skip to main | skip to sidebar

May 25, 2012

Your 2 hourly digest for U.S. News

U.S. News
Stories from NBC reporters around the country.
Beer-guzzling cows crash backyard party
May 25th 2012, 13:57


Cows on the loose in Boxford, Mass., reportedly crashed a backyard party and went right for the beer.

“They enjoyed it. There’s no doubt about it. They went right for the beer and then when one was done, they’d knock another one over and take care of that beer,” Lt. James Riter of the Boxford Police Department told NBC affiliate

Police said they heard screams from a group of women as five or six cows stumbled into the yard, eagerly hurtling toward the beers.

“They got up as the cows went toward the table. They stepped back and the cows took over the table, knocking over the beers with their noses, drinking the beer off the table. They went to the recycling bin to find any leftovers,” Riter told the TV station.

A caller told the 911 dispatcher: “We thought they were deer, but they're huge, huge, huge cows. There's got to be five or six of them.”

Andrea Poritzky also called 911 after spotting "about six cows" in her yard.

"I don't own cows,” she said.

“I was initially a little nervous. And then after I found it very comical and not very surprising due to the fact that we live in the country here,” Poritzky said.

A police escort rounded up the cows and returned them to a farm about a mile away.

More content from and NBC News:

Follow US News on on Twitter and Facebook

'Flaunting it': Gay bar bans straight bachelorette parties
May 25th 2012, 13:03

View more videos at:

By Angie Crouch and Bill French,

The Abbey nightclub in West Hollywood, Calif., regularly welcomes customers who are not gay. But operators say there will be an exception to that policy until same-sex marriage is legal across the land.

“We love our straight girlfriends coming in to celebrate one of the happiest days of their life," says Abbey owner David Cooley. "But it’s also a slap in the face to my customers and my life that we can’t have that same celebration.”

Male go-go dancers are just one reason why one of America's most popular gay bars has become a big draw for straight women's bachelorette parties.

Each weekend, The Abbey hosts several dozen ladies night parties. But Cooley says, no more. Until marriage is legal for everyone, straight women can no longer celebrate their pending nuptials at his club.

His position is getting mixed reviews from both gay and straight customers.

“Everyone should be able to get married," says Roshanna Sabaratnam. "We shouldn’t, as straight people, be flaunting it in front of people who can’t.”

But, there are also some gay customers who disagree.

“I think the ban is an interesting approach to the debate about gay marriage," says Alexander Villalobos. "But I think you shouldn’t limit other people’s rights in order to get yours.”

More content from and NBC News:

Follow US News on on Twitter and Facebook

thumbnail Accused Etan Patz killer to appear in court today
May 25th 2012, 12:23

A former bodega stock clerk has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York City in 1979. WNBC-TV's Jonathan Dienst reports.

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz,

A former bodega stock clerk arrested for allegedly luring 6-year-old Etan Patz off a SoHo street with the promise of a soda before strangling him in a basement will be arraigned in a lower Manhattan courtroom Friday. 

Police say the arrest of Pedro Hernandez Thursday solves a case that has mystified New York City for decades.

Patz vanished on his way to a school bus stop 33 years ago today. The case drew international attention and changed the way parents felt about letting their young children go off alone.

Police announced Thursday that Hernandez, 51, told them he lured Patz into a bodega where he worked, near the boy's house, and attacked the child, choking him to death in the basement.

Hernandez was taken to Bellevue Medical Center on Friday to receive a medical evaluation, reported. A source familiar with the case said he was on suicide watch; relatives have said he has a history of mental issues.

Hernandez was still expected to make his court appearance on Friday.

For more, visit

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said police focused on Hernandez, who now lives in Maple Shade, N.J., after the Missing Persons Squad received a tip from someone who remembered Hernandez speaking of having killed a child.

"In the years following Etan's disappearance, Hernandez had told a family member, and others, that he had 'done a bad thing' and killed a child in New York," Kelly said.

Based on that information, police went to question Hernandez.

Kelly said Hernandez, who worked at the bodega for about a month, confessed to police after he was picked up Wednesday night. Some of the interviews were conducted at the scene of the crime, Kelly said.

Kelly said the suspect had not given a reason for attacking Patz and said there was "no reason at this time" to suspect the boy was sexually abused. He said it was "unlikely" Patz's remains would ever be found and that Hernandez told them he put the boy's body in the trash.

Police said Hernandez doesn't yet have a lawyer.

His sister, Maria, who did not want her last name used, told on Thursday that her heart ached over the news of her brother's arrest and said she couldn't believe it. She said Hernandez had three children of his own and came from a family of 12 that emmigrated from Puerto Rico in 1973.

Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday that the disappearance of Patz "broke the hearts of millions" across the nation, especially parents, and expressed sympathy again for the boy's family.

"I certainly hope that we are one step closer to bringing them some measure of relief," he said.

Neighbors near Hernandez' house in Maple Shade, N.J., said he lived with a woman and a daughter who attends college.

"I can't believe something like that," said Dan Wollick, 71, who rents the other apartment in the home. "This guy, he doesn't seem that way."

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance had pledged to reopen the decades-old cold case when he took office in 2010.

See a timeline of the case here

The exhaustive search for Patz was renewed several weeks ago when police dug up the basement of a handyman's workshop near where Patz disappeared. A new layer of concrete had been laid over the foundation of the basement shortly after the boy vanished.

That search yielded no new evidence.

A lawyer for the handyman, Othniel Miller, said his client is "relieved by these developments, as he was not involved in any way with Etan Patz's disappearance."

One other man had remained a longtime possible suspect: Jose Ramos, a drifter and onetime boyfriend of Patz's baby sitter. But there was no hard evidence linking Ramos to the crime.

He is in prison in Pennsylvania on a separate case.

The boy's parents, Stan and Julie Patz, were reluctant to move or even change their phone number in case their son tried to reach out. They still live in the same apartment, down the street from the building that was examined in April. They have endured decades of false leads, and a lack of hard evidence.      

Police said the family had been notified of the arrest.

Stan Patz had his son declared legally dead in 2001 so he could sue Ramos, who has never been criminally charged with the boy's death and denies harming the boy. A civil judge in 2004 found Ramos to be responsible for the child's death.

More content from and NBC News:

Follow US News on on Twitter and Facebook

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this feed at

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe from this feed, or manage all your subscriptions

TOP POPULAR NEWS Powered by Blogger