U.S. Marshals capture “War Machine”

I’m a crime writer and also a fan of the sport of mixed martial arts. But typically, when the two meet, it’s not a good thing.

MMA fighters are no different than other athletes — many are college-educated, have competed in the Olympics, and run their own businesses — while others have had a disadvantaged start to their lives.

Just because they are fighters doesn’t mean they get into fights outside of the cage any more than their professional counterparts. As a matter of fact, many of them have been bouncers in bars, getting rid of rabble-rousers, and often use their skills to prevent crime when they come upon it.

I say all this because of the broad brush with which fighters are sometimes painted in the media. Since MMA debuted in the U.S, in 1993, the image of the MMA has improved in the public eye, I would say. However, one guy in particular, though, has sent a lot of the hard work down the drain.

He calls himself “War Machine,” although he has never served in the military. And knowing several true soldiers, I doubt anyone who served would legally change their name to that — most soldiers are humble, don’t glorify warfare and don’t like to draw attention to themselves.

Not Jon Koppenhaver, aka War Machine. This guy has a penchant for beating people up at the drop of a hat. I was horrified at the alleged events that unfolded over the past week or so. Police say Koppenhaver broke into ex-girlfriend Christy Mack’s home, beat up a guy who was there, ordered him to leave. Then, he brutally assaulted Mack, breaking bones in her face, cutting off her hair, and then sexually assaulted her, police said.

He then left, and hid out for several days, instead of facing justice like a man. The U.S. Marshals found him in California and brought him back to Las Vegas, where the alleged crimes took place.

I’m aware that Koppenhaver has said he was “fighting for his life” inside Mack’s home, that he had gone there to propose to her, and that he doesn’t think the justice system will give him a fair shake.

But what he needed to do as soon as the incident was over was hire a decent lawyer and turn himself in. It would have looked better for him — avoiding being named a fugitive from justice — and it would have started the justice process moving a lot sooner.

Even if he is totally innocent of the charges, he owed at least that to Mack, as she lay in a hospital bed, her eyes shut from repeated punches, a broken rib and ruptured liver.

Click here to see War Machine’s mugshot.

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On the digital beat, York County cops embrace social media

Note: This post is the first in a series of articles focusing on cops in York using social media.

Carroll Township Police frequently post on its Facebook page. The department is one of many across York County that use social media to get information out to the public.

Carroll Township Police frequently post on its Facebook page. The department is one of many across York County which use social media to get information out to the public.

Information is power, says Carroll Township Police Department spokesman David Smith.

And the quicker that information can get out to the public, the better, the sergeant said recently.

It seems today that just as a cop might reach for a set of handcuffs or pen and paper, he might also be grabbing his cellphone and thumbing out a Tweet.

“Social media is kind of taking over with law enforcement because you can get information out almost real time,” Smith said.

The Carroll Township Police department is on the smaller side — it employs 11 officers and covers Dillsburg Borough along with Monaghan and Carroll townships. The department has yet to launch a Twitter account, but its Facebook page has garnered 1,253 likes.

On one of the page’s latest posts, the department shared an image of a cellphone which had been found on the street in Carroll Township. Later that same day, after 13 people shared the picture and information, the department commented that the phone had been returned to its owner.

Earlier this month, Carroll Township police posted this image of a lost cell phone. Later that day, thanks to sharing of the image on Facebook, the phone was returned to its owner.

Earlier this month, Carroll Township police posted this image of a lost cell phone. Later that day, thanks to sharing of the image on Facebook, the phone was returned to its owner.

“It’s new for us so we’re experimenting with it,” Sgt. Smith said. “As technology has grown, we have to figure out how we’re going to use it.”

For Smith, one of the best aspects of hopping on the social media wagon is that it provides another set of eyes during a police incident or investigation. Afterall, “the police can’t be everywhere at once,” he added.

To better understand the growing trends of social media, Smith said he attended a course with a group out of Maryland in March. The group, Smith said, is comprised of Baltimore city officials and the course also featured a local reporter who spoke about how social media has changed the manner in which information gets out to the public.

“If you look at everybody, they’re always looking at their phones,” Sgt. Smith said. “It’s the wave of the future. I’d like to use it more.”

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York County crime watch 8/15/14

Take a look at what’s been happening in York County district court this week.

Judge Robert Eckenrode:

Crime watch for Judge Robert Eckenrode

Judge Barry Bloss Jr.:

Crime watch for Judge Barry Bloss Jr.

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York County crime watch 8/8/14

Take a look at what’s happening around York County district courts.

District Judge Barry Bloss Jr.:

District Judge Barry Bloss Jr.'s crime watch 8/4/14

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Don’t wear your PJs to district court

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York County crime watch 8/1

Take a look at what’s happening in York County district courts this week.

Judge Robert Eckenrode:

District Judge Robert Eckenrode's crime watch

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York County crime watch 7/25/14

Take a look at what’s happening in York County district courts this week.

District Judge Scott Laird:

District Judge Scott Laird's crime watch

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York County crime watch 7/19/14

Take a look at what’s been happening in district courts around York County.

Judge Jeffrey Oberdorf:

District Judge Jeffrey Oberdorf's crime watch


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Firefighters have a tough job — both fighting fires and at Can-Am Games

firehose
Firefighters work to extinguish a mobile home fire in Fairview Township on Tuesday. Fairview Township Police Officer Tim Dehoff said one of the trailer’s occupants told him he and his wife just had a new furnace installed. “He heard some popping noises and the next thing he knew, the whole ceiling was on fire,” Dehoff said. (Ted Czech — Daily Record/Sunday News)

Last week, I went out to two fires in York County — the first at a mobile home Fairview Township, and then, a couple hours later that morning, one at a home in East Manchester Township.

In both fires, rescue workers battled not only the flames, but the punishing temperatures. Joe Madzelan, a battalion chief with York Area Fire and Rescue, said the equipment firefighters carry is easily 50 pounds.

That’s no joke. Years ago, I volunteered to run the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenger event in York — which simulates some of the tasks firefighters have to do in their work. I was exhausted afterward, to say the least.

In fact, there are similar events going on all this week during the Can-Am Games as thousands of firefighters and police officers descend on York to compete. One of the events is the Toughest Firefighter event, sort of a decathlon for firefighters.

To give you an idea of the work firefighters do, here are two of my Touts from last week:

East Manchester Township fire:

Fairview Township fire:

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York County crime watch 7/11/14

Take a look at what’s been happening in District Judge Robert Eckenrode’s office:

District Judge Robert Eckenrode's crime watch

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