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Man arrested after shots fired at West Melbourne officer during traffic stop
<p>Police served a search warrant and then arrested a man who now faces charges in an incident involving nearly a dozen shots fired at a West Melbourne&nbsp;officer during a traffic stop, investigators said Tuesday.</p><p>Joseph Alan Bellinger, 27, will face the following counts: the attempted felony murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, and discharging a firearm in public, according to a statement from the West Melbourne Police Department.</p><p>&ldquo;Detectives have been working around the clock since this ... occurred,&rdquo; officers said in a statement. &ldquo;After conducting multiple interviews, executing search warrants, and examining physical evidence, detectives developed probable cause for (Bellinger&rsquo;s) arrest.&rdquo;</p><p>Police on Tuesday learned that Bellinger was in a home at 180 District St. SE in the city of Palm Bay, officials said.</p><p>West Melbourne detectives and investigators with the Palm Bay Police Department maintained surveillance&nbsp;while probable cause was established.</p><p>Police and a SWAT team served the search warrant at the home and took Bellinger, of Melbourne, into custody without any problems.</p><p>He will be held at the Brevard County Jail, without the option to post bond.</p><p>Bellinger will go before a judge at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.</p><p>Additional charges are pending.</p><p>Although police originally named Amanda Peacock as a person of interest, officers said late Tuesday that there is no reason to believe she was involved. Peacock has cooperated with investigators.</p><p>More than 10 shots were fired at a West Melbourne police officer Monday night in a traffic stop, but no one was injured, authorities said.</p><p>West Melbourne police spokesman Cpt. Richard Cordeau&nbsp;said&nbsp;Officer Joseph Jones conducted a stop of&nbsp;a speeding 2016 white Nissan Altima around 9:20 a.m. on Sheridan Road.</p><p>The driver turned into a&nbsp;residential neighborhood on Sylvan Drive and stopped before several shots were fired at the officer from the driver&#39;s side of the vehicle, police said.</p><p>The car then sped off, and Jones tried to stay close in an attempt to get the vehicle&#39;s license plate number, according to authorities.</p><p>More shots were fired from the vehicle at the officer, police said.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s clear that he demonstrated a propensity for violence last night,&quot; Cordeau told News 6 on Tuesday.</p><p>None of the shots hit the officer&#39;s vehicle and Jones was not injured, officials said.</p><p>Jones was unable to safely return fire, according to a news release.</p><p>&quot;We are extremely impressed with my officer&#39;s actions last night. He was calm to the point that you really didn&#39;t know that a shooting happened,&quot; West Melbourne police Chief Richard Wiley said.</p><p>The culprit&#39;s car was found abandoned near&nbsp;Lemon Grove Avenue. Police said surveillance video from a nearby home showed a male figure running from the abandoned vehicle.</p><p>The owner of the vehicle,&nbsp;Amanda Michelle Peacock, and her boyfriend, Bellinger, were at one time sought in the shooting.</p><p>&quot;This is a very dangerous individual,&quot; Wiley said of Bellinger. &quot;That bullet could have easily struck someone in a household.&quot;</p><p>Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the West Melbourne Police Department or call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.</p><p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mRQ4ZzTpGNM" width="560"></iframe></p>

Democrat Doug Jones wins Alabama Senate seat
<p>Doug Jones on Tuesday became the first Democrat in a generation to win a Senate seat in Alabama, beating Republican Roy Moore amid a firestorm of allegations that the GOP candidate had sexually abused teens.</p><p>Moore, however, refused to concede Tuesday night.</p><p>&quot;When the vote is this close ... it&#39;s not over,&quot; Moore told supporters after Jones declared victory.</p><p>Politico reports that with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Jones leads Moore 49.9&nbsp;percent (671,151 votes) to 48.4&nbsp;percent (650,436 votes). Other candidates had 22,819 votes, or 1.7 percent, according to Politico. The current 1.1 percent margin is outside of the 0.5 or less necessary to trigger an automatic recount.</p><p>If Jones&#39; win holds,the reliably red state of Alabama will have elected its first Democratic senator since the early 1990s.</p><p>&quot;I think I have been waiting all my life and now I don&#39;t know what the hell to say,&quot; Jones said Tuesday night.</p><p>&quot;I am truly overwhelmed,&quot; he added. &quot;We have shown, not just around the state of Alabama, but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified.&quot;</p><p>&quot;This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign -- this campaign has been about the rule of law,&quot; he said. &quot;This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life.&quot;</p><p>Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN that while results are not yet certified, it is &quot;highly unlikely&quot; Jones will not be the winner of the Senate race.</p><p>&quot;I would find that highly unlikely to occur ... there&#39;s not a whole of mistakes that are made,&quot; Merrill said.</p><p>Should the results hold, the Republican Party&#39;s narrow Senate majority will be trimmed to 51-49. And two wings -- the establishment led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and an insurgency led by former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon -- are now in open civil war headed into an already fraught midterm election year.</p><p>It&#39;s an especially awkward outcome for Trump, who endorsed Moore on Twitter and rallied for him at a campaign event just across Alabama&#39;s state line.</p><p>&quot;This is an earthquake... it&#39;s devastating for the President,&quot; a source close to the White House said.</p><p>Moore&#39;s defeat amid allegations of child molestation and sexual assault could fuel growing calls from Democrats for Trump to resign from office over the accusations of sexual assault against him.</p><p>Shortly after the race was called, Trump tweeted, &quot;Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!&quot;</p> <h3>Large African-American turnout carries Jones</h3> <p>Jones&#39; victory was fueled by huge turnout -- and near-unanimous support -- from black voters.</p> <p>Turnout was much stronger in heavily African-American counties, relative to recent presidential elections, than in rural, white counties.</p> <p>CNN&#39;s exit poll found that 30% of the electorate was black -- a higher share than in the 2008 and 2012 elections, when Barack Obama was on the ballot. The exit poll showed that 96% of black voters backed Jones.</p> <p>Jones cast the election as an opportunity for Alabama voters to reject the embarrassment he said Moore was sure to bring the state. His campaign focused heavily on turning out African-American voters in the run-up to election day, with civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and other black leaders hitting the trail alongside Jones.</p> <p>&quot;I love Alabama, but at some point we&#39;ve got to draw a line in the sand and say, &#39;We&#39;re not a bunch of damn idiots,&#39;&quot; retired basketball star Charles Barkley, who played at Auburn University, said at Jones&#39; election eve rally in Birmingham.</p> <h3>Moore&#39;s denials fall short</h3> <p>The Moore campaign&#39;s strategy for confronting the allegations was simple: Deflect and deny -- rolling out allies to praise Moore&#39;s character without ever directly answering questions about the specifics of the accusations.</p> <p>His campaign seized on minor openings -- the location of the phone in one accuser&#39;s house; the date and location details another accuser had added to what she said was Moore&#39;s signature in her yearbook -- to attempt to broadly discredit the allegations.</p> <p>Moore himself, meanwhile, all but disappeared from the campaign trail -- even taking a weekend trip to West Point with his wife on the weekend before the election.</p> <p>How badly did the sexual allegations damage Moore? Exit polls were virtually split as to whether voters believed the allegations: 51% said they were probably or definitely true while 44% said they were probably or definitely false. A majority of the electorate, 57%, decided who to support before news of Moore&#39;s alleged child molestation and sexual assault broke in November.</p> <p>Moore&#39;s campaign similarly deflected questions about his long history of controversial remarks -- including saying that homosexuality should be a crime and that Muslims should not be allowed in Congress.</p> <p>It all culminated in a bizarre election eve rally in Midland City, in which an Army friend described Moore deciding to leave a brothel in Vietnam and his wife Kayla Moore responding to Moore being portrayed as anti-Semitic over his attacks on Jewish progressive mega-donor George Soros by declaring, &quot;One of our attorneys is a Jew.&quot;</p> <p>Moore had hung the election&#39;s results on his own character Monday night.</p> <p>&quot;I&#39;m going to tell you,&quot; he said then, &quot;if you don&#39;t believe in my character, don&#39;t vote for me.&quot;</p> <h3>McConnell, establishment GOP abandoned Moore</h3> <p>McConnell decided Moore wasn&#39;t worth the headache and withdrew support for him -- which means the Senate Republican campaign arm and a super PAC that usually backs its candidates were nowhere to be found in the closing weeks in Alabama.</p>

St. Cloud family disturbed after finding bullet on home's back porch
<p>A family in Osceola County said Tuesday that someone has been firing off a weapon in a nearby field, which is putting their neighborhood, and their home, in danger.</p><p>Family members found their own house had been struck by a bullet.</p><p>Deputies with the Osceola County Sheriff&rsquo;s Office told News 6 they&#39;re still investigating what happened after a bullet was discovered on the patio of the home.</p><p>The homeowner, Derek Nesmith, just wants people using guns to be more aware of their surroundings, he said.</p><p>&ldquo;... What goes up must come down,&rdquo; Nesmith said.</p><p>Nesmith showed News 6 around the back porch of his house on Hickory Tree Road, where the bullet came in and where it hit the wall. He said it looks like it bounced off a wall before his wife found it lying on the rug.</p><p>&quot;She&rsquo;s like, &lsquo;Come here. I need to show you something,&rsquo;&rdquo; Nesmith said. &ldquo;And I said, &lsquo;OK.&rsquo; (It was) very scary because we have children on both sides, ourselves and we have the animals out back.</p><p>Nesmith said the family is used to hearing shots go off because they live in a rural area of St. Cloud, but Sunday afternoon, relatives said these shots came too close for comfort -- just past the fence in their backyard where they keep their two horses.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Three other neighbors reported the same incident (on) the same day,&rdquo; Nesmith said. &ldquo;It went on for about an hour.&rdquo;</p><p>His wife was upset by the incident, and posted about it on Facebook, warning others.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;It really drives home that people don&#39;t understand the repercussions when they&#39;re shooting -- what can be beyond what they&#39;re aiming for,&rdquo; Nesmith said. &ldquo;This could (have) been a totally different scenario had (another) of us been standing here.&rdquo;</p><p>Nesmith said the family has filed a report with the Sheriff&#39;s Office and given deputies the bullet as evidence.‚Äč</p>

Investigation into shark-dragging video nets 3 arrests, FWC says
<p>Three men have been arrested in connection with a shark-dragging video that went viral in July, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.</p><p>Officials announced Tuesday evening that a four-month investigation into the video led them to charge&nbsp;Michael Wenzel, 21, of Palmetto; Robert Lee Benac, 28, of Bradenton; and Spencer Heintz, 23, of Palmetto.</p><p>All three men are facing two counts of aggravated animal cruelty, a third-degree felony. Wenzel and Benac&nbsp;each face an additional misdemeanor charge of illegally taking a shark.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.clickorlando.com/news/video-men-drag-shark-from-back-of-moving-boat" target="_blank">10-second video</a>, which outraged Floridians, local politicians and animal activists alike, showed a shark tethered behind a speeding watercraft, flailing in the boat&#39;s wake.</p><p>Three young men were also seen in the video, pointing and laughing at the animal.</p><p>&ldquo;I was outraged by the sickening video of a shark being horribly abused earlier this year. Florida has no tolerance for this mistreatment, and I am proud of the hard work of FWC law enforcement during this investigation to hold these individuals accountable for their horrific actions,&rdquo; Gov. Rick Scott said.</p><p><img embed-content-articleid="552924398" embed-content-groupid="33113" embed-content-id="552939207" embed-content-imgalign="none" embed-content-index="0" embed-content-type="subStoryType" height="240px" src="https://media.clickorlando.com/photo/2017/07/25/shark_1501006937645_10161442_ver1.0_160_90.png" style="width:100%;" width="360px" /></p><p>Shortly after the video&nbsp; gained traction online, FWC officials said&nbsp;that they had identified the men involved&nbsp;but would not release their names until charges had been filed. The investigation into the&nbsp;video and additional social media posts &quot;involving shocking disregard for Florida&rsquo;s natural resources&quot; led to the filing of charges, according to a news release.</p><p>The three men have since bonded out of the Hillsborough County Jail.</p>

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