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Jailed U.S. Marine to File Motion for Mistrial


Attorneys for a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico said Tuesday they will file a motion requesting a mistrial based on constitutional violations they claim occurred in the first eight hours their client was held by Mexican custom officials.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, of Weston, Florida, has been in Mexican custody facing weapons charges since he was arrested at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on April 1 with three U.S.-registered guns in his possession.

Jill Tahmooressi updated her son's condition Tuesday when she spoke to local media in Solana Beach, California. 

She saw her son Monday when they both attended the third hearing held in the Marine’s case.

"Each time he goes before the judge he is so hopeful that the judge will be compelled to  just let him go right then and there but that's not realistic," she said. 

For the first time, Tahmooressi's attorney Fernando Benitez explained why they are unable to get the charges dismissed for what they describe as an honest mistake by a misguided U.S. Marine.

“This is a case where a compounded series of mistakes has a young man in prison, fighting for his life,” Benitez said.

The Tahmooressi family was inexperienced in the Mexican legal system and missed the window of opportunity to file a motion to dismiss the charges, the attorney said.

Now, Benitez explains, they must go through the process and work for a positive outcome. 

“We respect Mexican law and he was on Mexico soil with firearms and these are the consequences,” Jill Tahmooressi said.

On Monday, defense attorneys questioned Mexican officials about the eight hours Tahmooressi was detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on April 1.

It was during this hearing that Benitez said he was able to gain the information needed for a motion to file for a mistrial.

He said the customs officials who stopped Tahmooressi testified Monday that a document designed to explain an individual's rights before a search was handed to the Marine after the search had begun. The document was also in Spanish.

Benitez said the paperwork necessary to perform the search of Andrew's vehicle was filled out days before the U.S. Marine crossed the border.

"Our contention is the search is illegal and everything resulting from that search is tainted with that same illegality and therefore cannot be used," Benitez said.

Benitez said that his client was not provided an interpreter or legal representation in the eight hours he was in the custody of customs officials, before he was presented to the Mexican federal prosecutor.

Benitez said that is not justified under the Mexican constitution.

Family members and friends have said Tahmooressi was confused and made a wrong turn into Mexico while carrying three U.S.-registered firearms in his truck.

Mexican officials claim they have information provided by U.S. authorities showing that Tahmooressi had entered through the same border crossing on three prior occasions.

The federal prosecutor Mario Galindo also released details about the specific firearms found in Tahmooressi's truck. Officials say they seized a 12-gauge loaded shotgun, a 5.56-caliber rifle loaded with a 30-round clip and with two additional clips, a .45-caliber loaded pistol, loaded with 10 .45-caliber rounds and with two additional clips.

Andrew Tahmooressi is being protected 24/7 while imprisoned and is able to call home twice a day, his mother said.

"There is a level of despondency I haven't seen before," she added.

When they speak, Jill said she reads the comments and prayers left on the family's Facebook page to her son to help lift his spirits.

"Any words, any support. Prayers he would greatly appreciate," Jill Tahmooressi said.

She said her son - who once ate only organic food - eats a bun and sugar water for dinner.

The veteran of two tours of Afghanistan who is now in the reserves was in San Diego in March to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

His mother said he is already approved to begin treatment for PTSD at a facility in the U.S. if he were to be released by the government.

New Southington Emergency Room in the Works


Emergency medical services in Southington will move from the Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Bradley Memorial campus to a new facility on Queen Street, the Record-Journal reports.

Hartford HealthCare, the hospital’s parent group, says it plans to design a “new, state-of-the-art, ambulatory care facility that will provide a freestanding, 24/7 emergency department” at the Queen Street location.

The Record-Journal reports that the hospital will file for a certificate of need with the state and that the new facility will be located near the Knights Inn at 462 Queen Street.

The hospital will continue to offer non-emergency services at either the Bradley Memorial campus on Meriden Avenue or the new ambulatory center, according to a spokesperson for Hartford HealthCare.

“We are looking forward to working together with the community and our staff to build a bigger, better health care delivery system for the Town of Southington,” Hartford HealthCare said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the Bradley memorial campus will continue to operate throughout the transition.

The Hospital of Central Connecticut comprises campuses in New Britain and Southington at what was once New Britain General Hospital and Bradley Memorial Hospital.

Neighbors Demand Justice for New Haven Homicide Victims


The past seven months have been difficult ones for the Martinez family. Last December, 18-year-old Javier Martinez was shot and killed near the intersection of Hemingway Avenue and Russell Street in New Haven’s East Shore neighborhood.

“It's been very hard for us. No closure,” said Zaida Martinez, Javier Martinez’s mother.

She is calling for action at the Ross Woodward School, where members of New Haven's East Shore community gathered Tuesday evening, demanding justice and answers.

“We still haven't found who did this horrific crime,” she said.

Javier Martinez is one of three men killed in a two-month period in the East Shore area. At the Tuesday evening meeting, community leaders passed around a petition to try to get a reward for information leading to arrests and convictions in the three cases.

“The community still is very, very interested in solving the murders,” said Ron Codianni, who lives in the East Shore neighborhood.

They're also working to prevent future crimes from taking place in the area. They say the three homicides happened near Housing Authority properties, which have been a source of drug and violence problems.

“From the crime statistics, since the Housing Authority is building scattered-site housing in our community, the drugs, the violence, the shootings, the gunshots and now the murders are happening right around their properties,” said Codianni.

Neighbors want the Housing Authority to step in and help and want a higher police presence than the New Haven police substation currently provides.

“We need police here. That's what we need because there are a lot of problems in Ward 11,” said alderwoman Barbara Constantinople.

The New Haven Housing Authority did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

No Birthday Cake at Texas Schools?


Birthday parties in one North Texas school district may not be as sweet this coming school year.

Frisco ISD leaders are discouraging parents from bringing in cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats to celebrate birthdays and other big occasions, in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle, prevent distractions from learning and protect kids with allergies.

The district will still have three designated "party days" when parents and grandparents may bring treats the district describes as having "minimal nutritional value."

The following guidance is being drafted for the student handbook for the 2014 to 2015 school year, district spokeswoman Shana Wortham said:

"Beginning with the 2014-15 School year, birthday celebrations at school will not include food and drink items. Children's birthdays are acknowledged in a variety of ways at the elementary schools and this will continue. In the last few years, schools have encouraged alternatives to food, such as donating a book to the library in your child's name on his/her birthday."

The district said it made its plan in an effort to simplify the patchwork of policies in place at different schools. The topic of birthday treats has remained an issue for several years, it said in a letter to parents.

While some parents are sympathetic to the district's concerns, they say it's hard to break with tradition.

"It's hard for birthday parties when parents want to come in," said Laura Culley. "You want your kid to feel special."

"I wish they would do a pre-approved list — like you can bring in cookies but not cupcakes," said Shirley Wright, who has a son entering first grade.

In Texas, because of a rule known as Lauren's Law, it is technically impossible to ban families from sending treats to school to celebrate birthdays or other functions.

Frisco ISD tells NBC 5 it will be working in compliance with the law but will only allow the food to be handed out after school hours.

They encourage parents to send non-edible hand-outs, like pencils or stickers, to celebrate the milestone.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Brian Ach

Man Shot Kitten Up With Heroin: PD


A Chester County man has been arrested after police say he shot his kitten up with heroin, choked it with a rope and slammed it to the ground.

James Paul Myers, 24, has been charged with cruelty to animals, drug possession and other related offenses.

A police officer patrolling Dunwoody Drive in West Whiteland Township spotted Myers parked in the middle of the street with his car door open around 4:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to investigators.

A small black kitten was underneath the door, investigators said. Its neck was bound tightly with rope, its face was bleeding and several teeth of its teeth had been knocked out, according to police.

Police say the phrase “SLAM IT YOU [expletive]" was spray painted on the roadway near the vehicle, and the kitten appeared to have been dragged and slammed to the ground.

Police executed a search warrant of Myers’ vehicle, where investigators say they found bundles of heroin, hundreds of used bags of heroin, 46 hypodermic needles, a rope that matched the one used on the kitten and a small box containing cat feces.

The 2 to 3-month-old kitten, which was lethargic and unresponsive and suffering from head trauma, was taken to the HOPE Veterinary Clinic in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

The kitten was examined by Dr. Jennifer Magilton and determined to have been given heroin. Dr. Magilton gave the kitten Narcan, a heroin antidote commonly given to humans.

The kitten, renamed Hope, is recovering at the veterinary clinic and eventually will be transferred to another facility for adoption.

"I would think in the next few days or a week or so he'll be back to nearly a normal kitten, up and ready for a permanent home," said Dr. Gary Puglia of HOPE Veterinary.

Myers was taken into custody and charged with cruelty to animals, drug possession and other related offenses.

“There is no excuse for cruelty to a defenseless animal,” said District Attorney Tom Hogan. “The West Whiteland Police Department should be commended for intervening to stop this abuse. Dr. Magilton should be praised for her quick thinking to save the kitten’s life.” 

Photo Credit: Chester County District Attorney's Office

Couple Arrested After False Damage Report: Police


Vernon police have arrested a couple accused of filing a false police report in June. 

Patreece Eady, 23, of 1170 Hartford Turnpike, unit G84, called 911 from Windsor on June 30 to report that a stranger had kicked in the door of her Vernon apartment, but police said  her boyfriend was actually the one to cause the damage.

After the call was transferred to Vernon police, Eady returned home and told investigators that a stranger kicked in her front door while she was in the apartment with her child, so she went to the management office, then drove to Windsor and called police, police said.

Eady would later admit that her boyfriend had been at the apartment at the time and might have kicked in the door, but she gave police a false name for the man, police said.

Investigators would later identify the man as Branden Edwards, 24, of Thomaston Street in Hartford.

Police obtained arrest warrants for Eady and Edwards and arrested them on Monday.

Edwards was driving a car with illegal tinted windows on Route 30 near 1189 Hartford Turnpike when police stopped him and the officer could smell marijuana coming from the car, police said.

During the arrest, officers found he had what appeared to be marijuana and crack cocaine hidden.

Eady also arrived at the scene and was arrested on the outstanding warrant.

At police headquarters, Edwards threatened one of the officers and also had a failure to appear warrant out of Hartford, police said.

Edwards was charged with criminal mischief in the second degree, failure to appear in the second degree, possession of narcotics, possession of marijuana and threatening in the second degree.

He posted a $31,500 cash/surety bond and will appear in Rockville Superior Court on Aug. 19.

Eady was charged with false statement in the second degree, interfering with police, falsely reporting an incident in the second degree and misuse of the 911 system.

She posted a $7,500 cash/surety bond and will appear in Rockville Superior Court on Aug. 19.

The damage to the door is estimated at approximately $560.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

Manchester Man Transported from East Windsor Crash


LifeStar transported a 29-year-old Manchester man to Hartford Hospital after him pickup crashed in the Broad Brook area of East Windsor.

Police said Jeffrey Muldoon failed to make a turn while heading westbound on Route 140, went off the road and into the woods, where he hit a tree.

The truck was heavily damaged and Muldoon had to be pulled from the car.

Yosky Road was closed between North and Melrose roads as emergency crews responded, but it has since reopened.

Muldoon was the only person in the car and police said it appears that speed was a factor. 

Officers are investigating and ask witnesses to call Officer Tamrah Stepien at 860-292-8240, extension 323.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

10 Women Arrested in Hartford Prostitution Bust


Ten women have been arrested on prostitution charges following a citywide undercover operation conducted Monday in Hartford, according to police.

The following women have been charged with prostitution:

  • Beverly Booker, 53, in connection with an incident on Niles Street
  • Victoria Johnson, 38, of Hartford, in connection with an incident on Alden Street
  • Donna Laraba, 45, of East Hartford, on Main Street in Hartford
  • Maritza Cruz, 47, of Hartford, on South Marshall Street
  • Carmen Johnson, 46, of Hartford, on Huntington Street
  • Erin Kennedy, 32, of West Hartford, on South Marshall Street
  • Nichole Kummer, 28, of Hartford, on Wethersfield Avenue
  • Daphrose Ndihokubwayo, 22, of Hartford, on Mannz Street
  • MNigdalia Charriez, 45, of Hartford, on Ashley Street

Detectives from the Hartford Police Department Vice and Narcotics Unit made the arrests with help from the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Malloy Responds to Criticism of Latest Campaign Ad


A new campaign ad for Gov. Dannel Malloy features an endorsement from the mother of a boy killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, prompting criticism from the chairman of the state Republican party, Jerry Labriola, Jr., who called Malloy "desperate" and accused him of using the tragedy for political gain in a statement released Monday.

Neither Republican candidate for governor, Tom Foley or John McKinney, would comment on the ad Tuesday, and Malloy himself said his handling of Sandy Hook is part of his identity as governor.

"I have a record. It's a record I'm proud of, having faced five natural disaster declarations, and Sandy Hook," Malloy explained. "And people need – or I would ask – that they put it all in context."

In the ad, Sandy Hook mom Nicole Hockley endorses Malloy for the gun control law he signed after the 2012 tragedy.

"Gov. Malloy has the courage and conviction to stand up and do the right thing," Hockley says in the ad.

The campaign ad shows Malloy talking with police, not with parents or children, a distinction Quinnipiac University political science professor Scott McLean said keeps the ad short of exploiting a tragedy.

"It's interesting what she doesn't say as much as what she does say," McLean said. "She doesn't say, 'Dan Malloy comforted me' or 'came to my aid'. She says he was a tough fighter."

Monkey Bites Woman at Pizzeria


A former veterinarian has surrendered her monkey to animal services officials after the capuchin bit a woman at a Southern California pizzeria over the weekend.

Officials said the victim was outside Antonious Pizza in Beaumont on Sunday afternoon when the pint-sized primate named Baby G bit her in the forearm. The 38-year-old woman was treated at the hospital.

Baby G’s owner, Wendelin Ringel of Cherry Valley, turned the monkey over to Riverside County Animal Services and Fish & Wildlife officials Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said it was unlikely that the monkey has rabies, but they planned to quarantine it for six months to be sure.

It was unclear what provoked the attack. The incident was under investigation.

"These are wild animals and even folks that have them as pets, they can be sometimes unpredictable," said Riverside County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh. "They don't need to be outside a pizza restaurant."

Baby G's age and sex were unknown.

Ringel was aslo in possession of two other monkeys – a tamarin and another capuchin – officials said. They were impounded as well because Ringel couldn’t provide a permit showing that she legally owned the exotic pets, officials said.

Ryan Bourgard contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Riverside County Animal Services

Blumenthal, DeLauro Fight for New Food Labels


Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Rosa DeLauro wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking the agency to mandate that food labels be changed so consumers know what they're buying.

“Consumers have a right to know. That is what this is about,” said DeLauro.

The FDA is currently working to change nutrition labels, but Blumenthal and DeLauro want to take it a step further: They're asking for contextualized food labels on the front of packages.

“The cluttered, confusing labels on food packaging today, have contributed to an epidemic of obesity and diet-related diseases, including diabetes,” said Blumenthal.

One of the big issues is changing the way sugar content is recorded.

“I think that changing the way that sugar is presented from grams to teaspoons makes a lot of sense. People understand what teaspoons are, and they can imagine them in our minds,” said Dr. Marlene Schwartz, Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.

Consumers think the additional information is a good idea.

“I think if the labels are larger, and clearer, it could be a good thing to help people understand what they're getting,” said Emily Powers.

Some think it could be challenging to get manufacturers on board since they spend large sums of money perfecting their packaging.

2 Charged in Shelton Home Burglary


Two 24-year-old Shelton residents have been arrested in connection with the burglary of a home on Oak Avenue in town last summer.

Kenneth Milligan and Caroline Bevans, both of Mica Court in Shelton, were arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and third-degree burglary.

Bevans was additionally charged with third-degree burglary.

They're accused of breaking into a house on Oak Avenue in July 2013 and stealing $24,400. Police said Bevans and Milligan knew the victim and that it was not a random act.

Milligan was released after posting $50,000 bond. Bevans was released on $10,000 bond. They're both due in court Aug. 19.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

14 Hurt in NYC Double-Decker Crash


Fourteen people were injured when two double-decker buses collided in Times Square Tuesday afternoon, causing a traffic light pole to topple over and smash onto the ground, authorities say.

The buses crashed at Seventh Avenue and West 47th Street, near the famous red staircase of the TKTS booth in the middle of one of the most heavily trafficked areas of New York City. It's not clear what caused the collision, and the NYPD said officers were still on the scene investigating.

Thirteen pedestrians were injured, mainly by the falling light pole and from flying debris from the pole and the bus, FDNY officials said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

A tour guide aboard one of the buses was also injured when she was thrown forward and her head became lodged in the dashboard, officials said. She's expected to be OK.

Neither bus driver was hurt.

A witness said he was walking on the sidewalk near one of the buses when he heard what he first thought was some sort of explosion.

"It was only sound, and a lamppost fell down," said Sanjay Shah of Wayne, New Jersey. "Nobody can imagine a bus going on the sidewalk and hitting the lamppost."

Officials said emergency responders initially had difficulty getting to the scene because of heavy traffic in the area, and some firefighters rushed to the scene on foot.

All of the injured victims were treated on the scene. Some were later taken to area hospitals in stable condition and were expected to be released later Tuesday.

"We are very, very fortunate there weren't many more injuries," said an FDNY official.

The NYPD blocked off the area as they investigated the crash, and the closure caused gridlock and heavy delays through the evening rush.

Photo Credit: @OfficialJoelF/Instagram

Mom Left 1- and 9-Year-Old Kids in Car: Police


A 21-year-old New Haven mom is facing charges after police say she left two children, ages 1 and 9, unattended in the car for a brief period of time Monday night.

Police received an anonymous report of two children left alone in a car outside the Bellmont Building at 670 Mix Avenue in Hamden around 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Officers arrived on scene to find Breanna Prechelle Muriel, 21, of New Haven, walking back to the car with another woman. Prechelle Muriel was identified as the mother of one child and the aunt of the other, police said.

Prechelle Muriel told officers she had briefly left the children in the car while she returned to her apartment to look for her keys, according to police.

She was charged with two counts of leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle.

Police said she also had an outstanding warrant from New Haven, which online court records show to be other motor vehicle violations stemming from a June 2 arrest.

The children were unharmed and the ambient temperature was around 68-69 degrees, police said. Authorities notified the Department of Children and Families and the kids were taken into the custody of a family member.

Prechelle Muriel was held on $500 bond and is due in court Aug. 14.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hartford, New Haven Among Unfriendliest Cities


Conde Nast Traveler has released its latest list of friendliest – and least friendly – cities in the country, and it doesn’t look good for Connecticut.

Both Hartford and New Haven ended up among the ranks of the top 10 “unfriendliest” cities, with New Haven coming in at No. 5, down from its No. 3 spot on last year’s list.

It seems an improvement at first blush, but it turns out Hartford now ranks third, topped only by Oakland, California and Newark, New Jersey.

Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia lead the list of friendliest locales.

The rankings are compiled from Conde Nast’s annual Readers’ Choice Survey results and are based on the presence (or absence) of tourist attractions and whether guests felt welcome or snubbed during their travels.

Felon Hits Police Cruiser, Punches K-9 During Drug Bust: Cops


What started as a drug bust in Watertown turned into a harrowing chase when a convicted felon with a stolen handgun struck a police cruiser and led detectives into the woods, according to police.

Investigators arrived Tuesday afternoon at a home on Franklin Avenue in the Oakville section of town. They expected to search the residence as part of a two-month-long investigation into complaints of drug activity there.

Police watched as 56-year-old resident Carl Giordano allegedly made a hand-to-hand heroin deal with the driver of a silver Acura, later identified as 27-year-old Brandon Sapp, a convicted felon from Waterbury, according to police.

When police approached to arrest Giordano, Sapp drove off, narrowly missing police cruisers parked in the area. Police said he turned right onto Sylvan Lake Road, then pulled into the driveway of the Grand Oak Villa, where he turned around and struck a police car.

According to police, Sapp got out and ran into the woods near Sylvan Lake. Police said Sapp started kitting a K-9 that was sent into the woods after him.

Sapp was taken into custody and found with 380 bags of heroin and about $1,000 cash. Police discovered three 9mm magazines on the floor of the Acura and found a stolen Beretta handgun that Sapp had thrown out the window during the chase, police said.

He was taken to Waterbury Hospital for a medical evaluation and is facing numerous charges, including drug, motor vehicle and firearm offenses, second-degree assault, two counts of assault on a police officer, interfering with an officer, breach of peace, violation of a protective order and engaging an officer in pursuit, among others.

“Sapp is a dangerous felony offender and was apprehended coming into Watertown to sell a significant amount of heroin while armed with a stolen 9mm handgun,” Deputy Chief R.J. Desena of the Watertown Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.

According to online court records, Sapp has been convicted of third-degree assault, second-degree threatening, possession of narcotics, violation of a protective order and other charges.

Sapp’s bond was set at $500,00.

Giordano was arrested at the scene, still holding heroin from the drug deal, according to police. He was found in possession of 10 bags of heroin and drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $6,000.

Both suspects are due in court tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department

85-Year-Old Norwalk Woman Found


An 85-year-old Norwalk woman who was reported missing on Tuesday night has been found.

A Silver Alert was issued for Alice Boyd around 10:30 p.m. and it was canceled just after midnight.

Connecticut State Police found Boyd safe in Ashford, police said.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Dance Teacher Accused of Sexual Contact With 13-Year-Old Student


A Bridgeport dance instructor was arrested Tuesday after allegedly having sexual contact with a 13-year-old student, including a sexually explicit photograph sent via text message, according to police.

John Sadowski, 26, of Fairfield, was charged with risk of injury to a minor, fourth-degree sexual assault and computer crimes, police said.

Authorities began investigating after the victim's mother contacted authorities in April to say she found the explicit photo in a text message exchange between Sadowski and her daughter, according to police.

Investigators later learned that sexual contact had transpired between Sadowski and the teen, who was one of his dance students, police said.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Middletown Police Search for Endangered Man


Middletown police are searching for a missing 29-year-old man who they say was involved in an altercation on Burgundy Hill Lane this evening and is thought to have serious injuries that require immediate attention, police said.

Mohammed Mannan was last seen heading south on Westlake Drive on foot around 5 p.m. He's of Middle Eastern descent, stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds, according to police.

Mannan was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt and tan-colored shorts or pants.

He is considered to be endangered and should not be approached. Police have not released any details about the altercation that took place.

If you see him or have any information on his whereabouts, call Middletown police at 860-347-2541.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

Lonely Recidivist Stowaway Arrested


A woman who tried unsuccessfully several times to stow away aboard planes at San Francisco International Airport has breached security at another Bay Area airport. This time the plane took off with her on board.

Marilyn Hartman, 62, managed to navigate through security at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Monday night – without a proper boarding pass – and got on Southwest Airlines Flight 3785 to Los Angeles International Airport, NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit has learned. She apparently bypassed a document checker after a couple of failed attempts.

Hartman, who has previously breached security at SFO, has been trying to board planes bound for Hawaii.

Her wits are sound, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe previously he told SF Weekly: she is "articulate" and clean. "She just strikes me as a very lonely person," he added.

Southwest flight attendants noticed something was wrong after the plane landed at LAX. The crew did a head count and realized it did not match their records, according to the airline.

After being taken into custody by airport police, Hartman was arrested by LA County's Sheriff's deputies at LAX and faces misdemeanor trespassing charges. Bail was set at $500.

The San Francisco woman has a history of trying to get on flights without a ticket. Three times in February, twice in March and at least once in April she attempted to board flights at SFO. At least twice she was able to breach Transportation Security Administration security and make her way into the boarding area.

San Mateo County Sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt said police at San Francisco's airport are familiar with Hartman.

“She showed up there several times, indicating that she wanted to go to Hawaii, where it was nice and warm,” Rosenblatt said. “She never actually had a ticket to get on the plane to take her there, but that did not deter her from trying several times.”

TSA says it has already made minor changes to the document-checking process at SJC. "Following an initial review by TSA at San Jose International Airport, the agency has initiated minor modifications to the layout of the document checking area to prevent another incident like this one," TSA said in a statement.

In a statement, Southwest said it is “actively investigating” the incident and is cooperating with authorities.

“Upon arrival in Los Angeles, a Southwest Employee became aware of the un-ticketed passenger and immediately notified local authorities,” the statement said. “Our number one priority remains the Safety and Security of our Customers and Employees. In addition to investigating this internally, Southwest continues our work with all relevant regulatory agencies, including the TSA. To respect the integrity of the investigation, we do not have additional details to share.”

Monday’s arrest comes about three months after a South Bay teenager hid in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines plane at San Jose International Airport. Officials say he jumped a fence at the airport and hitched a ride on a flight bound for Hawaii back in April. The 15-year-old survived sub-zero temperatures during the five-hour flight.

The teen is not facing any charges.

Congressman Eric Swalwell, who is on the Homeland Security committee, is calling this latest stowaway case a "security failure." He released a statement Tuesday afternoon:

“Passenger safety in the sky relies upon effective security on the ground.  That means only a screened and ticketed passenger should ever be able to board an airplane.  Yesterday's incident, of an unticketed passenger successfully taking a flight from San Jose to Los Angeles, was an apparent failure by both airport security and the airline of protecting passengers from a potential threat to their safety.  Fortunately, this ticketless passenger was harmless.  However, we may not be as lucky next time and must do everything possible to protect the traveling public.”

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