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NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger

Westlake Legal Group nj-transit NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 19a8219d-4a3c-5c45-bf70-ffb757ee4aa3

Two women were reportedly killed in New Jersey on Friday morning when an NJ Transit train slammed into their car at a crossing in Middlesex Borough, southwest of Newark.

The women were identified as Florence Obado, 73, of New Brunswick and her passenger Susan Mazurek, 44, of Middlesex Borough, My Central Jersey reported.

BOY, 2, STRUCK AND KILLED BY NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY TRAIN

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life that resulted from this morning’s crash,” Middlesex Borough Mayor John Madden said in a statement on Facebook. “We will assist our partners at New Jersey Transit as they work to determine the cause of the crash. Our thoughts and our prayers are with the victims and their families.”

Train service was suspended after the crash but has since resumed.

No other injuries were reported.

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In 2011, a tractor-trailer driver was hit and killed by a train at the same crossing, My Central Jersey reported.

Westlake Legal Group nj-transit NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 19a8219d-4a3c-5c45-bf70-ffb757ee4aa3   Westlake Legal Group nj-transit NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 19a8219d-4a3c-5c45-bf70-ffb757ee4aa3

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports

Westlake Legal Group police-istock Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 6a4966c8-8f2e-5f7e-be7d-5b9f092f50be

An armed suspect who allegedly held a woman hostage at a credit union branch in Illinois surrendered Friday night following a six-hour standoff with police, according to reports.

The situation in Rockford, about 90 minutes northwest of Chicago, started Friday afternoon when the suspect entered the Heritage Credit Union and demanded that everyone leave, authorities said. The woman, who worked at the bank, was unable to get out and the suspect barricaded the two of them inside while negotiators tried to deescalate the standoff without injuries, WREX-TV of Rockford reported.

MISSISSIPPI INMATE BECOMES FIFTH TO BE KILLED INSIDE THE STATE’S PRISONS THIS WEEK

Personnel from the FBI made contact with the suspect during the standoff while a SWAT team held a perimeter around the credit union.

“It is unfortunate when situations like this occur,” Special Agent Emmerson Buie Jr. said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “However, it is great that the situation was resolved without anyone being seriously injured.”

There were no serious injuries, the Tribune reported.

“The FBI negotiators worked seamlessly with the Rockford negotiators and I could not give them enough credit,” Rockford police Chief Dan O’Shea said. “The FBI really stepped up to help us out.”

The suspect was taken into custody but it was not clear what charges he’ll face, WREX reported.

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The suspect had existing warrants in another county, the Tribune reported.

Westlake Legal Group police-istock Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 6a4966c8-8f2e-5f7e-be7d-5b9f092f50be   Westlake Legal Group police-istock Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 6a4966c8-8f2e-5f7e-be7d-5b9f092f50be

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Austin ‘stabbing incident’ sees one killed, three hurt; suspect in custody

One person was killed, three others hurt and a suspect was in custody following a “stabbing incident” Friday morning in downtown Austin, police and emergency officials said.

Austin-Travis County EMS said a man in his 20s was pronounced dead and a man in his 50s was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Two others were being treated on the scene on South Congress Avenue.

Austin police said a suspect was in custody and that “no other known suspects are outstanding” but they did not immediately say whether the suspect was among the injured or what led to the stabbings.

‘AFFLUENZA TEEN’ ETHAN COUCH ARRESTED AGAIN, FOR VIOLATING PROBATION AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR THC

Stacy Romine said she witnessed the attack while out to get her morning coffee and then saw the attacker leap head-first from the roof of a nearby building.

Westlake Legal Group AP20003557537727 Austin 'stabbing incident' sees one killed, three hurt; suspect in custody fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a9df1940-e7a3-58cc-afc0-c70cf4cb3e07

Paramedics perform CPR on a stabbing victim in Austin, Texas on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. (Austin American-Statesman via AP)

“There was nothing that provoked it,” Romine, 33, told The Associated Press. “This guy was not OK.”

Romine said the man was “obviously under the influence of something” when he hit an elderly man at a coffee shop off a retail plaza near the heart of the popular South Congress shopping corridor, about a mile south of the Texas Capitol.

TEXAS CHURCH SHOOTER’S EX-WIFE SAYS SHE’S ‘GLAD THEY STOPPED HIM’

A group of people tried to stop the attacker, and he struggled with them before eventually breaking free and running out of the building, Romine said. She said she never saw a knife.

Westlake Legal Group AP20003557824765 Austin 'stabbing incident' sees one killed, three hurt; suspect in custody fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a9df1940-e7a3-58cc-afc0-c70cf4cb3e07

Paramedics transport a stabbing victim as Austin Police secure the area of a shopping complex in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

After he ran out, Romine said she saw the attacker jump from the roof of a nearby building. He did not move after hitting the ground, she said. Police said the suspect was transported to the hospital and is still alive.

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Police cordoned the retail plaza where the stabbing was reported around 8 a.m. during the typically congested morning commute.

Westlake Legal Group AP20003557537727 Austin 'stabbing incident' sees one killed, three hurt; suspect in custody fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a9df1940-e7a3-58cc-afc0-c70cf4cb3e07   Westlake Legal Group AP20003557537727 Austin 'stabbing incident' sees one killed, three hurt; suspect in custody fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a9df1940-e7a3-58cc-afc0-c70cf4cb3e07

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Carjacker, allegedly on meth, abducts man, pet goat from Missouri adult store: police

A man and his pet goat napping in a pickup truck outside an adult store in Missouri were carjacked by a man on meth who drove them through parts of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma — occasionally pistol-whipping the sleeping man, according to published reports.

Police said the sleeping man and the truck’s original driver stopped at an adult video store in Carthage, Mo. early Wednesday, KOTV reported. While the driver entered the store, the man and his pet goat remained in the truck and fell asleep.

As the passenger napped, police said 40-year-old Brandon Kirby jumped into the truck and drove off.

FLORIDA DEPUTIES NAB FUGITIVE CARJACKING SUSPECT AS HE’S LIVESTREAMING ON INSTAGRAM

Westlake Legal Group brandonkirby-cropped-1157pm Carjacker, allegedly on meth, abducts man, pet goat from Missouri adult store: police Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc article aa75897e-caae-51c9-8a6e-b582e4baf935

Brandon Kirby, 40, was arrested in Oklahoma on Wednesday after police say he carjacked a truck form an adult store in Missouri with a man and goat inside. (Creek County Sheriff’s Office)

‘METH. WE’RE ON IT’ CAMPAIGN ROLLS OUT IN SOUTH DAKOTA TO CONFUSION, RIDICULE

The passenger told police Kirby let him and his pet goat go after arriving in Oklahoma. They were dropped off on the side of the road in Sand Springs, Okla., and the victim called 911 before reporting the truck missing to OnStar.

Representatives at OnStar were able to slow the truck’s speed to 15 mph, allowing police to end the incident, KOKI reported.

Police said Kirby jumped from the car and ran off, dropping a mask and a gun before a deputy found him hiding in tall grass near Highway 412, according to KOTV.

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Kirby was arrested and charged with kidnapping, pointing firearms and felony possession of a firearm, according to jail records.

Kirby was wanted on a burglary charge in Osage County and has a number of felony convictions, including assault and burglary.

Westlake Legal Group brandonkirby-cropped-1157pm Carjacker, allegedly on meth, abducts man, pet goat from Missouri adult store: police Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc article aa75897e-caae-51c9-8a6e-b582e4baf935   Westlake Legal Group brandonkirby-cropped-1157pm Carjacker, allegedly on meth, abducts man, pet goat from Missouri adult store: police Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc article aa75897e-caae-51c9-8a6e-b582e4baf935

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Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California

Westlake Legal Group online_porn_istock Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7b2f7b4d-e35e-52d2-ab30-74b01c866dee

The owners and operators of a San Diego-based porn website must pay $12.7 million after a judge found them liable for fraud and breach of contract for lying to women about how their explicit videos would be distributed, according to a court ruling Thursday.

The site, GirlsDoPorn, was sued by nearly two dozen women who claimed they were deceived and coerced into making sex videos without knowing the footage would be posted on the internet, the Union-Tribune reported.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Kevin Enright, who presided over a four-month-long trial, ruled in favor of all 22 plaintiffs and against a total of 13 defendants, the newspaper said.

PORN SITE’S OPERATORS MADE MILLIONS AFTER USING 22 WOMEN’S NAMES, IMAGES WITHOUT CONSENT: LAWSUIT

Among the defendants are website owners Michael James Pratt, 36, and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 37, and adult film actor Ruben Andre Garcia, 31.

Attorneys for the defense were not immediately available for comment.

Enright found that the individuals and various affiliated businesses had operated as a single business entity and therefore all were liable.

He awarded the women $9.45 million collectively in compensatory damages and $3.3 million in punitive damages.

The judge also granted the women’s request for ownership rights to their images that appeared on videos produced by the defendants and were posted on several adult websites. In addition, the judge ordered the defendants to take down the women’s sex videos.

The judge also ordered the GirlsDoPorn website owners to prominently post in recruitment ads that videos would go on the internet. Women who sign up to make the videos must get copies of the legal agreement ahead of time and give permission before their names or personal information are used.

“The money’s one thing but these guys have ruined (the plaintiffs’) lives and we have to clean this up as much as possible,” Ed Chapin, attorney for the women, said after the judge issued the decision.

At trial, defense attorneys argued that the women were over 18, understood what they were doing, accepted payment and in some cases returned to San Diego again and again to make more videos. The plaintiff’s attorneys said the videos were not immediately posted on the internet and defendants later refused requests to take down the films.

Some of the women testified that although they accepted performing sex on camera to earn money, including paying for college, the subsequent publicity ruined their lives and careers.

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The women were identified in the suit only as “Jane Does 1-22.”

Westlake Legal Group online_porn_istock Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7b2f7b4d-e35e-52d2-ab30-74b01c866dee   Westlake Legal Group online_porn_istock Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7b2f7b4d-e35e-52d2-ab30-74b01c866dee

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kansas police chief apologizes after claim McDonald’s coffee cup had vulgar note is proven false

Westlake Legal Group McDonalds-coffee-cups Kansas police chief apologizes after claim McDonald's coffee cup had vulgar note is proven false Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/us fnc be6377d3-86b0-5c58-b62d-66d42388e826 article

A Kansas police chief apologized Wednesday after one of his officers made up a story about being given a McDonald‘s coffee cup with an anti-cop slur written on it that caused an uproar over social media.

Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday said he is “truly sorry for all unnecessary, negative attention and pain that this incident has brought to every person who was affected” in a news release.

SUPER-FRIENDLY CHICK-FIL-A EMPLOYEE IN NORTH CAROLINA CHARMS INTERNET IN VIRAL VID: HE’S ‘LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME’

The apology came days after Hornaday announced that his now-former officer “completely and solely fabricated” a story that he was given a coffee cup with “f——g pig” written on it at a McDonald’s in Junction City.

The officer, an Army veteran who had been on the job two months, said it was meant to be a joke. He resigned over the incident.

The story made the rounds on social media and ignited nationwide criticism of McDonald’s. The owner of the fast-food location denied his employees wrote the vulgar phrase and said security video prove they committed no wrongdoing.

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Hornaday confirmed the restaurant’s account during a Tuesday news conference, calling the incident a “black eye for law enforcement”

“We hope that this is always remembered as the act of one person and not that of the chosen few men and women who have the courage to boldly protect and serve the citizens of this great nation,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group McDonalds-coffee-cups Kansas police chief apologizes after claim McDonald's coffee cup had vulgar note is proven false Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/us fnc be6377d3-86b0-5c58-b62d-66d42388e826 article   Westlake Legal Group McDonalds-coffee-cups Kansas police chief apologizes after claim McDonald's coffee cup had vulgar note is proven false Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/us fnc be6377d3-86b0-5c58-b62d-66d42388e826 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Arizona college students expand Christmas tree removal business

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Many Americans are packing away their holiday decorations for another year, but figuring out what to do with the old Christmas tree can be difficult. A group of college students in Arizona has been pushing a solution to take the hassle out of the holidays — and their enterprise is growing.

Connor Hogan and his friend Dillon Newgaard started the business three years ago while freshmen at Arizona State University, later recruiting two more friends. The company, Ahwatukee Christmas Tree removal, was named for their village in Phoenix.

“We realized we had this great opportunity to help folks in our community. We helped our parents remove their trees and we said, you know, why not help other folks? We’re well-bodied college individuals that want to make a little bit of cash on the side. We’re smart entrepreneurs. Why don’t we go out and start our own little business?” Hogan said.

They started off with just 17 trees in their first year. Now juniors, they said they had almost 300 bookings this year. “We’ve definitely grown a lot, so we are expecting around 200-300 which is double and more than double than last year,” Newgaard said.

Westlake Legal Group TREE-IN-TRUCK Arizona college students expand Christmas tree removal business Stephanie Bennett fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/us fnc b34a5d19-2c11-59a8-886d-9b79ce27d4ec article

Ahwatukee crew picking up a Christmas tree. (Stephanie Bennett / Fox News)

They’ve aimed to remove every last branch and needle for about $25, picking up each tree either from the curb or inside the home.

“It’s heavy and it’s awkward to carry out and it makes a big trail of needles… so it’s nice that’s there’s someone who can come take care of that for us,” customer Rachel Martin said.

However, not everyone has been branching out; some people in the city have preferred to keep doing the job themselves. The city has offered several options for recycling Christmas trees.

“We’ve always dropped it off. It’s easy, it’s free, it’s close by, you know, to save the money and spend it on something else, I guess,” Lupie Sanchez of Phoenix said.

Westlake Legal Group TREES-AT-DROP-OFF Arizona college students expand Christmas tree removal business Stephanie Bennett fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/us fnc b34a5d19-2c11-59a8-886d-9b79ce27d4ec article

Christmas trees at a Phoenix dropoff location. (Stephanie Bennett / Fox News)

PRISONERS TAKE ‘CHRISTMAS CAROL’ TO THE PUBLIC, SELLING OUT ALMOST IMMEDIATELY

The Ahwatukee crew is almost completely booked up through Jan. 11, right before the students head back to school.

“It’s great when you get to do it and help out with your friends and have fun, make a little cash and help a lot of people out in the community,” said Morgan Taylor, a senior at the University of Washington.

Westlake Legal Group TREE-SHREDDER Arizona college students expand Christmas tree removal business Stephanie Bennett fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/us fnc b34a5d19-2c11-59a8-886d-9b79ce27d4ec article

A tree shredder in action at a dropoff location. (Stephanie Bennett / Fox News)

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New this year, they were able to donate six fully decorated Christmas trees to families in need. A local tree farm donated the trees, and Hogan and his crew paid for the rest. It’s something they said they hoped to continue.

“It was something we definitely look forward to doing in the future and I really think that gives our business a lot of purpose,” Hogan added.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119331731001_6119332867001-vs Arizona college students expand Christmas tree removal business Stephanie Bennett fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/us fnc b34a5d19-2c11-59a8-886d-9b79ce27d4ec article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119331731001_6119332867001-vs Arizona college students expand Christmas tree removal business Stephanie Bennett fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/us fnc b34a5d19-2c11-59a8-886d-9b79ce27d4ec article

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Louisiana couple dead in Puerto Rico after catamaran catches fire on New Year’s Eve

A Louisiana couple died in Puerto Rico on Wednesday after the catamaran they were in caught fire while docked at a marina in Cabo Rojo, local authorities said.

Gather and Ginna Tannehill were celebrating New Year’s Eve when their 42-foot catamaran named Miss Adventure caught fire at the Puerto Real Marina in Cabo Rojo. Officials said a 911 call was placed around 6:45 p.m., the New York Post reported.

CHICAGO WOMAN JUMPS OUT 11TH FLOOR WINDOW WITH SON, 1, AFTER STABBING HER FATHER: REPORT 

Police said the fire began in the kitchen although it was not immediately clear how it started.

Westlake Legal Group Gate-Ginna-Tannehill-2-Facebook Louisiana couple dead in Puerto Rico after catamaran catches fire on New Year's Eve Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/us-puerto-rico fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc article 35ba8775-5183-5011-a082-868c58d247b7

Gather and Ginna Tannehil died in Puerto Rico when their catamaran caught on fire, police said. (Facebook)

Gather Tannehill died from burns sustained in the fire while his wife died from smoke inhalation, officials said.

It wasn’t immediately clear where in Louisiana the couple, believed to be between 65 and 70 years old, was from but their boat was registered in New Orleans.

A friend of the Tannehills, who appeared to have been nearby when the fire broke out, took to Facebook on Wednesday to confirm the couple’s death.

“So sad, so sad that my heart hurts,” the post read. “Two neighbors and I tried to extinguish with 3 neighboring whimsy boat water hoses until the firemen arrived and quickly extinguish the cockpit and down below ball of fire.”

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He continued: “They returned to P.R. the day before this past Xmas after sailing a year in the Caribbean and they told us that they came back to make Puerto Rico their home for good.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Gate-Ginna-Tannehill-2-Facebook Louisiana couple dead in Puerto Rico after catamaran catches fire on New Year's Eve Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/us-puerto-rico fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc article 35ba8775-5183-5011-a082-868c58d247b7   Westlake Legal Group Gate-Ginna-Tannehill-2-Facebook Louisiana couple dead in Puerto Rico after catamaran catches fire on New Year's Eve Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/us-puerto-rico fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc article 35ba8775-5183-5011-a082-868c58d247b7

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Man fighting to get his emotional support coyote back after it’s taken by police

Westlake Legal Group AP-Matt-Stokes Man fighting to get his emotional support coyote back after it's taken by police Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 55a3cdaf-eac4-59ec-a282-a01daad8db70

An Iowa man is fighting to regain his pet coyote from a wildlife sanctuary, claiming the animal helps him cope with depression and anxiety.

Waterloo resident Matt Stokes bonded with the coyote, named Drifter, after the animal was left behind by his family in an old shed on Stokes’ property, according to KCRG. But after the coyote was seen wandering around the area, a neighbor called animal control and the so-called pet was taken away in October.

It’s illegal to have a coyote as a pet in Iowa, but Stokes hired an attorney in an effort to get Drifter back from Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary, where the coyote was transferred.

Stokes maintains the animal has “never been wild, he’s always been tame.” He previously told his neighbors that Drifter was a German shepherd.

DELTA REVOKES 8-HOUR FLIGHT LIMIT FOR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS, BUT UPHOLDS BAN ON PIT BULLS

“We would lay on the couch on Saturday afternoons and take a nap together. He’s my buddy,” he reportedly said.

A doctor’s note also claims Drifter is an emotional support animal who helps Stokes with his depression and anxiety, the Iowa outlet reported on Monday.

‘EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL’ MAULS 5-YEAR-OLD AT PORTLAND AIRPORT, LAWSUIT CLAIMS

But Tracy Belle, the sanctuary’s director, said Drifter is “not an emotional support animal. This is a wild coyote that he took out of the wild and decided to make a pet.”

Belle said the goal was to release Drifter back into the wild — something Stokes indicated was dangerous.

Drifter was just a pup when his mother abandoned him, according to Stokes. “He’ll never make it in the wild. He won’t make it a day.”

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Stokes also attributes his own health to the animal, claiming Drifter forced him to take care of himself.

“If it wasn’t for him, I would probably be missing my toe, foot or leg, cause I got an infection of the bone,” he said. “I had to make sure I could take care of myself so I could take care of him.”

Westlake Legal Group AP-Matt-Stokes Man fighting to get his emotional support coyote back after it's taken by police Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 55a3cdaf-eac4-59ec-a282-a01daad8db70   Westlake Legal Group AP-Matt-Stokes Man fighting to get his emotional support coyote back after it's taken by police Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 55a3cdaf-eac4-59ec-a282-a01daad8db70

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘Tumblegeddon’: Washington highway closed for hours after piles of tumbleweed trap cars, semi-truck

Several drivers in Washington state had to be rescued by snowplows after getting trapped in their vehicles on a highway New Year’s Eve, according to officials.

But the rescues had nothing to do with wintry weather.

Tumbleweeds had piled up about 30 feet, blocking State Route 240 and leaving “several vehicles trapped,” including a semi-truck, according to Washington State Patrol. The road was closed in both directions around 6:30 p.m. near West Richland, Wash.

CONNECTICUT DRIVER LIVESTREAMED HIMSELF GOING 102 MPH AND CRASHING, POLICE SAY

Trooper Chris Thorson shared a photo of Department of Transportation workers making their way through the piles of tumbleweeds in the dark as some drivers can still be seen in their vehicles.

Westlake Legal Group tumbleweedwash1 'Tumblegeddon': Washington highway closed for hours after piles of tumbleweed trap cars, semi-truck Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 9bb0dfbe-5d1b-5efb-b279-cae6de02214c

In this image taken Tuesday evening, Dec. 31, 2019, and provided by the Washington State Patrol, a vehicle is trapped by a pile of tumbleweeds along State Route 240 near Richland, Wash. (Trooper Chris Thorson/Washington State Patrol via AP)

Thorson said that the tumbleweeds were piled between 20 and 30 feet high in some places.

Westlake Legal Group tumbleweedwash2 'Tumblegeddon': Washington highway closed for hours after piles of tumbleweed trap cars, semi-truck Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 9bb0dfbe-5d1b-5efb-b279-cae6de02214c

In this image taken Tuesday evening, Dec. 31, 2019, and provided by the Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Transportation using snow plows to remove a pile of tumbleweeds along State Route 240 near Richland, Wash. (Trooper Chris Thorson/Washington State Patrol via AP)

Strong winds blew the tumbleweeds into an area with berms near the roadway, troopers told KVEW, causing the tumbleweeds to create a much larger blockage than normal. Cars that stopped to avoid hitting the tumbleweeds quickly got buried.

No injuries were reported. Thorson said five cars and one 18-wheel semi-truck in total wound up trapped.

“People were still stuck at midnight and rung in the new year trapped under the weeds,” Thorson said.

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On Wednesday, Thorson said that troopers found one abandoned, stuck car at daylight, but no one was inside.

A video from Thorson with the hashtag “tumblegeddon” showed workers from the DOT digging the vehicle out.

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The WSDOT East said on Twitter that crews were continuing to keep watch on the highway.

“They will be patrolling through this evening to help keep the road open to traffic,” the agency said. “Please take care if you choose to travel through this area as winds continue to move the tumbleweeds around.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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