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Armed jogger stopped sex assault on fellow runner, police say

Court paperwork filed Tuesday said an armed good Samaritan stopped an attack on a runner on a popular trail in Austin, Texas, last week.

>> Read more trending news 

Police have accused Richard Jordon McEachern, 22, of forcing a runner to the ground Friday and sexually assaulting her on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Friday around 5:46 a.m.

Police who responded to the incident found a woman on the trail with no shorts or shoes but being tended to by other runners. News of the attack had sparked fear and anger this week among Austin runners.

McEachern was found Monday and booked the next day into the Travis County Jail and charged with felony sexual assault, which is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

According to an arrest affidavit filed against McEachern, the woman told police she was headed east on the trail early Friday when she heard loud steps approaching behind her.

“The victim was grabbed behind by the suspect with both the suspect’s arms, (bear hug),” the affidavit said. “The victim said they fell to the ground and she was on her back and the suspect was on top of her.”

READ MORE: Runners on edge after second attack on popular Austin trails

The document said the woman reported that the attacker put his hand over her mouth and kept saying, “Shh, it’s me baby, it’s me” as she struggled to scream and use a whistle she carried to call for help.

As the assault continued, the man told the victim that he was a virgin, and this was his first time, according to the report.

Another jogger who was carrying a flashlight and a handgun heard the victim scream and ran over to help.

The affidavit said the jogger told police he shined his light in the direction of the screams and saw the victim on her back and the attacker on his left side on top of the victim.

The jogger pointed his gun at the suspect and demanded he get off the victim. The attacker stood up and was naked from the waist down, the affidavit said.

The woman got up and started walking to the jogger to get away from the attacker.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Suspect arrested after hike and bike trail sexual assault reported

The affidavit said she did not know the jogger had a gun because she’d been blinded by his flashlight.

The attacker took off with the woman’s shoes and shorts when she walked in front of the jogger’s line of fire, the affidavit said.

Investigators found video of a possible suspect later in the day. Then on Monday, they found McEachern sleeping just off the trail in the area of the attack. The affidavit said he was naked from the waist down.

Two people picked McEachern out of a photo lineup after he was taken into custody, police said.

Police have not said whether McEachern has been tied to any other attacks in the area, including another on a jogger at the Austin High School track on Aug. 22.

During that attack, a man with a similar description grabbed a jogger from behind and tried to cover her mouth, according to police.

How to lose weight: Take a break from your diet for 2 weeks, study suggests

Diets are a great way to cut down on calories. But if you’re hoping to shed the pounds, taking a two-week break from your regimen could help you lose even more weight, according to a new study.

>> On AJC.com: Why this diet praised by Jennifer Aniston could work for you

Researchers from the University of Tasmania in Australia recently conducted an experiment, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, to determine ways to improve weight loss success based on eating patterns.

To do so, they assessed 51 obese men over a four-month period, breaking them off into two groups. Those in the first one were asked to follow a diet, which cut one-third of their calories, for all four months. Those in the second group were required to go on the same diet only for two weeks, taking a break from it for the next two weeks. They repeated the cycle eight times.

>> Read more trending news

After analyzing the data, they found that those who took breaks lost 50 percent more weight than those who didn’t. Those who deviated from the plan also shed more fat.

Six months after the study, both groups regained weight. However, those who took breaks were about 18 pounds lighter than those who followed the diet continuously. 

>> On AJC.com: Lose the belly pooch: 7 do’s and don’ts to accomplish a flat stomach

Why is that?

Researchers believe dieting can alter the body’s biological process, which can lead to slower weight loss or even weight gain. 

“When we reduce our energy (food) intake during dieting, resting metabolism decreases to a greater extent than expected; a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis’ – making weight loss harder to achieve,” co-author Nuala Byrne said in a statement. “This ‘famine reaction’, a survival mechanism which helped humans to survive as a species when food supply was inconsistent in millennia past, is now contributing to our growing waistlines when the food supply is readily available.”

Although the researchers’ method proved to be more successful than nonstop dieting, they noted that it wasn’t more effective than other popular diets. But it could provide another weight loss alternative. 

>> On AJC.com: 6 of the best apps to track your eating

“It seems that the ‘breaks’ from dieting we have used in this study may be critical to the success of this approach,” Byrne said. “While further investigations are needed around this intermittent dieting approach, findings from this study provide preliminary support for the model as a superior alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss.”

Amazon baby registry emails baffle customers who aren't expecting

Many people online said they received notices Tuesday about gifts being purchased for their Amazon baby registry.

Problem is, in many cases the customers who received the notices said they don't have a registry – or a baby on the way.

“We are notifying affected customers," an Amazon spokeswoman said Tuesday evening. "A technical glitch caused us to inadvertently send a gift alert e-mail earlier today. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”

>> Read more trending news

“Hello Amazon Customer,” the screengrab of one of the messages read. “Someone great recently purchased a gift for your baby registry! You can visit your Thank You List to easily track all gifts purchased. PS: Remember some Gifters like when it’s still a surprise.”

There was a box where users could click through to a "Thank You List."

Many people who received the message tweeted about it with the hashtag #amazonbaby. Read some of the tweets below:

8-year-old football players kneel during national anthem in protest

Every player from an 8-and-under football team in Belleville, Illinois, took a knee in protest during the national anthem before their game on Saturday, according to KTVI.

>> Watch the news report here

“One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?'” said Coach Orlando Gooden during a phone interview with the news station on Tuesday.

>> See a photo of the protest here

Gooden told the news station that one of the players responded, “Because black people are getting killed and nobody’s going to jail.”

Gooden, a former football player at the University of Missouri, said his players were aware of the recent Jason Stockley decision, which saw an ex-St. Louis officer acquitted in a fatal shooting of a black driver and led to numerous protests.

>> Elderly woman knocked to ground by police during St. Louis protest

“I felt like it was a good teaching moment for me to circle the team and have a meeting,” he said.

Gooden said he spoke with his team about that and other situations that have taken place recently in the United States and explained why free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others have knelt during the anthem in protest.

>> Read more trending news

“One of the kids asked, ‘Can we do that?’ I said, ‘As long as we know why we’re doing it, I don’t have a problem with any of it,'” he said.

According to the coach, the third-graders immediately took a knee as the anthem began, with their backs — unintentionally — away from the flag.

“What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and boundaries,” he said.

The players’ parents reportedly supported the coach’s decision to allow the team to take a knee; however, a Facebook post from his wife reveals that there has been some backlash from other residents in the area.

“As long as I have support of my parents and team, I’m perfectly fine, and I’m covered under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble,” Gooden said.

Navy hospital employee accused of mishandling newborn babies: 'Sorry for offending'

Employees at Florida's Naval Hospital Jacksonville who reportedly posted a viral video of newborn babies “dancing” will likely face criminal charges.

>> Watch the news report here

The newborns were referred as “mini Satans” by the employees. 

When the employees posted the pictures of the baby’s face, that alone is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. 

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson says the employees could be charged with more than a HIPPA violation. Carson said he believes this is a case of child abuse.

In the video, rap music from 50 Cent can be heard in the background as a staff member from Naval Hospital Jacksonville is seen making a newborn baby dance to the music. 

>> Watch the clip here

The woman who sent Action News Jax the Snapchat video also sent text messages detailing a conversation between her and the U.S. Navy employee.

The employee said: "We were being stupid and bored. Sorry for offending.”

But some parents were angry over the video. 

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

“That baby could have been seriously injured … all because she wanted to be popular on social media,” parent Regina Wortmann said. 

A photo was also posted showing a staff member making an obscene hand gesture and saying that was how she felt about the “mini Satans.” 

"She'll receive demerits and be punished in some way," Carson said.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville posted an apology via Facebook, calling the posts “outrageous.” 

>> Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

“We have identified the staff members involved,” the hospital said. “They have removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice.” 

Carson says the incident could be very costly. 

>> Read more trending news

“It’s clearly a HIPPA violation and probably the U.S. Navy and their medical system at NAS Jax can be sued over this,” Carson said. 

Action News Jax contacted the hospital for more information. Officials sent the station an email saying the public information officer is “attempting to respond to all requests in a timely matter.” 

>> Watch another news report here

Football players under 12 at high risk of brain injury, study finds

A new Boston University study published Tuesday found a single season of youth football can change a child's brain.

>> Watch the news report here

The findings focused on children 12 and under and, according to the study, those first 12 years of a child's life are critical to brain development.

That’s why any damage – no matter how small – could mean health concerns years later.

Youth football is a family tradition for many, but this new study out of BU has found the longer a child waits to play football, the better it is for their brain.

“There's really something specific about hitting your head over and over again at a young age and it is disrupting normal brain development,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Michael Alosco, said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: One youth football game results in five concussions

Researchers examined 214 amateur and professional football players and found those who started playing football before they were 12 years old were at higher risk for behavioral and cognitive problems.

“That's a critical period of brain development, especially in males,” said Alosco. 

According to the study, the risks for behavioral problems doubled and the risk for elevated depression tripled.

>> Read more trending news

Alosco told WFXT that their findings revealed any injury to a child's brain could result in permanent damage.

“We're talking about those tiny hits to the head, over and over repeatedly that don't necessarily result in symptoms, but we think are enough to cause injury to the brain,” he explained. 

Just earlier this summer, WFXT investigated the growing trend of youth flag football as many are families opting out of regular football because of health concerns.

“I just think it's a little too dangerous at their young age. They're so fragile,” parent Jeanine Hetzel said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: Despite new helmets, doctors warn of concussion risk for football players

WFXT asked Alosco whether he would recommend parents not let their child play youth football. He said more research needs to be done, but he did say one thing. 

“You just have to ask yourself: Do you really want your young kid to go out there and start hitting their head at such a young age – not even just football – in anything?” said Alosco. 

Dad challenges school dress code after 13-year-old daughter punished for 'distracting boys'

The father of a California middle school girl is standing up for his daughter after she was cited for violating her school’s controversial dress code.

>> Watch the news report here

According to KTVU, officials at Fisher Middle School in Los Gatos, near San Jose, informed 13-year-old Demetra Alarcon that the romper she wore to school recently was distracting to boys. Her father, Tony, brought her a change of clothes — jean shorts and a tank top — but school officials determined that outfit was inappropriate as well. Luckily, the father found a pair of leggings in the car as backup, but says the dress code unfairly targets girls.

>> On Rare.us: High school boys ticked about girls getting dress coded are raising eyebrows with their protest

“I mean, today it’s 90 degrees outside, and she’s wearing leggings because she doesn’t want to be dress-coded for wearing shorts. And it’s not OK. It needs to change,” Tony Alarcon told CBS News.

>> Read more trending news

He told the Mercury News: “Demetra isn’t alone. Just sit in Fisher’s parking lot, and you’ll see that. I’ve heard from multiple girls that they just want to be comfortable, but they feel like they’re being pushed into wearing leggings in 100-degree heat. I was told by an administrator that the girls’ clothes are a distraction to the boys. That shouldn’t be a concern.”

While Alarcon agrees students should be dressed appropriately for school, he doesn’t agree tank tops in extreme heat are inappropriate. He also added that it’s difficult to find girls’ shorts that meet the school’s 4-inch length requirement in most stores. He finds the regulations on girls’ clothing to be discriminatory, so he’s fighting back, saying, “You have to stand up for what’s right and that’s what I’m doing.”

>> On Rare.us: A Catholic high school is under fire for its prom dress code, which appears to body shame female students

The school district met last week to discuss the dress code but has not announced any changes. Fisher Principal Lisa Fraser defended the code in a statement that read, “There has always been a dress code. These are standards for reasonable decorum. I do reserve the right to set guidelines for the school, but I want to lead with the pulse of the community and reflect the community’s core values.”

Heartbroken dad shares viral message after 'horrific' bullying of special-needs son

A heartbroken dad is speaking out against bullying after his 7-year-old son with special needs told him what was going on at school.

Dan Bezzant of Idaho posted a now-viral plea on Facebook asking parents to educate their children. His son, Jackson, 7, was born with Treacher Collins syndrome. The condition affects the development of his bones and facial tissue. It has also left him deaf and has affected his eyesight, Inside Edition reports.

>> See the Facebook post here

He said kids at his son’s school bully him relentlessly because he’s different.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Teen notices classmates bullying student, goes out of his way to cheer him up 

“My heart is in pieces right now … my soul feels like it’s ripping from my chest,” Bezzant wrote on Facebook. “This beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I’ve never witnessed.”

Bezzant told Inside Edition he sat in his car and cried after his son told him about what other kids did to him at school.

“He is called ugly and freak and monster on a daily basis by his peers at school. He talks about suicide…he’s not quite 8! He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words,” Bezzant wrote.

>> Read more trending news

He asked parents to teach their kids about children with special needs.

Bezzant wrote, “Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man. … [Jackson has] endured horrific surgery and has several more in the coming years.”

Bezzant’s post went viral and has been shared more than 51,000 times. He hopes attitudes change toward people who look different.

“This shouldn’t be happening … to anyone,” wrote Bezzant.

Pediatrician to parents: Treat conversations about tattoos, piercings like ‘the sex talk’

An Atlanta pediatrician says conversations about tattoos and piercings should be taken seriously and urges parents to consider treating the discussions like “the sex talk.”

>> Read more trending news 

Dr. Cora Breuner, an adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital, and Dr. David Levine, a general pediatrician and professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, published a study Monday about health risks of tattooing and piercing in adolescents and young adults, a group that is showing an increasing interest in the body modifications, Breuner said. 

Some of the consequences include potential for keloids and infections such as hepatitis and tetanus and long-term regret or discomfort revealing tattoos in professional settings.

“Adolescents may overestimate the effectiveness of tattoo removal when having one placed and should be instructed that tattoo placement is permanent, and it is expensive and sometimes difficult to remove them,” the report reads.

Breuner told CNN she went with her daughter to get her navel pierced on her 18th birthday and she held the teenager’s hand while the piercer did his work. 

“I did my usual Dr. Mom thing and found out the person doing it had been a surgical tech before he decided to do piercings, and I watched him,” Breuner said. “I’m not saying everybody should do that, but at least for me, my sense of this whole world is that it’s changing right in front of us, and we can either have our eyes open and be supportive and help our children make informed decisions when they’re young adults, or ignore it and hope it goes away.”

Levine said conversations about tattoos and piercings are serious and important. 

“The big thing is that parents really should bring this up, to talk with their children intentionally, because the teenagers are likely thinking, ‘My parents will kill me, so I either have to hide (the tattoo or piercing), or I’ll just actually abide by my parents’ rules and get it when I’m 18.’

“Even then, 18-year-olds are still fairly impulsive. It still would be good for them to have had a discussion with their parents ...

“It’s very similar when we talk to parents about the time to do the sex talk is at age 11, before they actually need it ... Even if it's not right at that moment, it will open up the conversation and keep the communication open on these issues as kids negotiate adolescence,” he told CNN.

“It’s really our mission and our job to promote safety and healthy living for our children as our children go into adulthood,” Breuner told CNN.

Levine’s advice on when to get your child’s earlobes pierced? Wait until the child says he or she wants it.

“My biggest advice to the parents, unless this is a cultural issue where everybody in the culture gets their kids’ ears pierced in early childhood, I’d like the kid to actually want it,” he said.

Read more at American Academy of Pediatrics and CNN.

Meghan Markle likely to attend Prince Harry's Invictus Games amid engagement rumors, report says

Prince Harry will be kicking off his annual Invictus Games this month, and girlfriend Meghan Markle will likely be there to show her support, People reports.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Harry through the years

The Games will take place in Markle’s adopted hometown of Toronto next week, and she’s expected to be there in an unofficial capacity, possibly cheering from the sidelines as she did for one of Prince Harry’s recent polo matches, People reported. If she attends, the event will mark the second time the couple has appeared in public together.

>> On Rare.us: Meghan Markle opens up for the first time about being 'in love' with Prince Harry

The news comes after reports that Prince Harry and Markle reportedly vacationed together in Africa last month and took a short trip to Queen Elizabeth’s Scottish highlands estate for the royal’s birthday. Royal fans are now wondering whether the actress met the queen, an important step toward a royal engagement. 

>> On Rare.us: As their vacation nears its end, Prince Harry has a romantic surprise for Meghan Markle

Prince Harry created the Paralympic-style Invictus Games aimed at giving wounded service members around the world the opportunity to compete in a variety physical activities. The first Games took place in London in 2014, followed by the 2016 event in Orlando. Next year’s event is set to occur in Sydney, Australia.

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

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