Meridian Star

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October 8, 2013

The World in Brief

(Continued)

WORLD —

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Police ID NJ man who set himself on fire on National Mall; no word on why he did it

WASHINGTON (AP) — The man who set himself on fire on the National Mall and later died was identified Monday, though police had no more information on his possible reasons.

John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J., had burns so severe that authorities needed to use DNA and dental records to identify him. District of Columbia police spokesman Paul Metcalf in an emailed statement confirmed his identity.

Constantino poured the contents of a red canister of gasoline on himself in the center portion of the mall Friday afternoon. He then set himself ablaze, with passing joggers taking off their shirts to help put out the flames. Police had said he was conscious and breathing at the scene.

But he died Friday night at a Washington hospital where he had been airlifted.

Police are investigating the man's possible motives. Lt. Pamela Smith of the U.S. Park Police said she was not aware that he had carried any signs with him or had articulated a cause.

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In Vegas casinos, the eye in the sky watches out for the money, but not always the guests

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hotel maid Brandi Patrick was chased down the hallway at the Flamingo casino last year by a nearly naked man. She said she had to lock herself in a cleaning closet and, as the man rattled the handle, fumble around in her pockets to find her cellphone so she could call security.

She said she's haunted by the thought of what might have happened if she hadn't had her phone. "Something could happen and no one would know it 'till the end of the shift," she said.

Las Vegas casinos— some of the most closely-watched spaces in the world— don't have video cameras in guest room hallways, an absence that hotel workers like Patrick, patrons and prosecutors say can act as a green light for crime.

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