Henry Ave Shooting
Release Date: Friday, 16th of November 2012
November 16, 2012
The Waynesboro Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred in the 100 block of Henry Ave in the early evening of November 15, 2012. At approximately 7:50 PM, officers responded to area in the Wayne Hills section of the city for a report of several shots being fired. When the officers arrived, they did not immediately find any damage or injuries from gunfire. Nonetheless, they maintained a presence in the area due to recent criminal activity on that particular block.
Approximately an hour later, a resident arrived home and discovered the back window of a 1988 GMC pick-up truck parked on her property had been shot out. Upon closer inspection of the scene, officers and the residents found six additional bullet holes located in the front of house. None of the bullets penetrated the home’s stucco siding. At the time of the initial call of the shooting, there were three adults and two children, aged three years and eleven months, in the home. Also, officers shut down the stretch of Henry Ave in front of the residence in an attempt to locate evidence. They found twelve shell casings from a small caliber handgun in the street covering an area of nearly 150 feet.
Presently, there are no suspects in this case.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Waynesboro Police Department at (540) 942-6675 or Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at 1(800)322-2017. Information given to Crime Stoppers may be given anonymously. Callers with information that lead to an arrest in this case are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.
Release Date: Thursday, 15th of November 2012
The Waynesboro Police Department is requesting information on a reckless driving incident that happened on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 in front of Kate Collins Middle School, 1625 Ivy St. At 3:25 PM, the police department’s crossing guard was in the street attempting to stop traffic for a female student when a black sports utility vehicle (possibly a Chevrolet Blazer) failed to stop immediately and nearly struck both the guard and the student. The crossing guard had to pull the student out of the vehicle’s path. The vehicle eventually stopped but did so when it was in the crosswalk. The driver was a white female in her sixties or seventies who has reddish blonde, curly hair.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Brian Edwards at the Waynesboro Police Department at (540) 942-6685.
Release Date: Wednesday, 14th of November 2012
The Waynesboro Police Department is seeking information on a vandalism that occurred to the home of a Waynesboro citizen sometime overnight on Thursday, November 14, 2012. At approximately 1:45 AM, officers from the Police Department responded to a residence in the 100 block of Henry Ave for a report of a prowler call. When they arrived, they found graffiti written in black spray paint on two sides of the victim’s house. The graffiti contained racial epithets. The suspect or suspects had apparently fled the property prior to the officers’ arrival.
The Police Department has begun a “hate crime” investigation into this incident. The Code of Virginia statute concerning hate crimes is reprinted below:
§ 52-8.5. Reporting hate crimes.
A. The Superintendent shall establish and maintain within the Department of State Police a central repository for the collection and analysis of information regarding hate crimes and groups and individuals carrying out such acts.
B. State, county and municipal law-enforcement agencies shall report to the Department all hate crimes occurring in their jurisdictions in a form, time and manner prescribed by the Superintendent. Such reports shall not be open to public inspection except insofar as the Superintendent shall permit.
C. For purposes of this section, "hate crime" means (i) a criminal act committed against a person or his property with the specific intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion or ethnic origin or that is committed for the purpose of restraining that person from exercising his rights under the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States, (ii) any illegal act directed against any persons or their property because of those persons' race, religion or national origin, and (iii) all other incidents, as determined by law-enforcement authorities, intended to intimidate or harass any individual or group because of race, religion or national origin.
(1988, c. 838; 2002, cc. 588, 623.)
Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. R.B. Luzader of the Waynesboro Police Department at 942-6675 or Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at 1(800)322-2017. Information given to Crime Stoppers may be given anonymously. Anyone giving information that leads to an arrest in this case is eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.
Release Date: Wednesday, 14th of November 2012
MEDIA BRIEFING – TAIT CASE
On March 18, 2011 the Waynesboro Police Department began an investigation into the reported sexual abuse of a child that was alleged to have occurred in the City over the course of several years. This investigation was expanded in April of 2011 to include Possession of Child Pornography pursuant to the execution of a search warrant, the recovery of thousands of images of Children engaged in sexually explicit acts or poses, and the resulting laboratory analysis of those images.
Thomas Neal Tait, 52, who is a Waynesboro resident, was charged on July 16th, 2012 with 20 counts of Possession of Child Pornography and was subsequently convicted of those crimes on September 26th, 2012. He is currently in jail and awaiting sentencing.
The original child sexual abuse case for which this investigation began remains active and without disposition pending further examination of the evidence as well as any new information which may come to light.
Early in the course of the above two cases investigators became concerned for the whereabouts and welfare of Thomas Tait’s wife, Karen Santillan Tait. Karen was a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines who had married Thomas in 1998 in the Philippines, and legally immigrated to the United States in July of 2000. She gave birth to a child later that year and the family lived in Waynesboro until 2002 when Karen’s whereabouts became unknown. When questioned about his wife pertaining to the above cases, Thomas Tait told investigators that Karen simply left and he presumed that she had returned to her family in the Philippines, and has had no contact with him or her child since.
Based on this and additional information uncovered during the investigation officers began trying to determine if Karen had, in fact, returned to her homeland or possibly relocated somewhere else. This led to a significant effort on behalf of multiple law enforcement and government agencies both in the U.S. as well as the Philippines. This effort included searching multiple data bases along with a simultaneous effort to locate and interview Karen’s family overseas.
Karen’s family was found and eventually interviewed in accordance with the appropriate international protocol involved in such matters. Through this initial interview, it was confirmed that Karen had not returned to the Philippines nor had she had any contact with her family since 2002. In addition no trace of her appeared to exist in any data base since the same time frame.
This finding led the Waynesboro Police Department to declare Karen Tait a Missing Person (Involuntary) and a case was opened on December 16, 2011. As a result she was entered into the National Criminal Information Center and other Missing Person related data bases. In addition, a DNA Profile of Karen was developed using DNA from her biological child, and her parents in the Philippines. This profile was entered into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) operated by the FBI and shortly a match was determined. The profile linked to an unidentified remains case that had been entered into CODIS by the West Virginia Medical examiner’s office. This body had been discovered on September 26, 2002 in the Greenbrier State Forest by a passerby and was determined to be a young, small framed female, of Asian descent.
Based on these preliminary results Karen’s dental records were requested from the Philippines and subsequently compared to those of the unknown remains. Additional more detailed DNA testing was completed along with other forensics.
As a result, on October 16th, 2012 The Waynesboro Police Department was notified by The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in West Virginia that the remains found in their state had been positively identified as those of Karen Santillan Tait, who would have been 23 years old at the time of her death. Additionally, they have further determined that the cause of death is Homicide. Additional Information can be found in this packet detailing the DNA testing and results. Karen’s next of kin has been properly notified of her death.
Based on this conclusion the Waynesboro Police Department has closed the Missing Person Case and has opened a Homicide investigation. This investigation is being worked jointly with the West Virginia State Police and in close cooperation with both jurisdictions’ prosecutors. In addition, The Virginia State Police and the US Department of State, Diplomatic Security Office has been instrumental in bringing this case to the point we are currently. We look forward to continuing to partner with them as well as all other agencies that have so ably assisted us thus far. Please see attached list for all agencies and data bases that have provided help to the Waynesboro Police Department relating to this case.
We offer our sincere condolences to Karen’s family, both in this country and in the Philippines and we hope they will find some solace in her being found. We will continue to follow the evidence wherever it leads and will do all in our power to bring this case to a logical conclusion and obtain justice for Karen Tait.
In relation to the ongoing investigation we are asking anyone who knew Karen or Thomas Tait, especially between 2000 and 2002 while they resided at 908 Fairfax Ave. Apt. #1 in Waynesboro, to contact Cpl. Alyssa Campbell at 540-942-6511. In addition Officers are trying to locate information concerning a 1990 bluish gray Cadillac Deville bearing Vehicle Identification Number 1G6CD5339L4366432. This vehicle was owned by the Taits during the same time period and is visible in at least one photo of the couple in an unknown wooded area. Again, person’s with information are requested to call 540-942-6511 or alternatively they may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322- 2017.
Release Date: Tuesday, 13th of November 2012
Update November 26, 2012
On today’s date at 8:10 AM, officers from the Waynesboro Police Department arrested Wood outside a residence in the 500 block of Hamlet Ave. Officers responded to the area for a report of a suspicious individual dressed all in black attempting to get into an apartment. When they arrived, they encountered Wood who gave offered them no resistance other than trying to give them a false identity.
He was arrested on the nine Waynesboro charges noted below and three Virginia State Police felony charges for failing to re-register as a sex offender. He is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail.
On Monday, November 12, 2012 at approximately 2144hrs the Waynesboro Police Department responded to the area of North Park on 2nd Street after a female called 911 stating her car had been stolen and she was now in an argument with the subject near North Park. While officers were en route another citizen in the area of 3rd Street and North Bath Ave. called 911 to report a confrontation in the roadway and gunshots were fired with a person then running away from the area.
Once officers were on scene, they located the original female caller. It was determined through investigation allegedly there was an argument at a residence on the east side of the city. The suspect, identified as Frankie Myles Wood, 27yrs old from Waynesboro took the female’s car without permission. She followed him in a separate vehicle to 3rd St. and N. Bath Ave where an another argument ensued. Wood produced a pistol and fired one shot into the air. Wood then got into a struggle with the female over the set of keys. He forcefully took the keys from the female and fled the area on foot. The female was not injured. Wood and the female knew one another and this incident was not a random act.
The weapon allegedly used was recovered at the scene. Waynesboro Police utilized their K-9 and were also assisted by deputies from the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office in searching the area for Wood but were unsuccessful in locating him at the time of this release. Based on the investigation, he was charged with the following criminal offenses:
Felony 18.2-102/46.2-390 Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
Misd. 18.2-282 Brandishing a Firearm
Misd. 18.2-56.1 Reckless Handling of a Firearm
Felony 18.2-58 Robbery
Felony 18.2-308.2 Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Misd. 18.2-57.2 Assault & Battery
Misd. 46.2-301 Drive While License is Revoked
Wood was already wanted prior to this incident stemming from two previously issued misdemeanor warrants for 16.1-253.2: violation of a protective order. If anyone has information concerning his whereabouts, please contact the Waynesboro Police Department at 942-6675 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-2017. A photo of Wood is attached with this media release. Any further inquiries regarding this media release please contact Sgt. Brian Edwards at 942-6685.
Drunk as a Skunk
Release Date: Tuesday, 13th of November 2012
An officer from the Waynesboro Police Department made an unusual DUI arrest of a Waynesboro man on November 11, 2012. The officer arrested Efrain Moreno Alvarez, 40 years old, for driving under the influence of alcohol at approximately 2:30 pm on the parking lot of Plaza Azteca, 23 Windigrove Dr. A witness reported that Alvarez, who was driving a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina, had struck a guardrail on Interstate 64. After the crash, Alvarez left the scene and continued driving erratically into the city. The witness called 911 to report the incident and continued to follow Alvarez’s vehicle to the Plaza Azteca lot where the officer intercepted him.
When the officer approached Alvarez, not only did he detect a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver but also a strong odor of skunk. The officer noticed an object in a plastic grocery bag hanging from the rear windshield wiper. Also the wiper was in motion even though the weather was clear. After having Alvarez perform some field sobriety tests, the officer arrested him for driving under the influence of alcohol. When the officer asked Alvarez what he had in the grocery bag hanging from his wiper, he responded it was a skunk he had killed. Alvarez told the officer he was trying to find a receptacle to dispose of the carcass when he was stopped by the officer.
Alvarez had a blood alcohol content of .15; he was transported to Middle River Regional Jail.
Ronnie Lee Farris
Release Date: Friday, 9th of November 2012
Update November 14, 2012
The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office arrested Farris on November 13, 2012 around 11:00 pm on all outstanding county and city charges. He is being held at Middle River Regional Jail. Please contact the Sheriff’s Office for any additional information.
The Waynesboro Police Department is requesting information on the whereabouts of a Waynesboro man wanted by both the Police Department and the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office on several charges. Ronnie Lee Farris, 28 years old, height/5’6”, weight/180 lbs, is wanted on a Waynesboro General District Court capias and a Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court capias. Both bench warrants are for failure to appear. The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office has six outstanding warrants for Farris.
Farris has been wanted by the Police Department since early October. On today’s date at approximately 3:30 pm, deputies and officers from both agencies were searching for him near Parkway Village Apartments when he fled to the railroad tracks near the Genicom complex off Hopeman Parkway. Information indicated that Farris was armed with a handgun at the time. Nearly twenty officers and three K-9 units from both departments and the National Park Service responded to search the area.
After an hour’s search which yielded no arrest, additional information received indicated that Farris had been picked up and was in a vehicle heading to the area near the intersection of
E Broad St & E Main St. Officers located the vehicle in an alley in the 400 block of E Main St. but Farris had again fled on foot. The driver of the vehicle was arrested by the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office. Another K-9 search of the area was unsuccessful. The search ended around 5:20 pm.
Farris is still considered armed & extremely dangerous.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Waynesboro Police Department, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office or Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at 1(800)322-2017. Information given to Crime Stoppers may be given anonymously.
School Bus Incident
Release Date: Friday, 19th of October 2012
The Waynesboro Police Department has charged two Waynesboro women after they boarded a Waynesboro Public School bus and shouted obscenities at the driver and schoolchildren. On October 18, 2012 at 7:45 am, officers responded to Parkway Village Apartments because the bus driver had contacted the School System’s Central Office indicating two parents had gotten on the bus after she told them not to and were acting hostile towards her. The bus was picking up elementary school students when Jill Marie Bryant, 25 years old, and Keyshana Childress, 26 years old, boarded the bus because they were upset that the bus was running late and appeared overcrowded. They cursed the bus driver and walked down the aisle of the bus after the driver told them leave. The bus driver reported saying the children were visibly upset by the incident.
Both women were charged with disorderly conduct and released.
Pine Ave Pursuit
Release Date: Thursday, 18th of October 2012
The mother of an unlicensed fifteen year old Waynesboro boy called Waynesboro Police last night shortly before 11:00 P.M. to report that he had taken her 2007 Chevrolet Van without permission. Officers were on the lookout for the vehicle when it was spotted driving on McElroy and Short Street at approximately 11:04 P.M. The vehicle began driving erratically and the driver was signaled to stop by an officer that was following it. Instead of stopping the driver increased his speed in an attempt to elude the officer and continued to disregard lights and siren as it proceeded south on Arch Ave, crossed Wayne Ave to Rife Road and proceeded up 16th Street where it turned right onto Pine Ave. The vehicle continued to evade for approximately 1 ½ blocks before striking two parked cars in the 500 block of Pine Ave.
The first vehicle struck was a 1991 Toyota Pickup that, upon impact, was propelled across the road coming to land on its top in an adjacent yard. The second vehicle was a 1996 Volkswagen 4 door and was struck in the rear where the Chevy Van came to rest.
The Juvenile driver was injured in the crash and had to be extricated from the vehicle prior to being transported by Air Care to University of Virginia Medical Center where he remains in stable condition.
Charges pending completion of the investigation.
Hopeman Pkway Horse Crash
Release Date: Monday, 15th of October 2012
On Friday, October 12, 2012 at approximately 10:00 pm, officers from the Waynesboro Police Department responded to the scene of a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Hopeman Parkway and Monroe St involving an SUV and a horse.
A 2001 Toyota RAV4, driven by a 58 year old Fishersville man, was traveling southbound on Hopeman Parkway and had just cleared the intersection when a horse coming from the area of the Moose Lodge came over an embankment and ran in front of the vehicle when it was struck. The driver said he was going about 35 mph and was unable to stop in time. The owner of the horse, Ellis Carson Via, 62 years old of Waynesboro, had ridden the seven year old horse to the Moose Lodge from his home on North Delphine Ave and improperly secured it to a tree. After getting loose, it walked down a hill and into traffic where it got struck. Via then attempted to walk the horse back to his residence before being located by officers near the intersection of Hopeman Parkway and Ivy St.
The horse suffered significant injuries to it front legs and was losing large amounts of blood before the Waynesboro First Aid Crew applied a tourniquet to its front right leg. A veterinarian from Commonwealth Veterinary Clinic and the Police Department’s Animal Control Officer responded to the scene and were able to make arrangements to have the horse transported by trailer to the Mountain View Equine Hospital in Raphine.
The driver of the vehicle was uninjured and not charged in the accident. His vehicle sustained approximately $5000 in damage.
Via was arrested from public intoxication and additional charges are pending.
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