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Baby tossed in Ala. river ruled hoax

An anonymous call last month that a woman tossed a baby into a swollen river was a hoax, say police, who were considering taking action against an officer who claimed he nearly rescued the baby.

Narcotics Detective Billy Vasser remains on paid leave pending an investigation of the incident on June 11, when fellow officers found him sobbing in waist-deep water, clutching a tiny blue shirt trimmed with lace.

Vasser claimed he lost his grip on the child in the currents of the Coosa River, and police appeared certain the report was valid. But despite a round-the-clock search, no body was found.

Police Lt. Randy Phillips did not say Wednesday what evidence led police to conclude the report was a hoax.

But the Associated Press reported last month that Vasser, 26, has a history of getting involved in situations that provide him with opportunities to be a hero.

Police Chief John Morris will decide whether to press administrative charges of misconduct against Vasser.

Possible punishment ranges from 30 days' suspension to termination. Vasser, who was placed on leave three days after the incident, is unlikely to face criminal charges, Phillips said.

Government looking at

minivan seat belts

WASHINGTON _ The government is investigating the construction of Chrysler minivan seat belts in response to consumer complaints and thousands of warranty claims that indicate the belt buckles sometimes fail.

There are about 1.2-million of 1991-93 Chrysler minivans on the road.

More than 110 complaints about the belts and one lawsuit involving a death have been filed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Doctor charged with

injecting AIDS

LAFAYETTE, La. _ A doctor has been charged with attempted second-degree murder for allegedly injecting his 33-year-old nurse with the AIDS virus because she was attempting to end their decade-long relationship.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Dr. Richard J. Schmidt, 48, told the woman the injection was vitamin B-12. When they were seeing each other, the woman would often receive vitamin injections from Schmidt for fatigue, the final one being Aug.

4, 1994, said police.

District Attorney Michael Harson said the woman could have been infected in her job, but that DNA tests suggest the virus in her blood originated from an AIDS patient Schmidt had been treating.

Amy Fisher files lawsuit

against prison officials

BUFFALO, N.Y. _ Amy Fisher, who charges she has been raped, photographed nude and sexually harassed by prison guards, filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking nearly a half-billion dollars in damages.

Fisher, 21, is serving five to 15 years at Albion Correctional Facility for shooting the wife of her former lover, Joey Buttafuoco. The case made national headlines.

The federal lawsuit filed by Fisher and her mother, Roseann, asks for $20-million from each of 22 state prison officials and guards, as well as a transfer.