Family: Boy, 13, died in wildfire trying to save his grandmother and family dog

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LYONS, OR- Wyatt Tofte, a 13-year-old boy died as he tried to save his grandmother from the wildfires that engulfed cities and towns along the West Coast. 

The wildfire, initially was 15 miles away, but spread rapidly and while the family was asleep, the fire reached the home forcing Angela Mosso, Wyatt’s mother to rush her son, mother, and pet dog (a 200 pound bullmastiff mix) into the family car. However, the car did not make it far as it quickly stopped.

Angela was then forced to send her son and dog out on foot. She also had to say goodbye to her mother, Peggy Mosso, who was unable to walk any further. Angela then began walking away from the fire to safety. Susan Vaslev, Wyatt’s great aunt and spokesperson for the family told CNN:

“She knew the only way for her son to survive was to run. So, she told Wyatt and the dog to run.”

According to reports, Chris Tofte, the boy’s father drove to a nearby town that night to pick up a trailer with the hopes of returning to take the rest of the family and their belongings to safety. He was also in town searching for a generation as the high winds forced the power to go out before the fire actually started.

Angela walked roughly three miles before she was saved by her husband, who made his way back towards the house and was searching for his family. As he struggled to navigate the dark, smokey road, he almost ran over a barefoot woman in her underwear with charred hair and a blackened mouth.

Chris stopped to help the woman into his car, telling her that he was looking for his wife and son. The woman said:

“I am your wife.”

Chris took his wife to safety where he left her with paramedics and then went back out towards the house to look for his son and mother-in-law. However, at that point the fires had spread even father and he could not make it as far as he did the first time. 

The next day and night, Chris continued to search for his son and mother-in-law. However, he could not find them. A few days later authorities did find Wyatt. He was in the driver’s seat of the family car with the dog in his lap and the grandmother’s remains in the back of the car.

Lonnie Bertallato, Angela’s brother said that he believes the wheels on the car melted, which is why his sister was forced to send her son and dog out on foot, leave her own mother behind, and walk towards safety.He said:

“I don’t need to go into too much detail, but obviously, he turned around to try and save his grandma.”

The great aunt, Susan said:

“Wyatt ended up going back to the car and tried to drive his grandmother out. So, he attempted to drive that car and he, the roads were so hot that it burned up the tires and so he wasn’t able to drive it to safety. Did not make it out of the fire.”

She added:

“It’s devastating, just the way it happened and the whole store and who was lost. Any time a young child dies in a fire like that and the details, it’s just something that you can’t wrap you head around and it just hurts.”

Angela, the mother, suffered burns across her whole body, but is expected to survive. Susan said:

“She has a long road to go, but to come out of that, we all know surviving full-body burns is a painful experience in itself. Recovering from that and then to come back to your song having died and your mother having died.”

According to recent reports, Governor Kate Brown said that more than 40,000 Oregonians have been evacuated from their homes as the two large windblown wildfires raged across the Pacific Northwest. In addition, about 500,000 people are in different levels of evacuation zones. Dozens of people have been reported missing with at least six fatalities reported.

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about the deadly wildfires spreading through the West Coast:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – This is the thanks our first responders get.

A commander working the CZU Lightning Complex Fire had his department vehicle broken into.   His wallet was stolen and bank account emptied.

ABC30 in California reported that at a press briefing Sunday morning, CAL FIRE operations chief Mark Brunton said the theft happened while the crew member was taking care of business and directing firefighting crews.

“To me, it’s just mind-boggling that somebody would have the audacity to do something like that,” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart during a press briefing.

The stealing from a crew member comes after officials say they arrested five people for allegedly looting evacuated properties.

“It’s terrible and disgusting,” Chief Deputy Chris Clark with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said. “These five decided to victimize several of our community members who are already hurting.”

Now, firefighters and other local officials have to deal with people who don’t want to evacuated because they are afraid that if the fire doesn’t get them, the looters will. 

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes by the wildfires and criminals are organized and ready to steal what little these people have left.

A report in Stars and Stripes indicates that at last eight people have been arrested in conjunction with these crimes.  Santa Cruz County Sheriff, Jim Hart, said:

“More (arrests) are expected as the public reports a lot of looting going on.”

The report goes on to say that at least 100 officers are patrolling the zones and deputies are stopping any non-first-responder vehicles.

“I have no empathy, I have no patience for somebody who’s going to come into our community and steal from people who have been evacuated and victimized and traumatized,” Hart said during a news conference with county District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell. 

“I can’t imagine a bigger low-life,” Hart continued.

The Los Angeles Times report that roughly 77,000 have been evacuated in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, leaving ample opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of those already placed in a precarious situation.

In addition to the deadly fires (5 lives have been lost to date) and the looting, scammers abound. The Sheriff’s Offices for Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, and Cal Fire, are warning people about scams pretending to be people from different official local agencies.

“If you get a call from any sort of official source, if you question the validity of it – and you should question the validity of those calls – contact the agency directly,” Santa Cruz County Chief Deputy Chris Clark said in an interview with KSBW

He said that calls are coming from people claiming that residents owe agencies such as PG&E, law enforcement or another agency money and that the calls are not legitimate.

Yes, scammers and looters are out in force, targeting law abiding citizens and those trying to help them through this tragic natural disaster.

Far be it from any of them to get a job, or try to help make the situation better.  As usual, these dregs of humanity think only of themselves.

In the meantime, as always, our faithful first responders are putting their lives on the line to try and mitigate the disastrous fires that have already claimed 771,000 California acres in 2020. 

The SCU Lightning Complex fire, where the officer had his wallet stolen, is responsible for 347,196 of those acres and is only 10% contained as of this writing.  Stats can be found for all California Fires at Cal Fire.

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Watch: Rioters knock elderly man unconscious as he tries to put out the fire they started at his charity

KENOSHA, WI – As Kenosha explodes in anarchy after police shot an armed criminal who had resisted arrest, the violence in the city is hitting levels that can only be described as shocking.

On Monday night, an elderly man was attacked while trying to put the fire out inside of his charitable business.

On August 25th, a video was uploaded to social media showing the burning area of what was once known as Kenosha, Wisconsin.  The area, like Seattle, Portland, and many others has been turned into something that looks like a war zone.

People running, shouting, and breaking of windows are heard and one lone elderly man comes through the smoke carrying a fire extinguisher.  The woman who is recording the video says:

“This poor man got his house, business caught on fire.” 

The business she was referring to has been identified as the Danish Brotherhood Lodge, #14. 

The business, as described by their website:

“…is an organization dedicated to charitable endeavors both locally and nationally.  We strive to provide our  members a place of belonging, security, and support…Our organization is dedicated to both growing and developing our membership and providing scholarships for future generations to advance their education….We encourage the public to join us in our mission to better the community around us!” 

Sounds like a good place to target right?

The woman who is recording obviously feels bad and keeps telling them man:

“I’m sorry sir, I’m sorry sir, I’m very sorry about that man.” 

The man says, “yeah right,” then she tells him that she had nothing to do with it.

The man walks with the fire extinguisher and begins trying to put the flames out.  While doing so, someone from the crowd begins throwing and hitting him with bottles. 

With little to defend himself, he turns the fire extinguisher on the assailant forcing them away from him, then returns to trying to put the fire out.

Images are then seen showing what appears as people fleeing from inside the charitable organization, perhaps looting from there. 

The man is able to chase a couple of them off with the fire extinguisher then returns to the front of the store.  While his back is turned, some coward thug runs up and punches him (or strikes him with something) with his left hand. 

The criminal is dressed in a black shirt and black shorts.

The coward flees as the women recording keeps yelling no and runs to the man’s aid as he collapses on the ground.  People rush to assist the man who is bleeding from his head while a crowd starts to form.

The woman who is recording is yelling to someone saying how the person walked up and “[expletive] him up.” 

She then starts yelling that the man did not “deserve any of this.  She continues:

“This is just wrong guys.  Do you not see this?  This is wrong.  This is what’s gonna happen to every one of you…please guys.”

This woman’s pleas are answered by a member of the criminal looters and rioters which says that somehow beating an elderly man, who is protecting his charitable organization somehow is them “trying to protect ourselves.”  She continues:

“You don’t understand what terrifies these black men out here, they not making it home to their families.  Understand, respect, how about that?  It’s called respect.”

According to a tweet from @Simulation Warlord, the male on video claims that victim was approximately 70-years of age and suffered a black eye and broken jaw from the incident.  However, LET cannot confirm this information.

LET has attempted to call and email the Danish Brotherhood Lodge.  So far, there has been no contact with anyone from there.

On Tuesday night, the rioting continued to spread across the country… exploding in Atlanta:

ATLANTA- Law Enforcement Today has received numerous reports from law enforcement sources in Atlanta that a number of officers have come under attack as riots are popping off in the city.

https://twitter.com/SVNewsAlerts/status/1298423893217222656

Heavily armed groups of protestors have been seen in the streets.

We’re told several officers have been injured and that at least one patrol vehicle has been torched.

https://twitter.com/SVNewsAlerts/status/1298423477536460800

Images are starting to flood in now of what’s happening.

https://twitter.com/SVNewsAlerts/status/1298426528280215553

Rioters are laying down metal slabs, reportedly to block emergency responders from being able to get to the scene.

https://twitter.com/SVNewsAlerts/status/1298422910974124032

The riots are said to be in “solidarity” with protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the shooting of an armed criminal.

Images show rioters attacking police.

Roads are being shut down as police try and slow the rioting.

All of this comes despite new video which has surfaced providing a different angle of the shooting of 29-year-old North Carolina native, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The incident occurred on Sunday evening between Blake and three Kenosha police officers, at approximately 5:00 p.m.  In the video, Blake and the officers can be seen wrestling on the ground near the rear passenger side of his vehicle. 

Blake managed to free himself from their collective grasp, and was then shown walking around the front of his vehicle, toward his driver side door. Police officers followed him, issuing commands with guns drawn, while a gathering crowd of onlookers screamed toward the scene.

Warning, some viewers may find this video disturbing.


Some onlookers could be heard loudly urging others to move away from the scene, ostensibly sensing that weapons would soon be discharged. 

As one woman screamed off camera at her mother to move away from the scene, the first of seven shots was fired at Blake. 

The shots began after he had continued walking in spite of the officers’ commands, opened his driver side door, and reached inside the vehicle.

Three of Blake’s children were in the back seat of the vehicle when the incident unfolded.  They not only witnessed the entire event, but were placed in danger when Blake entered the vehicle contrary to the officers’ issued directives. 

The last directive issued by the officers, prior to the shots fired was:

“Drop the knife!”

This is according to an interview with 22-year-old Raysean White of Kenosha, who took the latest cellphone video.

Police were dispatched to the scene in response to a domestic violence call received minutes earlier.  White witnessed the domestic disturbance moments before Blake and the police arrived. 

He said that he was drawn to his window, where he witnessed a group of women shouting at one another.  Blake soon pulled up in his vehicle, and directed one of his sons standing outside to get in. 

White never saw or heard Blake address the women.

Upon returning to the window, after leaving briefly, White saw the fight between Blake and the officers who had also arrived.  He witnessed a stun gun being used on Blake before he was able to wrestle himself free.  He recorded the remainder of the incident from his window.

Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., reported that his son is currently hospitalized in stable condition, and has undergone surgery.  He is paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors do not yet know if the paralysis is permanent.  His family is optimistic that the condition will only be temporary, as he continues to recover from surgery.

The Kenosha Police Department has officially placed the officers involved on administrative leave, which is standard practice after an officer involved shooting. 

As Kenosha police do not currently wear body cameras, the two cellphone videos appear to be the only documented footage available of the shooting incident.  The officers were wearing microphones, however. 

The audio recordings from these devices may be released shortly, after investigations by the Kenosha Police Department and the Wisconsin State Justice Department are complete.

The Chicago Tribune reported that there is an outstanding warrant for Blake’s arrest, due to a pending criminal case from last month.  In that case, Blake is charged with 3rd degree sexual assault, disorderly conduct, and trespassing in the context of domestic abuse. 

It is not yet known whether Blake’s apprehension is in connection with the arrest warrant, the domestic disturbance call that the officers were on site to respond to, or both.

A small group of people took to the streets of Kenosha later that evening to protest the shooting.  Within a 24 hour window, the first cellphone video of the driver’s side angle had made it’s rounds on social and mainstream media. 

By Monday evening, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called in the National Guard to respond to violent rioting involving vehicles set ablaze, windows shattered in local businesses, and clashes with riot geared police officers. 

The initial protesting had appeared to escalate into rioting after Governor Evers issued a statement  condemning the shooting and essentially convicted the officer before any type of investigation had even begun, though acknowledging that not all the details are currently known.  

Evers also indicated that he stood with those who “demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country,” but failed to indicate that he opposed rioting and looting. 

This led many of his detractors to assume that he encourages it.

The Kenosha Professional Police Association called the statement, “wholly irresponsible and not reflective of the hardworking members of the law enforcement community,” with the circulating cellphone video not fully able to capture the intricacies of the very delicate situation.

While those supporting the police force assess each officer involved shooting based on its own unique set of circumstances, those supporting protests tend to view officer involved shootings cumulatively… protesting police violence against African Americans as a whole. 

The Kenosha PPA recommends that the public wait until investigations are complete and all facts are released, before rushing to judgement.

Wisconsin AG refuses to say whether Jacob Blake was armed or not: ‘Justice will be served’

“The commitment I make to everyone, the family, the officer, everyone is justice will be served. People will be held responsible for their actions, and we will know the truth.”

KENOSHA, WI –On August 23rd, Kenosha Police responded to a residence where Jacob Blake was located.  At some point, according to viral video, it is clear that Blake was refusing to listen to orders given to him and he continued to walk away from officers. 

At some point, an officer is seen on video shooting Blake in the back. 

What is not clear is whether he was armed – and whether he was going to his vehicle to get a gun.

The state attorney general refuses to answer questions surrounding that.

On August 23rd, police were dispatched to an unexplained domestic violence situation at the home.  As officers were on scene trying to do their investigation, Raysean White, the person who shot the viral video, told NBC News:

“Then the guy [Blake] that got shot showed up.  He pulled up in his truck, got out of his truck, seen him walk up.  His son was running towards him.  He was picking up his son.  He told his son to get in the grey tuck, we about to go.”

White said that he looked outside again and saw officers struggling with Blake and one of the officers firing her Taser.  That is when White began recording the video of the incident. 

The video clearly shows Blake refusing to stop and obey orders based upon them following him with weapons drawn. 

At one point in the video, it appears as if he has a knife in his right hand, but, because of his dark colored shorts and the graininess of the video, it is difficult to make out.  

Blake continued walking toward the drivers side door of the vehicle which contained his three children in the backseat.

White said he could hear officers “yelling drop the knife.  I didn’t see any weapons in his hands, he wasn’t being violent.” 

The people in the area were yelling at as officers tried to stop Blake from getting into the vehicle.  One officer, with gun drawn, grabs Blake by the shirt, trying to prevent him from entering the car, while yelling at him to stop.

Just as he grabs his shirt, Blake is seen leaning inside the car, apparently going to the floorboard or map pocket of the door.  The officer then opens fire multiple times, striking Blake. 

Police are immediately seen providing medical aid to Blake on the sidewalk as other officers attempt to keep bystanders away.

Blake was airlifted to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee where he underwent surgery for the gunshot wounds.  Blake’s family has said that he has gotten out of surgery and is listed in stable condition. 

Blake, who has a history of assaulting police officers and resisting arrest, had an active warrant out against him at the time of the incident. 

According to Wisconsin Circuit Court records, Blake had a warrant for misdemeanor criminal trespass to a dwelling with domestic abuse as a modifier, felony third-degree sexual assault with domestic abuse as a modifier, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct with domestic abuse as a modifier. 

Blake also had violent run ins with law enforcement in the past.  In 2015, Racine Police were called to assist with allegedly removing Blake who had refused to leave a bar and pulled a gun. 

The criminal complaint in that incident said that Blake and two women were together at a bar called the Brass Monkey.  At some point, Blake began to argue with a man who was in the bar and allegedly pulled a black handgun.

Blake pointed the gun at the victim placing him in fear that he was about to be shot.  As he was pointing the gun at the victim, the magazine fell out and struck the floor. 

An employee in the bar told Blake to leave and he refused, point the gun at other customers inside.  He then left the area in his vehicle which was located by police and stopped.

Since they were told that Blake was armed, they performed a high-risk traffic stop and ordered him to place his hands outside of the window.  Blake refused and exited the car instead, approaching officer. 

Officers ordered him several times to stop and get on the ground and he refused.  Officers had to physically take him down to the ground to attempt to handcuff him, although he refused to give them his hands, forcing them to utilize a police dog and when then able to take him into custody.

Police located a black firearm in the vehicle he was driving as well as a holster that was on Blake’s person.  Blake also allegedly had two loaded magazines and a box of ammunition in the coat he was wearing when he was taken into custody. 

Despite Blake’s apparent violent past and warrant, people of the community want to automatically believe that the shooting was unprovoked. 

Let’s look at the facts:

-There is at least one shot in the video where it appears he may be armed

-He had violent warrants out for his arrest

-He had already physically resisted officers trying to take him into custody

-He refused numerous lawful orders to stop

-Witnesses heard officers yelling to drop ‘the knife’

-It appears Blake was attempting to take something off of his floorboard or map pocket prior to the shots being fired. 

The viral video and word of the shooting sparked protests around the area.  Violent protesters began lighting fires and attacking police vehicles.  The violent protests continued through most of the night.

Police are not releasing much information, stating that they have turned the investigation over to the state Justice Department’s criminal investigations division.  The State Attorney General Josh Kaul released a statement:

“The Wisconsin Department of Justice is vigorously and thoroughly investigating yesterday’s officer-involved shooting in Kenosha.  As with all investigations we conduct, we will unwaveringly pursue justice in this case.”

Democrat Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers, released a statement alluding that the officers are guilty before an investigation has even been completed.  He said:

“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries.  While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country

…And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.” 

Here’s more on the second night of riots that have left the city up in flames:

KENOSHA, WI – The second night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin brought extensive damage – and widespread destruction against the black business district.

The Department of Corrections building was one of the first to fall.  And with it, seemingly symbolically, fell the American flag.

https://twitter.com/StillPindrop/status/1298109208865382400

The riots were sparked by the shooting of a man with an arrest warrant for everything from domestic violence to sexual assault.

What started as a peaceful demonstration, like many, turned violent hours into the curfew.

Arsonists torched commercial and government buildings and car dealership lots.

As the crowd of rioters grew into the hundreds, police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke bombs to disperse them.

Protester Porche Bennett, 31, of Kenosha told Reuters that the instigators she saw were white – and not from the city.

“It’s people from out of town doing this. We’ve been shopping there since we were kids and they set it on fire,” Bennett said.

Imagery on social media showed rioters who were both white and black. 

You could see black men smashing traffic signals and street lamps with baseball bats and both white and black men smashing in windshields and headlights of a row of cars.

Reuters reported that one white man riding a skateboard doused a government truck with an accelerant and torched it.

In the meantime, another huge group of rioters launched fireworks and frozen water bottles at police in front of the courthouse.

Here’s the backstory.

Late Sunday, August 23, pervasive looting and vicious riots broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in reaction to the shooting of an African American male by police officers.

On August 23, Kenosha Police responded to a report of domestic violence, where Jacob Blake, a 24-year-old, of Kenosha was the suspect.

Blake is an African American who has a violent criminal history. There was also a warrant issued for his arrest on July 7, 2020. The arrest warrant is for domestic violence, sexual assault, and disorderly conduct.

According to the Daily Wire News, Journalist Drew Hernandez commented that those doing the rioting and looting were Black Lives Matter (BLM) members. BLM also posted various tweets and videos regarding the vicious rioting on Twitter.

The looting and rioting caused a lot of property damage.

Democrat Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers was quick to condemn the police about the shooting of Blake late on Sunday. Blake had been shot earlier in the day by police while responding to a domestic violence incident. Even though Evers didn’t have the complete details of the incident, he still criticized the police for the shooting.

Evers said:

“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries.

While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hand of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.”

Evers added:

“And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites. I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”

The video of the shooting went viral online. It showed that something happened while police were engaged with Blake as they drew their weapons on him. According to Heavy.com, the police had an arrest warrant for Blake.

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The Wisconsin Circuit Court records reveal that Jacob S. Blake who is the same age as the male, with the same address as the block where Blake was shot, had a warrant issued on July 7.

This warrant suspected Blake of misdemeanor criminal trespass to a dwelling with domestic abuse; felony third degree sexual assault with domestic abuse; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct with domestic abuse.

In 2015, the Racine Eye newspaper wrote a story about how:

“Racine police say K9 Dozer had to help officers take a man into custody when the man refused to go quietly into custody after he pulled a gun at a local bar.”

Jacob Blake was that man involved in both the incident in 2015 and on Sunday, August 23, 2020.

In the bar incident, Blake was charged with a felony count of resisting arrest causing a soft tissue injury to a police officer, and a misdemeanor count for carrying a concealed weapon, one count for carrying a firearm while intoxicated, endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct.

These charges were not found on the circuit court website.

The Daily Wire reported:

“The Kenosha Police Department released a statement following the shooting that said that officers were called to the 2800 block of 40th Street, which appears to be the same street that was listed on the arrest warrant that had been issued, to respond to a domestic incident. The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating the incident.”

Police officials stated that police on scene provided aid to Blake who was transported to a local hospital. Blake is in serious condition.

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