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story.lead_photo.caption Bob Kostaras, of Jamison, Pa., on Sunday shows toys collected from riders at the fourth annual Dirty Santa Toy Run in New Castle Township, Pa. The event benefits the Marine Corps League Toys for Tots program.

4 teen escapees on loose in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Police in Tennessee were searching Sunday for four teenagers who escaped from a youth lockup in Nashville. One of the escapees is a suspect in the February slaying of a rock band's frontman.

The teens broke out of the downtown facility Saturday night and are believed to be armed and dangerous, the Police Department said in a news release.

The statement said two of the boys, ages 16 and 17, were charged in separate slayings that occurred earlier this year. One of the killings involved Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets, who was found shot outside his home in February. The other two escapees, ages 15 and 17, were facing armed-robbery charges.

Police said the teens were on a work detail when their supervisor left to respond to a fight elsewhere at the facility. The teens then got onto an elevator to the ground floor and went through several doors to reach an exit. More than a half-hour elapsed before police were notified of the escape.

Yorlets, the frontman for the rock band Carverton, was fatally shot Feb. 7 and police charged three girls and two boys with criminal homicide. Police said the teens were in a stolen pickup in an alley behind Yorlets' home when they spotted him outside. They are accused of stealing his wallet, demanding the keys to his vehicle and shooting him when he refused.

Illness reported on cruise ship at LA port

LOS ANGELES -- Authorities said 19 people aboard a cruise ship reported flu-like illnesses as they reached a Southern California port.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said authorities were called early Sunday to evaluate patients after they fell ill on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.

Authorities said the patients were evaluated and they declined to be taken to the hospital.

Norwegian said in a statement that stringent sanitation procedures were implemented after a few guests reported a stomach-related illness.

The Los Angeles Times reports that paramedics responded to the same ship a week earlier after a report that passengers were ill and four were sent to a hospital for further treatment.

Bail set for man body-slammed in video

CHICAGO -- Bail was set at $5,000 Sunday for a 29-year-old man facing battery and other charges after a Chicago police officer body-slammed him onto a street during his arrest.

The charges against Bernard Kersh, including aggravated battery of an officer, stem from him spitting at and threatening the officer on Thanksgiving afternoon after police approached him at a South Side bus stop after they suspected him of drinking alcohol in public, prosecutors said during a hearing Sunday.

A 41-second video posted by a bystander and widely seen online starts with the officer lifting Kersh high off his feet, then slamming his body hard onto the pavement. The back of Kersh's head appears to strike the curb and he then lies motionless.

Prosecutor James Murphy said Kersh had earlier licked the 32-year-old officer's face, threatened him, then spit in his eye. Murphy said "a substantial amount of spit" got in the officer's eye and some into his mouth.

Even if that were true, one of Kersh's lawyers, Andrew Stroth, said Sunday that the force the officer deployed was excessive and violated the department's own use-of-force rules.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition plan to pay 10% of the bail amount, $500, to secure Kersh's release, Stroth said. Jackson was at Sunday's hearing.

Stroth said Kersh has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and, in a condition he had before Thursday, was blind in one eye.

Kersh has been charged at least 25 times previously, mostly for theft, but once for punching an officer and once for spitting at an officer.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the officer's response and, as is standard procedure, he has been stripped of his police powers as the case is reviewed.

Pennsylvanian ends presidential run

WASHINGTON -- Retired Navy admiral and former congressman Joe Sestak is calling off his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The 67-year-old Pennsylvania Democrat said in a statement that without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to continue making sacrifices.

In joining the crowded field in June, Sestak called for strong action to deal with climate change, corporate accountability and China's geopolitical threat.

Sestak graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and spent three decades in the Navy. He served two terms in the House, 2007-2011.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

Photo by AP/Republican Herald/JACQUELINE DORMER
Kathy Wufus, Tabbatha Ward, Alivia Economy and Oceana O’Boyle sing carols Saturday during the “Sounds of Christmas” in St. Cecilia’s Hall in Mahanoy City, Pa.

A Section on 12/02/2019

Print Headline: 4 teen escapees on loose in Tennessee Illness reported on cruise ship at LA port Bail set for man body-slammed in video Pennsylvanian ends presidential run

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