1. #1
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    Default It used to take bringing the teacher an apple...

    Teacher charged with giving passing grades if students burn car

    06/29/2005

    Associated Press

    Two high school students were failing chemistry when investigators say their teacher gave them a combustion assignment outside the lab torch the teacher's car for a passing grade.

    A Aldine Senior High School teacher has been charged with giving the students a passing grade in return for dumping and burning her car.

    Tramesha Lashon Fox, 32, of Kingwood, is charged with insurance fraud and arson, authorities said. Officers obtained warrants for Fox Tuesday and were searching for her.

    The two students, Roger Luna, 18, and Darwin Arias, 17, were also charged with arson. Luna was arrested Tuesday night, and Arias was arranging to surrender.

    In an interview with Harris County fire marshal's investigators last week, Fox said she gave the students passing grades for destroying her 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. She told investigators she wanted to collect the insurance proceeds.

    Fox first approached the students on campus in May about the plan, said senior fire investigator Dustin Deutsch of the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office. They students thought she was joking, but she continued to purse them.

    Investigators said the plan involved Fox leaving her car unlocked with the keys inside at a mall. On the last day of school, May 27, the students drove the car to a wooded area, doused it with charcoal lighter fluid and let it burn, Deutsch said.

    Fox reported the theft that day.

    At the time Fox was at least three months behind on her car payments and facing repossession, Deutsch said.

    The car was found 12 days later in a wooded area near Arias' home.

    Meanwhile Fox had bought a 2005 Toyota Corolla before she reported the other car was stolen, investigators said. She owed about $20,000 on the Chevrolet, Deutsch said.

    Luna and Arias had been failing Fox's class until their final exam. Arias received a 90; Luna an 80, Deutsch said. The grades were high enough to pass the semester.

    After investigators called her in for questioning last week, Fox admitted to the plan.

    Aldine Independent School District officials said Tuesday they were waiting to see the fire marshal's report.

    "Our folks will then do a thorough investigation and then make a decision as far as employment status," said Leticia Fehling, Aldine ISD spokeswoman.

    ___

    Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 06-29-2005 at 10:31 AM.

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    It used to take bring the teacher an apple
    You must have bring the English teacher a whole orchard.


    Sorry George, too tough to pass up.

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    Now why cant over here ever do anything interesting?
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    Kemo sabe, me no bring apple today.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    Originally posted by E229Lt


    You must have bring the English teacher a whole orchard.


    Sorry George, too tough to pass up.
    Yeah, that's a beauty, huh? The product of a Boonton High School education.

    I tried to edit the title, but you can't. Oh well.

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    Let's see, I find the two dumbest kids in class and have THEM burn my car, yup! - That'll work. they'll have noooo problem pulling this off.
    Jim
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    September 11, 2001 - NEVER FORGET!

    BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES!

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    Individuals either stealing cars and stripping them and setting them on fire or burning them to collect insurance is a problem for our fire district and I bet many other rural depts as well. They just light them up and run. The last one we ran on the fool only parked it about 200 yards off a main road about a mile from the station.

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    Originally posted by ZootTX
    Individuals either stealing cars and stripping them and setting them on fire or burning them to collect insurance is a problem for our fire district and I bet many other rural depts as well. They just light them up and run. The last one we ran on the fool only parked it about 200 yards off a main road about a mile from the station.
    It is a problem all over the country.

    Does your FD invest any resources in the investigation? How about collaboration with the insurance company? A good interview of the "victim" will often turn up inconsistencies that can be used against him. It is a tremendous tactical advantage for the investigator to conduct that interview BEFORE the "victim" gets a chance to look at the scope of damage. We nailed a load of these morons when they were interviewed while they believed their car was a p ile of burnt rubble. In actuality, the fire didn't take off and there was forensic evidence like crazy.

    It has ben proven, in places like Massachussets, that aggresive nivestigation of motor vehicle fires will absolutely reduce the number of auto fires.

    Just wait, some idiot will now come on here and try to convince us that lighting your car on fire is a constitutional right, that it is no big deal, that stopping fires is a bad thing because it will cost jobs, that burning your car is OK because the government shuoldn't interfere with how you live your life, blah, blah, blah.

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    If it has to do with arson investigation or prevention and Mass. does it..........you should be doing it too.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Lightbulb Deal with the insurance company

    I remember one arson car fire that we had lots of circumstantial evidence but could not get the DA to file charges. Some how I got a copy of the police report and the state police arson investigators report along with the lab results and it ended up with the insurance agent in a plain envelope. The insurance company refused to pay.

    It's hard to get prosecutors to take car arsons seriously but sometimes it is possible to bypass the system and at least not let them rip off the insurance company.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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    Lightbulb Well...

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Just wait, some idiot will now come on here and try to convince us that lighting your car on fire is a constitutional right, that it is no big deal, that stopping fires is a bad thing because it will cost jobs, that burning your car is OK because the government shuoldn't interfere with how you live your life, blah, blah, blah.
    Actually, I believe you can burn your own car if you want in my state. It's your property to do with as you please. It only becomes a crime if you attempt to collect insurance proceeds from the loss.

    But seriously, I support investigation of all fires. Why waste money and manpower putting fires out if you aren't going to figure out how they started. Prevention should be one of our top priorities in the fire service.

    Of course, my truck was stolen last September. I was hoping that they had taken it into the woods and torched it. Unfortunately, they merely trashed it and put it where the police could find it (and I could get it back) the next day.

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    Default Re: Deal with the insurance company

    Originally posted by pete892
    I remember one arson car fire that we had lots of circumstantial evidence but could not get the DA to file charges. Some how I got a copy of the police report and the state police arson investigators report along with the lab results and it ended up with the insurance agent in a plain envelope. The insurance company refused to pay.

    It's hard to get prosecutors to take car arsons seriously but sometimes it is possible to bypass the system and at least not let them rip off the insurance company.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    The really is no need to go back door. Every state has an Arson Immunity Statute that allows for the fre exchange of information betwen law enforcement and insurance cmpanies without fear of civil liability. As far as I know, every insurance co. has a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) that is staffed mostly with retired law enforcement officers. A semi-official phone call to the SIU will normally result in, at least, a cursory look at the claim.

    With a few exceptions, purely circumstantial evidence is insufficient to file criminal charges. the prosecyutor knows this and has a moral, legal and ethical responsibility not to initiate a prosecution unless there is sufficient probable cause to sustain those charges.
    I wish I had a dollar for every case where I knew who set the fire, but did not have the evidence to climb over that bar of "probable cause".

    In addition, even if probable cause exists, there may be obstacles to sustaining the prosecution. Sometimes these obstacles are truly a lack of evidence or information. Sometimes it is a lack of initiative ont he part of the investigator. Sometimes it is the skittishness of the prosecutor to move forward with a difficult and technical case like an arson.

    The insurance companies have a business contract with their insured. They have certain legal responsibilities. But, if they deny a claim, that issue will be adjudicated in civil court. In civil court, the standard of proof is only "the preponderence of the evidence"-51%. that is far different than "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt". That gives the insurance company an advantage. While each side is obligated to conduct independent and objective investigations, they certainly are legally premitted to share information within the bounds of the Arson Immunity Act.

    Pete, I know that you probably know all of this, but I decided to post it for the beneift of the others here.

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    I did know it, but thanks George for informing the others.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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    Firefighter arsonists...TEACHER arsonists...UGH!!!!! Next thing there'll be Steeler arsonists...ACK!! Terry Long!!! I'm surrounded by ARSONISTS!!!!


    Former Steeler Terry Long Dies
    Long Faced Several Charges Of Arson, Fraud

    POSTED: 8:21 am EDT June 8, 2005
    UPDATED: 9:50 am EDT June 8, 2005

    PITTSBURGH -- An autopsy is scheduled Wednesday for former Pittsburgh Steeler Terry Long.

    He died just three months after a federal indictment.

    Long, who was 45 years old, started on the offensive line for the Steelers from 1984 to 1991.

    Police and paramedics were called to his Franklin Park home Tuesday morning.

    The Allegheny County Coroner's Office confirmed Long's death Tuesday evening.

    The cause of death is not immediately clear, though foul play is not suspected.

    In a few weeks, Long was scheduled to appear in court on charges of arson and insurance fraud pertaining to his chicken processing plant on the North Side.

    Neighbors said the investigation was taking a toll on Long.

    Susan Donaldson said, "We tried to cheer him up but I think he saw things were falling apart and he got a little lost."

    The charges carried a maximum penalty of 55 years in prison.

    Friends said Long did not want to go to jail.
    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 06-29-2005 at 10:22 PM.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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