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Student Snapchatted high-speed police chase that exceed 100 mph

A University of Georgia student was arrested early Thursday morning after a high-speed chase in Athens.

>> Read more trending news

According to police, Hunter Ty Wilkerson, 19, reached speeds of 110 mph during the chase before he was eventually taken into custody. They said he was speeding because he had just stolen five traffic signs off the UGA campus.

Athens-Clarke County police got involved when they noticed Wilkerson going 90 mph in a 35-mph zone around 3:30 a.m.

"At that point in itself he's reckless. He's putting lives in danger, to include his own and anyone else who's on the roadway," said Epifanio Rodriguez with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

Police said the chase ended less than 10 minutes later when Wilkerson's truck went airborne.

It crashed into several cars parked in front of the UGA police headquarters.

Police bodycam video obtained by WSB-TV shows several officers taking the suspect into custody.

Police said Wilkerson was on Snapchat during the chase.

"An officer looks through his phone and sees he was active on social media, Snapchat, and was sending out updates saying that he was in a pursuit with the police officer," Rodriguez said.

Wilkerson faces 25 charges, including fleeing a police officer, DUI and reckless driving.

Doctor says letting kids play football should be considered child abuse

Many parents are having second thoughts about letting their kids play football because hard hits can cause concussions, CTE and other types of brain injuries.

The prominent doctor who inspired the movie “Concussion” told Channel 2 Action News that someday, parents allowing their children to play football will be considered child abuse. 

“Sending out a child to a field to suffer intentionally inflicted brain damage… there is 100 percent risk of exposure to brain damage. If that is not the classic definition of child abuse, what is?” Dr. Bennet Omalu said. 

Channel 2's Zach Klein went to California to meet with Omalu and look into the serious concerns about concussions in young football players. The steps being taken to protect kids, Monday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.

Hard hits to the head can lead to brain injuries including concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is a degenerative condition linked to repeated head injuries. It is only diagnosed after death by studying the brain.  

Football had more concussions in games and practices that any other sport, more than six percent, according to a study of high school athletes between the 2008 and 2010 school years in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Other recent studies have raised awareness about the dangers of concussions and CTE and it's having an impact on youth football.

LATEST INVESTIGATIONS:

There's been increased concern about the dangers of football and concussions, but how does it compare to other sports? (DETAILS: https://t.co/cxL2bUN8ID) pic.twitter.com/8j2JhPnThw — WSB-TV Sports Zone (@WSBTVsports) November 18, 2017

Man who ran from police during traffic stop found dead

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a 40-year-old father of two.

Channel 2 Action News has learned that Ryan Hacker was found dead in the Yellow River in Newton County.

Prior to his death, a Porterdale police officer pulled Hacker over for driving with a suspended license, police Chief Jason Cripps said. 

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Cripps told Channel 2’s Chris Jose the father of two resisted arrest and attacked the officer.

The officer deployed his Taser, but Hacker continued to fight and eventually ran into the woods, Cripps said. 

Police say a K9 unit searched the woods, but could not locate Hacker.

Hacker’s body was discovered nine days later.

“They said they sent dogs but they couldn’t find him, but yet they pull him out of the river where he went into the woods,” said Hacker’s mother, Tamara Harper.

Harper flew in from Illinois to bring back her son’s ashes. 

“He had a big heart, many friends and he loved his children,” Harper said. 

Cripps said he called in the GBI when Hacker’s body was retrieved from the river. Investigators are also reviewing the officer’s use of force.

Cripps said the officer was not seriously hurt in the altercation with Hacker. 

The Newton County coroner confirmed Hacker’s identity. He told Jose the cause of death is still under investigation. 

Cripps said Hacker’s car was impounded and a small yellow pill was found inside. 

“They owe me that. They owe his kids that,” Harper said. “Don’t make him sound like a bad guy. Just tell me the truth. What happened?”

Airbags like ‘grenade’ in car, but fewer than half fixed, report says

Years into the largest and most complex vehicle recall in U.S. history, fewer than half of recalled Takata airbag inflators are fixed.

>> Read more trending news

The overall repair rate for driver and passenger airbags stands at about 46.8 percent, a government website shows.

The most critical warnings involve certain 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura models, and the risks are considered highest in high-humidity regions.

The recall is so huge some phases of it will not roll out until 2019, with up to 70 million airbags affected. Currently there are an estimated 46 million defective airbag inflators under recall in approximately 34 million U.S. vehicles from 19 manufacturers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

About 19.6 million airbags had been repaired by late October.

“The words ‘grenade’ and ‘ticking time bomb’ accurately convey the lethal potential of these defective inflators,” says a status report by an independent monitor released this week. “To date, at least 13 people in the U.S. have died from injuries inflicted by defective Takata airbag inflators.”

The status report sees “meaningful progress” by automakers and regulators but finds “much room for improvement.’

In the fatalities, the report notes, the Takata airbag inflator, “instead of properly inflating to cushion the victim and prevent injury, has detonated in an explosion that tore apart its steel inflator housing and sprayed high-velocity metal shards at the victim. The victims have died from blunt head trauma, severance of the spine at the neck or extreme blood loss from lacerations to the chest, neck or face.”

Hundreds more have been seriously injured.

Visit NHSTA.gov to see if your vehicle is under recall. If so, repairs are free, but talk to your dealer to see if replacement parts are available.

Winning numbers drawn in 'All or Nothing Evening' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "All or Nothing Evening" game were:

01-03-05-09-10-11-15-16-18-19-20-24

(one, three, five, nine, ten, eleven, fifteen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-four)

Parents sue over boy's death in rotating Atlanta restaurant

The family of a 5-year-old boy whose skull was crushed in the rotating wall of a hotel restaurant has sued the Atlanta hotel, accusing it of negligence in his death.

Attorney Joseph Fried filed suit Wednesday for Rebecca and Michael Holt of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose son Charlie died April 14.

"What started out as the best family trip, turned into the worst nightmare," Rebecca Holt said in a statement emailed by Fried.

They had chosen the Sun Dial restaurant "because it was recommended as a fun place for families with kids to see the Atlanta skyline and enjoy a meal," Charlie's father, Michael Holt, said in the statement.

Marriott International, the hotel's owner, didn't immediately respond to an email and phone call requesting comment.

Police had said the boy wandered away from his family's window table at the restaurant atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel and got his head stuck between tables. They also said the rotating floor shut off automatically when he was struck.

The lawsuit disagrees with police statements.

It said the family left along a path that various members had used without problems to go to and from the bathroom. But this time, it said, a booth rotating near a stationary wall blocked their path.

Charlie, a few steps ahead of his parents, "was too short to see past the booth and did not appreciate the danger until it was too late," and was trapped in the "pinch point" between booth and wall, according to the lawsuit.

"To Michael's and Rebecca's horror, the rotation did not automatically stop when Charlie got trapped," the lawsuit states, and there was no emergency button to stop it.

Rebecca Holt tried to pull her son free and Michael Holt "threw his body against the booth," but both actions were futile, it said.

It said Michael Holt heard his son's skull crack before someone finally stopped the rotation.

"The family has filed this law suit to set the record straight about what happened and to make sure, to the best of their abilities, that no other family ever has to suffer the same fate," Fried's statement said.

Defendants include Marriott, as well as the chain that previously owned the Peachtree before Marriott bought the chain. Also named are other former owners and operators, and the architects, interior designer and contractor in charge of renovations to the restaurant in 2012 and 2013.

The hotel reopened the restaurant in June.

"After Charlie's death, Marriott has said that it won't allow the restaurant to revolve again until it has addressed the dangerous pinch points," Fried's statement said. "Marriott should not have waited for this tragedy before acting to correct this hazard, especially while it held itself out as a safe place for kids."

___

McConnaughey reported from New Orleans.

Father stabbed to death defending young son from sneaker-stealing teens

A New Jersey man was stabbed to death in his home Tuesday night when he tried to defend his 8-year-old son from a group of teens trying to steal the boy’s sneakers, according to family.

Jose “Migue” Malave, 30, of Jersey City, was stabbed around 7 p.m. at his home, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. He was pronounced dead about 25 minutes later at the scene. 

A 17-year-old boy was arrested at the scene and charged as a juvenile, prosecutors said. The unidentified teen is charged with murder, felony murder, armed burglary, conspiracy and multiple weapons charges. 

A second suspect, Nasiar Day, 19, of Newark, was taken into custody Thursday, NJ.com reported. Day is also charged with murder, felony murder, armed burglary, weapons charges and conspiracy. 

NJ.com reported that Malave died in front of his girlfriend and four of his 11 children. Malave had just returned home to drop off his son before heading to his construction job. 

Responding police officers found him lying in a “lifeless state” in the doorway of the family’s apartment, prosecutors said

Malave’s 8-year-old son had reportedly been targeted earlier in the day by a group of teens who tried to steal his sneakers. The teens later went to the boy’s home because they assumed he had other nice belongings, Jose Malave’s sister, Yesenia Malave, told NJ.com.

>> Read more trending news

Yesenia Malave described her brother as a man who always tried to brighten people’s days.

“He was always outgoing, always happy, always trying to help people,” she said. “You could be down and he was the one who could bring your life up.”

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the grieving sister said she could not adequately express her grief. 

“I wish I would have one more day with my little brother to tell him I love him,” Yesenia Malave wrote. “I miss his 3 a.m. call; (who’s) going to call me now?”

Friends and family members have established crowdfunding pages to help the Malave family with funeral arrangements and to help financially support Jose Malave’s children. Petitions have also been established to urge prosecutors to charge both suspects as adults in the slaying.

Can police legally obtain your DNA from 23andMe, Ancestry? 

The DNA you send in the mail through genetics kits and genealogy programs like 23andMe and Ancestry  can be used by police in a criminal investigation, but it doesn’t happen very often.

» RELATED: 7 things you need to know before you send your spit to 23andMe

More than 1.2 million customers have sent their saliva to 23andMe to learn about their own genetics, though not everyone is aware that police can potentially have access to their DNA.

>> Read more trending news

“We try to make information available on the website in various forms, so through Frequently Asked Questions, through information in our privacy center,” 23andMe privacy officer Kate Black told Action News Jax Thursday.

» RELATED: Bill would allow companies to collect employee genetics information 

Police have only requested information from 23andMe for five Americans and, according to 23andMe reports, the company didn’t turn over any information.

“In each of these cases, 23andMe successfully resisted the request and protected our customers’ data from release to law enforcement,” Black and colleague Zerina Curevac wrote in a blog post last year.

But Black said she wouldn’t rule out the possibility in the future and seeks to review requests on “a case-by-case basis.”

» RELATED: Not ready for kids? New, affordable at-home fertility test gives women better data on eggs, fertility timeline

In the 23andMe blog post, Black and Curevac address multiple privacy concerns and questions involving law enforcement and their DNA.

They write that typically police will collect the DNA of an unknown suspect at a crime scene and compare it to the federal government’s genetic information database, the Combined DNA Index System or “CODIS.”

» RELATED: DNA may determine whether you're an early or late riser

Using CODIS, police can run a search to see if the DNA matches that of a convicted offender or arrestee profile in the database. They can also run a “familial search” to identify close biological relatives.

If no matches are found, police may turn to privately owned databases.

But 23andMe and other ancestry tools aren’t likely to be useful to law enforcement agencies or to the government, Black and Curevac wrote.

Their genetic tests can’t be used to match CODIS information or information in other governmental databases because the genotyping technology is very different.

» RELATED: DNA match ties man to nearly 30-year-old rape case

And even if police are presented with a situation in which the testing would be useful, they would still face tough legal and technical limitations.

These limitations are usually enough to persuade police to back off their requests, according to the blog.

23andMe posts law enforcement requests on its public Transparency Report.

While police have been unable to obtain DNA information from 23andMe, in 2014, Ancestry self-reported that it released a customer’s DNA sample to police in compliance with a search warrant.

» RELATED: Ancestry.com search nabs ID thief, police say

According to Ancestry’s website, the company “requires valid legal process in order to produce information about our users. We comply with legitimate requests in accordance with applicable law.”

The investigation involved the 1996 murder and rape of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Mashable reported. Police believed there was another person involved in addition to Christopher Tapp, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1998.

The 2014 Ancestry results found a close (but not exact) match, which police believed to be Tapp’s relative.

After showing up at donor Michael Usry Jr.’s doorstep in New Orleans for a six-hour interrogation and taking a blood sample, police determined it wasn’t a match, Mashable reported.

Ancestry’s Transparency Report states that the company received nine valid law enforcement requests in 2016 and provided information on eight of the requests to government agencies. All were related to credit card misuse and identity theft.

» RELATED: Ancestry finds, interviews descendants of the Founding Fathers

Leonid meteor shower 2017: Here's how to see this weekend's celestial spectacle

If you're looking for a shooting star so you can make your wish come true, this weekend may just be your lucky opportunity.

The Leonid meteor shower will peak this weekend, providing ideal viewing conditions for millions across the United States. With clear skies predicted by meteorologists in many parts of the country, even amateur stargazers should be able to catch a glimpse of the cosmic spectacle.

>> Read more trending news

Experts say 10 to 25 shooting stars will be visible per hour in areas with clear skies this Friday evening and Saturday morning, according to the Smithsonian. Even for the unlucky, such a high number gives anyone decent odds of sighting one of the meteors.

For those hoping to view the shower this weekend, here's everything you need to know:

What is the Leonid meteor shower?

The Leonid meteors are connected to the comet Tempel-Tuttle, according to David Samuhel, senior meteorologist and astronomy blogger at AccuWeather.

"It makes fairly frequent passes through the inner solar system," he said. "This lays out fresh debris in the path of the Earth's orbit every 33 years."

The Earth actually passes through the debris of the comet, making the falling particles visible as they burn up in the atmosphere. Thanks to clear skies and the absence of moonlight, this year's display should give stargazers a decent show.

Where will the meteor shower be most visible?

First of all, stargazers should get as far away from city lights as possible to avoid light pollution. There's no specific spot in the sky to look. But the shooting stars get their name from the Leo constellation, as their paths in the sky can be traced back to those stars.

Peak time for viewing is from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. ET Saturday.

People living throughout the Southeast, the Northern Plains and California are in luck, as meteorologists are predicting clear skies, ideal for viewing the shower.

Those who reside in the Northeast, the Great Lakes region, the central Plains or the Pacific Northwest, however, may have to travel to other areas if they want to spot a falling star.

"A large storm system will be moving from the Plains into the Great Lakes, and cloudy skies are forecast to dominate much of the eastern half of the nation," meteorologist Kyle Elliot said, according to Accuweather. "Rain and thunderstorms will put an even bigger damper on viewing conditions in many of these areas."

The shower will actually be most visible, with the highest rates of visible meteors, in East Asia.

How intense can a Leonid shower get?

While this weekend's display is sure to impress, it's actually considered a light meteor shower, as opposed to a meteor storm. The last Leonid meteor storm took place in 2002. During storms, thousands of meteors can be spotted in an hour.

In 1833, stargazers reported as many as 72,000 shooting stars per hour, according to National Geographic. In 1966, a group of hunters reported seeing 40 to 50 streaks per second over the duration of 15 minutes.

Scientists currently predict the next major outburst won't take place until 2099. But calculations suggest the comet will be returning closer to Earth in 2031 and 2064, meaning more intense storms may be seen sooner. Smaller showers, such as the one occurring this weekend, happen on a regular basis.

So, while you may get another shot at seeing Leonid's shooting stars, this weekend promises to be a great chance for many.

Police want you to stay far away from the Georgia Dome demolition

We’re just days away from the implosion of the Georgia Dome!

Channel 2’s Nicole Carr went to Vine City where some residents are doing voluntary evacuations ahead of the implosion, which is scheduled for Monday morning.  

Others said they will stay to witness history from their windows. 

WSB-TV is partnering with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority for a LIVE broadcast of the Georgia Dome demolition. WATCH Channel 2 Action News This Morning starting at 4:30 a.m. for LIVE Team 2 Coverage.

"I'm kind of scared because we're really close to it, so I'm kind of scared," resident Taylor Brown said. 

Brown said she will rearrange her day for the demolition. 

"I just asked my boss to come to work late because they're closing down the streets and we won't be able to get out," she said. 

Some people had notices on their front doors warning them about road closures Monday.

Atlanta police said they have an intricate safety plan to keep people far away from the site.

There will be no public viewing area for the demolition. 

"There's absolutely nowhere near the Dome where you can go to watch it, so I recommend that Channel 2 is going to be broadcasting from 4:30 to 7:30 live," APD Special Ops Lt. Gary Harper said. 

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Atlanta police said there will be 52 officers involved in traffic control and security measures for the demolition. 

"The biggest thing we're concerned about, of course, is public safety," Harper said. 

He said officers will direct traffic around an exclusion site from 5 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

"Air quality checks, seismic checks to make sure that any of the underground portions are safe and with the rubble, in the aftermath, we have to make sure the smoke is clear because we have to make it safe for motorists, so we have to make sure that's done. The street sweepers will be through to make sure the dust is cleared off for major thoroughfares," he said.

Harper said it will take about 12 seconds for the Georgia Dome to be reduced to rubble. 

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