tumor Shrink: Family]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:29:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pope16.jpg

Gianna had undergone eight surgeries and numerous chemotherapy treatments on her brain tumor at Philadelphia Children's Hospital in her 15 months of life before she met Pope Francis in September. Doctors had told her parents, Masciantonio and Kristen, that she would likely not survive.

With the help of their friend Donny Asper — an FBI agent who was assigned to guard the pope's route in Philadelphia — the family made it the location on Market Street where the pope was due to pass. 

Masciantonio says he held out Gianna and when the pope drove by, his security head spotted Masciantonio hoisting Gianna and grabbed her. The pontiff kissed Gianna on the head and granted her his blessing.

The euphoria of the moment would not last long, however. Gianna still had two pending chemotherapy treatments and an MRI that would show if they were working. Last week, six weeks after her encounter with the Pope, Gianna's MRI results came back, showing the tumor had shrunk significantly, Masciantonio said.

"It [tumor] was basically just a blush on the screen," he said. "It was virtually invisible."

Doctors told them that, although the tumor had not been completely eradicated, the prognosis was life-changing: Gianna would likely survive.

Photo Credit: Masciantonio Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Best of 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:15:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/AP_24422667875-675.jpg Millions of people attended the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on Nov. 26, 2015, in New York City. Floats graced the skies and musical and theatrical performances entertained on street level.

Photo Credit: Ben Hider/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Picturing the 2016 Campaign Trail]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:24:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_54964227395-Clinton.jpg See photos of candidates running for president for the 2016 election.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sex Offender Got Past TSA With Woman's Boarding Pass: Police]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:33:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/151126-michael-reith-salata-reithjpo-623a_68b8db40842c95990b737234790812b7.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

A registered sex offender passed through a TSA checkpoint earlier this month using a boarding pass that he stole from a female passenger, officials said.

Michael Reith Salata, 61, was arrested at Salt Lake International Airport on Nov. 5 after attempting to get on a plane, according to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Salata had checked in to Southwest Airlines Flight 1760, which was headed for Oakland, California, NBC station KSL reported. The woman who the ticket belonged to had misplaced her boarding pass shortly after printing it out at a kiosk, police told KSL.

Salata was arrested on suspicion of fraudulent handling of a recordable writing, a third-degree felony, the station reported.

Records show that Salata, who is homeless, was convicted of lewdness involving a child in Utah in 2012.

Photo Credit: KSL
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<![CDATA[Yazidi Refugees Grateful for Escaping ISIS]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:02:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/151125-lincoln-nebraska-jsw-01-1002a-1.jpg

Many Yazidi exiles now living in the U.S. will be giving thanks this Thanksgiving for their deliverance from ISIS and their new life in America.

"It's horrible. A lot of the girls from my mother's side got captured by ISIS and I don't think we will ever see them again," Hasan Khalil, who migrated to Lincoln, Nebraska, which is home of the largest concentration of Yazidis in the U.S., told NBC News. "So on Thanksgiving I am thankful that we are alive and that we made it here. We will thank God for giving us a better life in America."

The Yazidis, an Iraqi minority with a unique religion that predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam, has been targeted by the ISIS as part of its campaign to "purify" Iraq and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influences.

Khalil, 30, said he understands the plight of Syrian refugees who have also been forced to flee their homeland and who now are being treated like pariahs by many U.S. politicians. 

"I disagree with those who want to close the door on refugees," said Khalil. "For refugees, coming to America is a dream and we appreciate it."


Photo Credit: Andrew Dickinson
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<![CDATA['Nowhere to Go': Calif. Band Recalls Paris Attack]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:42:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498446394.jpg

The beginning of the Nov. 13 massacre at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris sounded like firecrackers to the sound engineer for California rock band Eagles of Death Metal. Then he saw fans fall to the floor.

Shawn London was among the first to realize what was happening, he told VICE news in the band's first interview on the attacks. "Injuries. Death. And then, also, running," he said. "There was nowhere to go."

One of the gunmen looked at London, then shot at him, but the bullets missed, NBC News reported. He dropped down and huddled with others.

"He stayed there and continued to shoot and shoot and slaughter and just scream at the top of his lungs, 'Allah Akbar.' And that's when I instantly knew what was going on," London said.

On stage, each member of the band panicked, choosing different routes that ultimately led them out of the club. One employee, British merchandise manager Nick Alexander, was among the 89 who died.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Rain, Snow, Icy Thanksgiving for Much of U.S. ]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 21:02:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DeverWeather-AP_463771047702.jpg

Most of the country will wake up to rain, snow, ice or any combination of them on Thanksgiving morning, according to forecasters.

Ice could cause travel problems across the central United States from Kansas City, Missouri, to Texas. Major flooding is predicted for large parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas through Friday.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for parts of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, while Rock Springs, Wyoming, was under a blizzard warning.

Wyoming — especially near Interstate 80 across the state — is "going to get hit very hard," said Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, while parts of northern New Mexico could get as much as 18 inches of snow.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Girl Gives Up Birthday Gifts]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:32:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000012757870_1200x675_574414403610.jpg A 7-year-old from Ashburn, Virginia, asked friends and family to bring food donations to her birthday party instead of gifts. She wanted to help feed the hungry. Twenty-five families will now enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.]]> <![CDATA[Obama 'Deeply Disturbed' by Video of McDonald's Shooting]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:07:07 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/obama-GettyImages-498084268.jpg

President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he was “deeply disturbed” by footage of the fatal shooting of a Chicago teen, whose death has made national headlines and sparked protests throughout the city.

“Like many Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. This Thanksgiving, I ask everybody to keep those who’ve suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers, and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post. “And I’m personally grateful to the people of my hometown for keeping protests peaceful.”

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with murder in the October 2014 shooting. Video of the incident shows, McDonald, who police say was armed with a knife, walking away from police officers at the scene before being shot 16 times.

Dash-cam footage of the shooting was released Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters flocked to Chicago streets following the video’s release. The majority of them have remained peaceful.

On Wednesday, more protesters marched in Chicago, blocking several major intersections during rush hour. Additional demonstrations are planned in Chicago’s shopping district for Black Friday.

Demonstrators, community leaders and residents have called for the firing of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy since the video was made public. Others have called for an investigation into the Chicago Police Department and into the Independent Police Review Authority.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also preached messages of reform and accountability Wednesday.

"The family of Laquan McDonald and the people of Chicago deserve justice and accountability," Clinton said in her statement. "As criminal charges proceed in this case, we also have to grapple as a country with broader questions about ensuring that all our citizens and communities are protected and respected. The mothers I met recently in Chicago are right: we cannot go on like this. All over America, there are police officers honorably doing their duty, demonstrating how to protect the public without resorting to unnecessary force. We need to learn from and build on those examples. The loss of so many young African Americans taken too soon should reaffirm our commitment to press forward for progress."

Sanders called for "fundamental reform" in the criminal justice system and asked activists to take action beyond chanting "Black Lives Matter."

"All Americans should be sickened by the video of Laquan McDonald's murder," Sanders said in his statement. "As a nation we must do more than just echo the phrase Black Lives Matter. We must put actions behind these words. Actions that will bring about the fundamental reform that is needed in the face of this crisis. Criminal justice reform must be the civil rights issue of the 21st century and the first piece must be putting an end to the killing of African Americans by police officers."

Dan Herbert, Van Dyke's attorney, has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if Van Dyke "acted inappropriately" when he fatally shot McDonald, though he has described the footage as "graphic and violent" and "difficult to watch." He said outside the courtroom Tuesday that the case needs to be tried in a courtroom, "not in the streets or in the media."

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Burglar Crawls into Family's Room]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:42:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/210*120/creepy+burglar1.JPG

A burglar quietly crawled his way into a Queens, New York, bedroom where a man and his wife and kids were sleeping and managed to pick up a smartphone from the dresser before the victim awoke, prompting the thief to run away, surveillance video from inside the home shows. 

The NYPD has released the nanny-cam video of the home invasion in Flushing, Queens just before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. The clear video shows the suspect going into the house in the area of Union Street and 33rd Avenue, and then crawling into the bedroom of the 42-year-old victim. 

The suspect lifts a Samsung S6 cellphone from the top of the dresser, but the victim awoke, police said, prompting the suspect to run away.

The victim's wife told NBC 4 New York the couple's three children, all between 3 to 6 years old, were sleeping in the other bed shown in the video. The wife, who asked to remain anonymous, said video shows the burglar was going from room to room for 40 minutes, and the item seen in his mouth was a knife.

The wife said when she first sensed someone creeping around the floor, she thought it may have been one of her young children. 

The suspect is described as being about 6 feet 2 inches and 200 pounds. He was wearing all black clothing and a black snow hat with the word "diamond" in red and white lettering. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

<![CDATA[Here's How Astronauts Spend Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 02:20:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SpaceThanksgiving-GettyImages-493963640.jpg

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren gave their thanks and previewed their “traditional” Thanksgiving meal in a video from the International Space Station, NBC News reported.

The two astronauts discussed what they’re thankful for, while grabbing a few bites from their zero-gravity feast.

"We just wanted to wish you a very warm and happy Thanksgiving," Lindgren said in the video greeting.

Kelly added his own thanks, as well: "Being on the space station here and looking down at our incredibly beautiful planet gives us a different perspective on what it means to be citizens of planet Earth," he said.

The two have the day off and will share their meal with the four others aboard the space station.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Presidential Turkey Pardoning Through the Years]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:54:37 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/obama-GettyImages-498707088.jpg Take a look at how U.S. presidents honored the tradition of pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving eve throughout the years.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[History of Trump Golf Course in Va.]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:20:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/112515+trump+golf+course.jpg

The Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia includes a plaque commemorating the Potomac River as "The River of Blood" during the Civil War — but historians say no battle ever was fought at that location and the "River of Blood" name never was used.

Far beyond the entrance of the golf course, along a bank of the Potomac, is a plaque that commemorates the history of the river.

"Many great Americans, both of the North and South died at this spot," the inscription says, as The New York Times was first to report. "The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and become known as 'The River of Blood.'"

Beneath Trump's family crest and his full name, the plaque says, "It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!"

The trouble is, historians said the events Trump cited never occurred.

"That's not true," Civil War historian Jim Morgan said. "I think it says many soldiers died at this spot, and that's not true. It didn't happen."

Morgan is an expert on another battle, the Battle of Ball's Bluff, which took place in October 1861 about 10 miles north of the Trump National Golf Club. Hundreds of soldiers were killed and wounded there, Morgan's book says.

"Certainly there were casualties and certainly bodies that floated down past that golf course," Morgan said about how the golf course could be connected to Civil War history.

Trump told the Times that "numerous historians" had told him that the golf club site had been known as the "River of Blood." He said he did not remember their names, and he declined to identify any of his staffers who might know the historians' names.

“How would they know that?” Trump asked when he was told local historians had questioned the veracity of the plaque. “Were they there?”

The historian said plaques and monuments in the area have included errors before.

"The history of this area is pretty well-preserved, pretty well written about. What you've got is a little monument that misstates some things," Morgan said. "It wouldn't be the first historical monument that has some things on it that's incorrect."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Myanmar's Suu Kyi Blames Lack of Safety for Deadly Mine Landslide]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 23:06:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MyanmarLandslide-AP_320156078163.jpg

Accidents such as the landslide that killed more than 100 people in Myanmar are caused by a disregard for the rule of law, according to Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

"As far as we understand, it was the fifth similar incident this year," Suu Kyi said during a radio interview on Thursday.

These were Suu Kyi’s first comments on the disaster, where rescuers recovered 114 bodies before giving up the search.

Hpakant is at the heart of the jade mining region and produces some of the world's highest quality jade. But workers, many migrants from other parts of the country, operate in perilous conditions for little pay.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy has called for stricter safety measures and more government oversight in the wake of the disaster, Reuters reported.

Photo Credit: Eleven Media Group via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Penn State Could Face Claims From More Alleged Sandusky Victims]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sanduksy-AP_874373053477.jpg

Penn State could face more claims from six or more alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky, according to documents published by the university.

The university has previously disclosed in legal filings that it rejected the claims of six other alleged victims when it concluded the 2013 settlement, NBC News reported.

"Additional claims could be paid in the future," the statement said.

In its audited financial statement for fiscal year 2015, the university reported this week that it has paid or set aside a total of $92.8 million for 32 claims — including $33.2 million on top of the previously reported settlement payouts.

The school has paid more than $92 million in the last two years on settlements and related costs. Sandusky has maintained his innocence.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New Chicago Dash-Cam Video Protest]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:09:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/218*120/Christmas+Tree+Lights+2.jpg

During the second night of protests over the Laquan McDonald shooting, police made several arrests after some demonstrators tore off lights from the Christmas tree standing in Millennium Park.

Video shows a group of protesters just before 10:00 p.m. yanking the lights from the bottom of the tree. Police quickly responded to disperse the crowd. Investigators have not said exactly how many arrests were made.

Dozens of protesters took to the streets in Chicago's Loop during rush hour Wednesday calling for "justice for Laquan" after video of the teen's fatal 2014 shooting was released Tuesday. 

Demonstrators marched down State Street and at one point blocked traffic near State and Randolph streets. They were heard chanting "the whole damn system is guilty."

Several protests have been planned in Chicago, including a number of demonstrations scheduled to take place on Black Friday, following the release of video showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

A Chicago police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting. Dash-cam video of the incident shows McDonald, who police say was armed with a knife, walking away from police officers at the scene before being shot. In the video of the shooting, McDonald's body appears to jerk repeatedly from additional gunshots while he’s on the ground.

A rally and march were scheduled to begin during rush hour Wednesday involving community and youth leaders from across Chicago, including those who gathered to protest the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The group was expected to host a public screening of the dash-cam video showing McDonald’s fatal shooting at 5:15 p.m. at the Bronzeville Visitors Information Center. They also plan to march to the Chicago Police Department’s headquarters.

“Much like the Jon Burge police torture scandal, this most recent incident has drawn national and international attention to the corrupt practices of the Chicago police department,” Patricia Hill, a former police officer and the current leader of the Chicago Independent Human Rights Council, said in a statement. “Unless we want to subject ourselves to similar human rights violations, we must fundamentally redefine the policing of our communities.”

Black Lives Matter protesters marched Wednesday afternoon from the Cook County Criminal Court building, where a protester arrested Tuesday was appearing for bond court, to the site of McDonald’s shooting.

Aislinn Sol, Chapter Coordinator for Black Lives Matter Chicago, said no other demonstrations were scheduled for Wednesday, but later events could be organized.

Five people were arrested Tuesday night as hundreds marched along city streets in a largely peaceful protest over McDonald's killing. 

Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said that outside of the incidents that led to the five separate arrests, the protest was otherwise respectful.

"The Chicago Police Department supports citizens’ First Amendment rights and goes to great lengths to ensure those rights can be exercised," Guglielmi said in a statement Wednesday morning. "While on the whole last night’s demonstrations were peaceful, a few isolated incidents resulted in five arrests and assaulting [of] police officers."

Several activist groups have also planned demonstrations in Chicago for Black Friday.

Groups including the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network have each called for protests along Michigan Avenue during one of the biggest shopping days of the season.

Despite the protests, retailers are still encouraging shoppers to come downtown for the day.

“Our job as the business association is to work with the retailers restaurant and our partners to make sure every single day is a safe experience on the mile and that's what we expect,” said John Curran, vice president of the Magnificent Mile Association. “We keep in close contact with police and other city services and we relay that information to our members and we’ve been in very close contact with our members as we always are for Black Friday.”

Curran called the Mag Mile event “the quintessential Black Friday experience.”

“Come down here,” he said. “We intend to have a very safe and wonderful day.” 

<![CDATA[Dramatic Images: Europe Migrant Crisis]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:52:51 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/migrants-AP_123274536485.jpg Migrants fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have encountered resistance in the summer of 2015 at European borders, where many face danger. The crisis drew more international attention when the body of a small child washed up on shore.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:47:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_333903367066-philly.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[No Charges in Manger Baby Case]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:46:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/church+baby+woman+1.JPG

Authorities have located the mother of a newborn baby who was left in a Christmas manger inside a Queens, New York, church two days ago and determined no criminal prosecution is warranted. 

"The mother followed the spirit of New York's 'Safe Haven' law," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement after investigators spoke to the mother, whose wailing, hours-old baby was found with his umbilical cord still attached inside a nativity scene at Holy Child Jesus Catholic Church in Richmond Hill.

"It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found," Brown said. 

Police said earlier Wednesday they were looking to speak with the mother of the baby to determine if she was OK. 

The state's Safe Haven law allows a parent to leave a baby up to 30 days old with an appropriate person or in a suitable location where the parent promptly notifies an appropriate person. It wasn't clear if the mother in this case would face charges because the baby was left alone, and it didn't appear she immediately alerted anyone about the child. 

Video obtained by NBC 4 New York offers a clearer picture of what happened moments before the child was left in the church. It shows the mother walking briskly up 113th Street with the newborn baby in her arms, then turning onto Jamaica Avenue and stepping into a 99-cent store. Still clutching the child, the woman moves to the linen aisle and grabs several purple towels. She pays and leaves without saying a single word to the cashier. 

Minutes later and less than a half-mile away, the newborn was found swaddled in the same purple towels inside the manger of an unfinished nativity scene inside Holy Child Jesus Catholic Church.

Jose Moran, the church custodian who found him when he heard the baby's cries, told NBC 4 New York in Spanish that he's happy he was able to help save the baby. But he said his heart breaks for the child who was left alone on the wooden floor of the unfinished nativity scene with purple towels covering his face. 

The Rev. Christopher Heanue recounted to NBC 4 New York Tuesday how he learned of the baby in the manger. 

"The secretary burst in and said, 'Father, there's an emergency in the church, you have to come,'" Heanue said.

Bishop Octavio Cisnero, also there, couldn't believe his eyes.

"There was a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a towel," said Cisnero. "The umbilical cord was still hanging from the baby." 

EMTs checked out the baby, and he appeared to be healthy. 

Heanue said surveillance video from his church -- not released -- captured a woman entering the church about 20 minutes before the baby was found.

"A woman did come into the church with some bag, left the church and the bag was sort of dangling in the wind," he said. 

Heanue said the parish has taken a special interest in the baby and some members have expressed an interest in adopting.

"This child, we believe, is a gift, almost, to this parish," said Heanue. 

"God works in mysterious ways," he added. 

The child is currently in protective custody. 

There is a Safe Haven hotline in New York where a parent who wishes to leave their baby can call and have child care workers pick up the child: 1-877-796-HOPE. It's most important the baby is left with a person, not in an undisclosed location, authorities say. 

<![CDATA[Wheelchair Stolen From 4-Year-Old]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:31:38 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/nolegs-112515.PNG

After a 4-year-old California girl named Milagros, or "miracle" in Spanish, who was born without legs had her wheelchair stolen days before Thanksgiving, an NBC4 viewer came to the rescue, donating $10,000 for a new specialized wheelchair.

The viewer called the assignment desk and said that after hearing Milagros' story on NBC4, she just had to help.

"What better gift can I give myself for the holidays than to reach out to help this child?" Joyce Brandman, the donor, said.

Brandman handed over a check for $10,000 from the nonprofit Saul Brandman Foundation so that the family could buy a new specialized wheelchair built especially for Milagros.

Milagros' mother, Rosa Perez, was understandably overcome with gratitude.

Tears streamed down her face as she viewed the check.

Brandman said the experience made her Thanksgiving that much better.

"You are remarkable," Brandman said in a message to the family. "God is watching over you. I hope I am your angel this holiday season, and I admire you very much for what you are doing for this child."

Police also came together to brighten the family's spirits with a Thanksgiving dinner in addition to hunting down the person who took it.

"A $10,000 check - I mean, that's amazing," said Nelson Menendez of the Santa Ana Police Department, who assisted when the check was presented to the family. "You can see how humble these people live, and they can't afford [a $10,000 wheelchair.] Who can?"

Milagros' family pleaded to the public for help earlier Wednesday to get back Milagros' motorized wheelchair, which is the miracle girl's main way of getting to school.

Milagros was born without legs, a heart condition and other ailments.

Despite the theft of her wheelchair, Milagros was upbeat, using a skateboard to get around.

Her mother Rosa Perez, however, could not control her sorrow as she explained how the expensive wheelchair was stolen from the family's yard in Santa Ana Saturday night.

The wheelchair was behind a gate that couldn't be locked because it is a common area in the apartment complex in the 400 block of South Flower Street.

Santa Ana police were doing what they could to recover the wheelchair, but they didn't have surveillance images or any descriptions of who may have taken it.

"There is no real use unless you have the handicap she has, so our guess is somebody is trying to either pawn it off or melt it down for cash," Corp. Anthony Bertagna of Santa Ana police said.

Officers said they were taking the theft personally.

Before the donation, the department banded together to donate a Christmas tree with all the trimmings to the family, courtesy of Home Depot.

"Gracias," Milagros said, thanking the officers.

The officers went the extra mile, donating a full Thanksgiving dinner to the family as well.

Anyone with information on the crime can contact Santa Ana police at  (714) 245-8029.

Officers set up a fund for Milagros and her family, and anyone who would like to help can make checks payable to: S.A.P.O.A. Widows & Orphans Fund, Memo: S.A. Resident Rosa Perez

Mailing address: S.A.P.O.A. 1607 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, California 92701. 

If you would like to donate to her family's GoFundMe account, it can be found here.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[New Voice for Mass. Teen]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:17:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Max+Plansky+112515.jpg

We all have unique voices - with their pitches and their tones, they belong to us.

But for Max Plansky, a Massachusetts teen who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, the voice he uses is not his own.

"I have 'Perfect Pete' on my device because it was the only American male voice on my device," Max said. "I chose it, but there were not many choices."

It's the voice used by many who are non-verbal - and for Max, it's not him.

"I think my voice sounds like my dad's voice," he said.

But Vocal ID, a new technology, is changing that. Founder Rupal Patel has created a way to make a voice just for Max.

"In the case of someone like Max, he never spoke," said Patel. "So it's sort of what he would have sounded like had he been able to control his tongue and lips and so on."

But Max can make a vowel sound - in this case, "ah."

"There are three 'ahs' that he was able to produce in a row for us, which you can hear," said Geoff Meltzner, the director of research and technology for Vocal ID.

"We're taking that sample and mixing it with a matched donor that we find from our database," said Patel. "The matched donor has to be matched in age, in gender, in acoustic quality, and then we bring those two together."

Patel says Max will have his new voice before Christmas of this year - it's a gift both he and father, never thought they'd have.

"It's very emotional. Thank God he can say 'daddy' and some other words," said Michael Plansky. "But for him then to be able to carry on other conversations, and it be in his voice, we just anticipate that we're going to be able to get away from yes-no questions and actually have conversations."

"I do think I will like the way my new voice sounds more," said Max.

Students in Max's hometown are helping out - Danvers High School held a voice drive to contribute to Vocal ID's database.

Students donated about five hours of their weekend to record sentences which will be broken down into sounds to create someone's new voice.

"I love helping people out," said senior Madison Mucci. "Just the thought of changing someone's life is amazing."

Changing someone's life one sentence at a time is a goal that Patel says will be achieved. Her company is growing, and so is the donor database.

This year, Max will be one of the first with a new voice - a trailblazer for what she hopes will, one day, be the norm.

"We wouldn't give a little girl the prosthetic limb of a grown man, so why would we give her the same prosthetic voice? That's exactly what we're doing," said Patel. "There are little girls around the world that are using voices like the Stephen Hawking voice."

So what does she hope for Max?

"I hope he engages more fully in conversations," she said. "I hope he seeks out more communication partners. I hope he seeks out more opportunities to express who he is.

And that's exactly what Max is hoping for, too.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Photojournalist Reflects on Ferguson, One Year Later]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:02:39 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ferguson-photographer-nbcnews.jpg

Christian Gooden's 20 years in photojournalism still didn't prepare him for what he saw near his hometown of St. Louis one year ago this week.

On Nov. 24, 2014, a St. Louis County grand jury announced that Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The suburban city of Ferguson erupted, and the massive protests began to resemble a warzone. Police officers in combat gear "were no joke," Gooden remembers.

Police and demonstrators clashed, with the police firing tear gas at the crowds. Gooden, a 45-year-old married father of two, says that two residents threatened his life in five minutes.

"I had run behind this commercial building trying to get away from the tear gas fumes, but I got pushed back into the private backyards of some nearby homes," he recalled, adding that two homeowners "pulled pistols on me" and told him to get out of their yards.

Photo Credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]]>
<![CDATA[Pharmaceutical Company Reneges on Drug Price Cut]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:40:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_608385186153.jpg

After weeks of criticism from patients, doctors and other drugmakers for hiking a life-saving medicine's price more than fifty-fold, Turing Pharmaceuticals is reneging on its pledge to cut the $750-per-pill price.

Instead, the small biotech company is reducing what it charges hospitals, by up to 50 percent, for its parasitic infection treatment, Daraprim. Most patients' copayments will be capped at $10 or less a month. But insurers will be stuck with the bulk of the $750 tab. That drives up future treatment and insurance costs.

Daraprim is a 62-year-old pill whose patent expired decades ago. It's the preferred treatment for a rare parasitic infection, toxoplasmosis, which mainly threatens people with weak immune systems, such as HIV and organ transplant patients, and pregnant women, because it can kill their baby.

Dr. Carlos del Rio, chairman of the HIV Medicine Association, called Turing's changes "just window dressing."

Turing's move comes after a pharmacy that compounds prescription drugs for individual patients, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, started selling a custom-made version for 99 cents per capsule. Those sales weren't a factor in Turing's pricing strategy, chief marketing officer Nancy Retzlaff said Wednesday.

Del Rio noted that while hospitals treat many patients initially, most are then treated at home for a couple months, so the lower hospital price doesn't help.

"This medication can be made for pennies. They need to reduce the price to what it was before," he said.

Turing, with offices in New York and Switzerland, bought U.S. rights to sell Daraprim in August, when it had no competition. Daraprim is one of numerous old drugs with limited competition whose makers have raised prices sharply.

A furor over Turing's staggering price hike erupted, triggering multiple government investigations and pledges from politicians to rein in soaring prescription drug prices. Those include newly approved medicines costing around $100,00 a year and some old, formerly cheap generics.

Amid the heat, Turing CEO Martin Shkreli said he'd lower the price. Instead, the company just lowered hospitals' price and is offering the option of buying 30-pill bottles instead of 100-pill bottles to reduce their costs to stock it. Shkreli wasn't available for an interview.

Imprimis Chief Executive Officer Mark Baum said Wednesday in an exclusive interview that orders are pouring in for its version of Daraprim from doctors and the company has dispensed more than 2,500 capsules since Oct. 22.

He's now working with insurers to get them to cover Imprimis' capsules and will be talking with federal health agencies and members of Congress about changing current rules to allow the Defense Department and government health programs such as Medicare to cover so-called compounded medicines.

Imprimis also has begun selling capsules of another drug whose price was jacked up and is considering doing the same with dozens of now high-priced generic drugs for pain, heart disease, infections, skin and hormonal conditions and immune disorders.

Mass-produced drugs must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Imprimis, like other compounding pharmacies, instead makes up individual prescriptions using drug ingredients already approved — in this case pyrimethamine, Daraprim's active ingredient, plus a second drug to limit its side effects.

Dr. Warren Dinges of the Seattle Infectious Diseases Clinic said he's treating an HIV patient who got toxoplasmosis in his eye, damaging his vision. The man, an artist, tried to fill a prescription Dinges wrote for Daraprim but was told by his pharmacy that it wasn't in stock and would cost about $27,000 for a month's supply.

Dinges instead got Imprimis to make up a custom version for barely $100 per month.

"He was feeling great on Monday" at a checkup, with his symptoms much reduced, Dinges said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Adorable Zoo Babies: Baby Panda]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:39:36 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_791767747004-zoobaby.jpg See all the newest arrivals at zoos around the world. Baby lions, tigers and bears step into the spotlight.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gun in Muralist Homicide Was Stolen]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:26:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/antonio3.jpg

A gun police recovered in the shooting death of a muralist in Oakland, California, was traced back as a weapon stolen from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in San Francisco, according to police sources.

The ICE agent's weapon, a Glock, was reported stolen in September from a vehicle being used by the officer, police sources said. The suspect in that case, Sean Claude Gibson, 24, of San Francisco was booked on more than two dozen charges on Oct. 20, police said. Gibson declined a jail house interview.

How the gun found its way into the hands of the alleged killer of the slain muralist is unknown at this point.

Oakland police on Wednesday confirmed the gun used in the homicide was stolen from ICE, which the federal agency addressed Tuesday evening.

"A duty weapon belonging to an officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations was stolen Sept. 13 in San Francisco from a vehicle being used by the officer," ICE said in a statement. "The theft was properly reported to local authorities and through official federal channels. The matter is currently under investigation by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility."

The stolen Glock was allegedly used to kill muralist Antonio Ramos, who was gunned down on Sept. 29. The 27-year-old Emeryville resident was painting a mural – depicting colorful Victorian homes and a tree-lined street – on the 3500 block of West Street in Oakland, just under the Interstate 580 overpass.

Marquise Holloway, who was arrested Friday in Stockton, is charged in the shooting death of Ramos. During his arraignment on Tuesday, Holloway began swearing and screaming in court while handcuffed. He blurted out the F-word several times. Deputies had to subdue him and take him away.

Investigators said on Tuesday at a news conference that Holloway came up to Ramos, who was painting with a group of muralists, and eyed his camera equipment. The two got into a brief, but heated argument before Holloway pulled out a gun and shot Ramos, police said.

"He was painting the mural and he had taken a break and was taking some pictures – so he could memorialize it and put it up on a website — so he had some of his camera equipment out there. And I believe that’s what sparked the whole incident," Oakland police Lt. Roland Holmgren said.

Along with a murder charge, Holloway has been slapped with multiple counts of robbery, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The 20-year-old is accused of stealing camera equipment – at gunpoint – from a pair of film crews in Oakland last month. He also faces an attempted robbery charge from his face-off with Ramos.

Court documents reveal Holloway told officers Ramos' shooting was an accident. Holloway is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 30.

Since 2006, ICE agents have lost more than 140 weapons, according to NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit.

Ramos is not the only one to be killed with a stolen gun that belongs to the feds.

An undocumented immigrant shot and killed Kate Steinle in July using a gun that was stolen out of a Bureau of Land Management employee's car in San Francisco.

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani and Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Attitudinal Healing Connection]]>
<![CDATA[Fishermen Plucked From Chilly Ocean Clung to Faith]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:44:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/11-25-2015-boat-rescue-2.JPG

Lifeguards pulled four fishermen from the chilly Pacific Ocean off the Southern California coast on Wednesday after their boat capsized.

For an hour and a half early Wednesday morning the four were in the water, clinging onto the side of their boat. They said they held onto their faith, and a flashlight.

"Rough water, high winds," said Kevin Frentescu, who was thrown overboard. "Tide was coming in hard, very hard." 

Aerial footage of the dramatic rescue showed a lifeguard straddling the bottom the 18-foot aluminum powered boat that capsized.

"It's a scary moment," said Scott Dixon, the marine safety captain at the Long Beach Fire Department. "You're out there. It's a big sea, a lot of weather."

Robert Tirado and his three friends had been desperate for help in the water for an hour and a half, clinging onto a rope from their boat.

"Just hoping someone sees us," he said. "We wanted the helicopter to fly over, something. We just need one person to see us."

Tirado said someone on a tanker boat finally noticed them and called for help.

"We had a light we were flashing because it was night," Tirado said. "We were flashing for about an hour non-stop. We saw guys walking on it so we started screaming, waving our hands."

He said he tried to stay warm and positive, praying that they would come out of this alive.

"Once you go into that mode of just thinking something bad is going to happen, you are blinded with uncertainty," he said. "You can't have that happen at that moment."

Tirado's friend, who was also rescued, said they tied a rope around their waists.

He said they underestimated the conditions when they left for what was supposed to be a fun fishing trip around 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

Tirado said he stayed positive by thinking about his 2-year-old son, Elias, who watched his dad's rescue on TV.

"I experienced something crazy," he said. "I didn't want to lose faith. I have something to go home to."

It was Tirado's first fishing trip and his family says it will probably be his last.

"We are not going to let him go on another fishing trip," said Mercedes Moreno, his sister. "No more!"

Nyree Arabian contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Gaps in Airport Security Highlighted in New Video]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:45:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tsa-generic-464375288.jpg

President Obama said Wednesday that the government is taking "every possible step" to keep Americans safe from terrorism — but new video is raising questions about whether that's the case at the nation's airports.

At New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, used by more than 50 million passengers a every year, NBC News' cameras captured employees simply swiping their electronic key cards to get into the facility this week. NBC News also obtained video from earlier this year that showed the same thing.

Unlike passengers, airline crew and employees who work in the terminal, the ramp agents in the videos did not undergo ID checks or bag checks, walk through metal detectors or get scanned for explosive materials, sources said.

And that, some say, is cause for concern — especially amid worries that an airport insider could have been involved in the bombing of a Russian Metrojet over Egypt three weeks ago.

"The insider threat is real," Marshall McClain of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association told NBC News.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Man Killed in Crash Day After Good Deed]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:15:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Matthew-Jackson-1125.jpg

A north San Diego woman is on a mission to honor the legacy of a man she barely knows - all because he did something nice for her.

On Nov. 10, Carlsbad resident Jamie-Lynne Knighten met Matthew Jackson for about five minutes at the Trader Joe's on Vista Way. Her five-month-old son was fussy, and she was trying to shop for food for the week.

With a crying baby in her arms, groceries ready to go and a mounting line behind her, Knighten said her credit card was declined at the cash register due to an anti-fraud block. She had just returned from traveling abroad.

"[My baby] just wasn't having it. By the time we got to the check-out, I was done," she recounted.

Then, in a random act of kindness, Knighten says Jackson offered to pay for her groceries, which came out to more than $200.

Knighten says the 28-year-old man from Oceanside stepped in saying, "'May I? May I take care of your groceries?'"

Jackson wanted one thing in return, according to Knighten.

She said he asked, "As long as you promise to do it for somebody else."

Days passed and Knighten couldn't stop thinking about the young man and his good deed.

He mentioned he worked at the LA Fitness gym on Vista Way, so she called and told manager Angela Lavinder what an amazing person she had on staff.

That's when Knighten learned some heartbreaking news: Jackson had been killed in a car accident less than 24 hours after his good deed towards her at the grocery store.

"That's when [the manager] started crying," Knighten said.

Lavinder, on the other end of that call, was forced to break the tragic news to Knighten.

"She said it was Matt and my heart just dropped because he had just passed away. It broke my heart because - what a beautiful person," Lavinder told NBC 7.

According to a report released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's (ME) office, Jackson was killed in a crash on Nov. 11.

He was with two others when the vehicle veered off the road in the 2100 block of Vista Way in Oceanside. The car struck a tree, killing Jackson. The two other people in the vehicle survived.

Knighten says she's a person of faith and, therefore, has faith her "pay it forward" angel didn't die in vain. She's still coping with what happened but believes people should hear his story and be encouraged to live life like he did.

Knighten says efforts are underway to further honor the young man's legacy, and they include encouraging others to pay it forward.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[South Park-Inspired Bullying]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:40:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sp15.jpg

Students at a middle school in Melrose, Massachusetts, could face disciplinary action and possibly even criminal charges following a bullying incident Friday that school officials say was inspired by an episode of the show "South Park."

The incident occurred Friday when students at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School chose to imitate a 2005 "South Park" episode called "Ginger Kids," in which they target and kick red heads, according to a statement posted on the school's website.

School officials called the incident "unacceptable," saying the students used "poor judgment." They said the incident did not involve the entire seventh grade, and for the most part didn't include students in grades six and eight.

"We are outraged by the behavior and poor decisions made by a group of students and we are concerned for both the victims and the aggressors for the impact this will have on them. We are incredibly disappointed," the statement said.

School officials said the behavior took place mostly in corridors and stairwells in between classes. When they became aware of the incident around 11:30 a.m. Friday, a public announcement was made ordering the behavior to stop and informing students that this could be considered assault and that any students who were involved would be subject to disciplinary action. A message was also sent out to parents at the end of the day explaining what happened.

Disciplinary hearing letters were sent home to the parents of students identified as aggressors. The parents of students who were hurt were contacted by phone.

School officials said they have reviewed surveillance tapes and spoken with students and families about the incident.

They have also been in contact with Melrose Police, and it is possible that charges may be brought if any students are found to have engaged in an assault.

Investigation into the incident is ongoing, school officials said. Disciplinary hearings are expected to continue through next week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:41:13 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/obama-GettyImages-498707182.jpg

With his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, standing next to him, President Obama pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey at the annual White House ceremony in the Rose Garden on Wednesday.  

“Abe is now a free bird. He is TOTUS—the Turkey of the United States," Obama declared. 

When Obama approached Abe, the turkey gobbled loudly.

"Don't interrupt," Obama said.

Two birds, Honest and Abe, were vying for the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey. This year marks the 68th anniversary of the presentation by the National Turkey Federation.

Unlike a beauty pageant contestant, not much differentiated the two Nicholas White birds. The fourth-month-old pair weigh nearly the same amount, have a wingspan of 6 feet and enjoy country music, according to the White House.

Honest is known to have a "skoots in boots" waddle, while Abe has more of a "macho man" swagger. The public voted to save their favorite turkey on Twitter, using #TurkeyPardon2015 and picked Abe. 

The turkeys were raised by Foster Farms in Modesto, California. Originally named Tom One and Tom Two, they were chosen by staffers at the farm with a little help from a class of fifth grade students from nearby Eisenhut Elementary School. The students cheered for their favorite from a list of 20 finalists. The lucky turkeys were flown to the nation's capital on Monday. 

President Barack Obama pardoned his seventh turkey in what many believe is a Thanksgiving tradition dating back to 1947 when President Harry Truman pardoned the first holiday bird presented by the National Turkey Federation.

But as the old adage goes, when legend becomes fact, print the legend.

There’s no evidence, "documents, speeches, newspaper clippings, or photographs" that Truman pardoned the first ceremonial turkey, according to the Truman Library. The library issued a statement in 2003 to clarify the myth, saying "Truman sometimes indicated to reporters that the turkeys he received were destined for the family dinner table."

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy was quoted in the Washington Post as saying "Let's keep him going" when talking about a turkey wearing a sign that said "Good eating Mr. President," but the traditon was only formalized in 1989, with President George H. W. Bush, according to the White House Historical Association.

Even though Abe is the winner, both birds can count their lucky feathers. They will be sent to live on a farm in Virginia.

"It is hard to believe this is my 7th year of pardoning a turkey," Obama said. "Time flies. Turkeys don't." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brothers Allegedly Inspired by Trump in Attack Arraigned]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:21:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Scott+and+Steve+Leader.JPG

Two brothers accused of beating and urinating on a homeless immigrant in Boston, one of whom said they were inspired in part by Donald Trump's comments about immigrants, faced a judge Wednesday.

Scott Leader, 38, and his brother Steven Leader, 30, were arraigned after being indicted on Nov. 5. Scott Leader is being held on $75,000 bail, and Steven Leader is being held on 50,000.

The men allegedly kicked, punched and urinated on the victim, a 58-year-old Mexican immigrant who was sleeping near the JFK/UMass MBTA station, around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 19. One of the brothers allegedly hit the victim repeatedly with a metal pole. They then walked away laughing, according to witnesses.

The victim was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was treated for a broken nose, serious bruising across his torso and other injuries.

At the state police barracks in South Boston, Scott Leader allegedly made a series of incriminating statements, including that he and his brother "tuned up" an "illegal immigrant," and that his behavior was acceptable because the victim was homeless and Hispanic.

According to police, one brother also told officers that Republican presidential candidate Trump "was right" about deporting "all these illegals."

Trump later condemned the beating.

This isn' the first time these two Boston brothers have been in trouble with the law. Criminal records show both were involved in assaults on police officers, as well as other unprovoked racially motivated attacks.

Photo Credit: Boston Police]]>