<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sun, 04 Oct 2015 07:13:40 -0400 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 07:13:40 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Crews Respond to New London Fire]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:12:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fire+truck+generic.jpg

New London firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire Saturday night.

The fire broke out at a home at 61 Summer Street around 6:28 p.m. It took crews around an hour to get the blaze under control and firefighters spent another hour fighting hotspots. No injuries were reported.

Approximately 30 to 35 firefighters from the New London fire, Mohegan tribe fire, US naval sub base fire, Norwich fire, and Waterford fire responded.

As of 9 p.m. units were beginning to clear the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

<![CDATA[Community Mourns Hartford Woman Killed in Hit-and-Run ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:56:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/garden+st+memorial+web.jpg

Family and friends are remembering a Hartford woman who died after a hit-and-run.

On Saturday, there was a wake and vigil for 60-year-old Felicita Ayala.

“She was a really nice person and she had a good heart, really good heart,” says Sonia Moody.
Moody cannot believe she lost a former coworker, who friends and family called Fela.

Police say Ayala was crossing Garden Street last weekend when she was hit by an SUV which then took off northbound. Police rushed Ayala early Sunday morning to the hospital. She died several days later.

“The fact of the matter is that this was a human being and she didn’t deserve to die the way she died,” says Rev. Henry Brown of Mothers United Against Violence. “I’m hoping what we’re doing here (Saturday) will inspire justice to come for this young woman.”

A witness told police the SUV was a white Dodge Durango. That driver is still on the run and people at the vigil prayed whoever it is will be held accountable.

“I hope so. I hope they find out who did it,” says Moody.

The family says Ayala’s funeral is scheduled for Sunday.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Hartford police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA['We Don't Serve Cops Here': Dunkin' Donuts Worker Tells Cop]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:15:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/West+Hartford+Dunkin+Donuts+1200.jpg

A Dunkin' Donuts employee is apologizing after telling a police officer waiting to buy coffee that a Connecticut location doesn't serve cops, police said.

A West Hartford police officer was waiting at the back of the line in the Dunkin' Donuts at 1234 Farmington Ave. to buy a cup of coffee at the coffee franchise when one of the employees said loudly before a room of several customers, "He didn't get the message. We don't serve cops here," police said.

The officer immediately left without another word from any workers. On his way to his cruiser, the franchise manager brought the employee outside to apologize to the officer for the comment. The employee told the policeman the statement was a joke, according to the police report.

The officer told the employee to apologize to the customers who appeared offended instead of to him, so the employee went inside with him and did so. The worker offered the officer a free cup of coffee to make up for it, but he declined and said he would get one elsewhere, police reported.

The manager apologized for her employee's behavior and notified the regional manager, telling the officer she would handle the situation. Dunkin' Donuts corporate office was also notified.

"We are aware of the situation at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1234 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford," Michelle King, senior director of global public relations for Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. said in a statement released to NBC Connecticut. "The crew member exhibited poor judgment and apologized immediately to the police officer. The franchise owner, a long-time supporter of local police, has also reached out to apologize on behalf of the restaurant. Dunkin’ Donuts and our franchisees share a commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all guests."

<![CDATA[Dry Chemical Released at Ellington Gas Station]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 16:40:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fire+truck+generic.jpg

Apparent white fog surrounded a Cumberland Farms in Ellington Saturday after a dry chemical was released during a fire alarm call.

Ellington firefighters responded to the gas station at 5 Wappingwood Road for a fire alarm call.

There was no fire when they arrived, according to the department, however a large amount of a dry chemical that is in fire extinguishers was released, causing the appearance of white fog.

No one was injured.

The dry chemical release shouldn't put anyone in danger.

<![CDATA[Parents of Sandy Hook Victims Address Oregon Shooting]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 19:36:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/159498517.jpg

The parents of two young children killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy speaking out about doing more nationwide to prevent future school shootings after another deadly mass shooting at an Oregon community college and they're offering words of comfort for the victims' families.

At least nine people were killed and nine others injured when a gunman opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The shooter, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, 26, a student enrolled in the writing class where the mass shooting happened, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sandy Hook parents Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley empathize with the families of the victims in Oregon. They experienced similar losses when their children, Daniel Barden, 7, and Dylan Hockley, 6, were killed in a school shooting massacre along with 24 others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012. The shooter also shot and killed his mother before ultimately taking his own life.

"Our hearts break for the shattered families and community of Umpqua Community College after yesterday’s horror," Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley said in a statement Friday. "We understand their pain now and in the days and years to come and we promise to support them in any way possible. Our thoughts remain with them, the loved ones killed, those injured, and the countless traumatized."

Barden and Hockley are managing directors of Sandy Hook Promise, a national movement of parents, schools and community organizations engaged and empowered to deliver gun violence prevention programs and mobilize for the passage of sensible state and national policy," according to the website.

"While our hearts continue to break, our spirit never will. Nor will our anger in knowing that this was yet another preventable tragedy," Barden and Hockley said. "We know that as we learn facts about this tragedy, our nation will once again enter the endless debate around gun control and gun freedom. The debate goes on, but our children need us now. What saddens us is that we also know that, as usual, facts will come to light about the warning signs and signals the shooter gave to others, who then took no action to intervene."

Since the fatal Sandy Hook shooting, 483 people have signed the Sandy Hook Promise, which states "I promise to do all I can to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities."

"While we at Sandy Hook Promise believe our country needs to make progress on policies for appropriate firearm access, we also believe that we must change our attitudes and behaviors on passively accepting daily threats and violence, believing ourselves immune to having this sort of tragedy in our own community and believing we are helpless to prevent it in any case. None of us are immune and none of us are helpless," Barden and Hockley said.

Click here to read the full statement from Barden and Hockley.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Registered Sex Offender Exposed Himself on Trail]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:20:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/richard+hammond+1200.jpg

A registered sex offender is facing breach of peace and public indecency charges after a jogger told police he saw him on a trail without pants and with his genitals exposed.

Police arrested Richard Hammond, 52. of Stratford, on Saturday in connection to the May 10 incident.

A jogger came up to a police officer to report seeing a exposed man on the Shelton Trails while he was jogging in the area of Shelton Avenue. The man, who wasn't wearing any pants and had his genitals exposed, gestured to the jogger and then darted into the woods, the jogger told police.

Police found Hammond on the trails and identified him as the suspect.

Hammond has been a registered sex offender since 1998, police said.

Police charged him with second-degree breach of peace and public indecency.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[NY Explosion Kills 1, Injures 3]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:25:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pots-n-watts1.jpg

A gas stove is the suspected source of an explosion Saturday that killed a woman, injured three passersby and devastated a three-story building in Brooklyn, New York. 

The 1 p.m. blast tore the facade from the front of a building on 42nd Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park, fire officials said.

The explosion might have been sparked while a high-end stove was being disconnected from a gas line, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said during a news conference with Mayor de Blasio. Investigators believe the blast occurred on the second floor, he said.

The woman who died was found in a stairwell near the second floor, the commissioner said. Her identity wasn't disclosed. Firefighters believe she was the only person in the building.

A 33-year-old man and his 10-year-old son and a 27-year-old man were injured by bricks and other debris blown onto the sidewalk as they walked past the front of the building, Nigro said. They are expected to survive their injuries but were taken to area hospitals.

Approximately 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which was quickly brought under control. Five firefighters sustained minor injuries, Nigro said.

It appears that the building is home to housewares store and several apartments. The building was severely damaged and could collapse, fire officials said.

"We will be doing a full investigation," said de Blasio.

The incident prompted Gov. Cuomo to direct the state Department of Public Service to investigate the cause of the explosion.

"This explosion is the latest in a disturbing trend of incidents that occurred in Harlem and the East Village," he said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by today's explosion, especially the friends and family of those lost or injured."

On March 26, a gas line exploded at a Sushi restaurant in the East Village. Two men were killed and 25 others were injured. Evidence indicated that someone had tampered with the gas lines or meters, investigators said at the time.

The East Village incident occurred one year after a similar blast killed eight people in an East Harlem building. Federal investigators released a a report a few months ago that blamed the explosion on poorly crafted pipe-joint and an old sewer line that cause a gas line to break.

<![CDATA[Person Hospitalized in Hartford Stabbing]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:58:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+police+cruiser+generic+new.jpg

A person was hospitalized in a stabbing early Saturday morning in Hartford.

Police near the intersection of Main and Pavilion Street heard what sounded like a gunshot and then discovered a person on the roadway at Pavilion and Wooster streets, police said. It happened just after midnight early Saturday morning.

Officers gave the person first aid on scene before he was transported to an area hospital.

Doctors evaluated the wound and determined that it came from a knife, not a bullet. 

Police have not identified a suspect or witnesses and didn't find evidence at the scene.

The person stabbed is listed in stable condition at the hospital.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Connecticut Students Sing With Josh Groban]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:21:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/josh+groban+with+eastern+chamber+singers+1200.jpg

Singer/songwriter Josh Groban wasn't walking alone when he took to the stage at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford last week. He had a choir of Connecticut college students performing a couple songs from his new album with him.

"You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Anthem" from Groban's new "Stages" album now have special meaning to Eastern Connecticut State University's Eastern Chamber Singers.

The chorus accompanied Groban with back-up vocals for both the songs live at the concert on Sept. 26.

“It feels absolutely unreal to have been part of this experience,” said Tiara Lussier, an English major at Eastern in the class of 2019. “It's amazing coming in as a new student at Eastern, becoming part of such a welcoming group, and only a few weeks into the semester, getting an email saying ‘change of plans, we’re singing with Josh Groban!’ It was a very enlightening experience; it made me realize that music really is what I want to do in life.”

They were recruited to perform because they were the "top recommended ensemble in the area," according to a news release from the university.

“I am elated that Eastern Chamber Singers' reputation in the music community has reached such heights that we were sought out for this concert,” said David Belles, conductor of the Eastern Chamber Singers. “It is a reminder that hard work, focus and dedication to excellence pays off in the most unexpected ways.”

Photo Credit: Eastern Connecticut State University ]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Brave the Rain for Hartford Heart Walk]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 11:49:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*137/heart_walk2014.png

Hundreds of walkers raised tens of thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association, Saturday. Despite the rain, people flooded into Rentschler Field for the annual Hartford Heart Walk. The event was a family affair for Leigh Pechillo.

“When my son was a baby he was diagnosed with two congenital heart defects and had open heart surgery, six months after that my father had quadruple bypass surgery,” said Pechillo.

At the age of 44, Pechillo could not escape the silent killer herself.

“On Mother’s Day I actually collapsed at home after having heart burn, of a massive heart attack, and my husband saved my life using CPR,” she said.

Physical fitness is key to a healthy heart. Before the walk stepped off, Albert Staten of West Hartford was recognized for the changes he’s made since his heart attack.

“I’ve actually started to eat differently, I’m reading more labels than I ever read before as far as what I purchase. I’m actually starting to learn how to cook,” said Staten.

The goal is to raise $250,000 this year. Donations are still being accepted online: http://heartwalk.kintera.org.

“The money we raise here really goes to fund research and a lot of important community based activities,” said Garth Graham, chair of this year’s event, and President of the Aetna Foundation.

From programs that teach CPR, to advocating healthy lifestyles, and research to end this deadly disease. Not only is heart disease the number one killer of men and women, but stroke is number four.

The money will also help young heart patients.

“At the Children’s Hospital we do about 150 cardiac surgeries every year,” said Dr. Seth Lapuk, a pediatric cardiologist at Connecticut Children’s Hospital.

Startled by his wife’s episode, Pechillo’s husband got checked out this summer and learned he had a congenital heart defect that had gone undetected his entire life.

“It’s a killer and we need to do everything we can to help save more lives and create more survivors,” Pechillo said.

<![CDATA[Temperatures Below Average on Drizzly Saturday]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 16:13:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/First+Alert+Weather+Red.jpg

Temperatures are below average for this time of year on this drizzly Saturday.

It will be chilly Saturday, reaching the upper 40s to low 50s.

There will be drizzle and wind throughout the day.

It should get drier toward the evening.

Sunday will be cloudy with passing showers.

This week we'll see a break in showers and nicer temperatures.

<![CDATA[Berlin Residents Brave Rain for Friday Night Events]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:25:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rainy+Berlin+fair+web.jpg

A cool and rainy Friday night did not stop people from enjoying the end of the work week.

Many headed to fairs and football games.

“It wouldn’t be the Berlin Fair if it didn’t rain at least one day,” says Brian Chapman, South Kensington Fire Chief.

Chapman should know. For more than forty-years, firefighters here have dished out everything from fried clams to ice cream.

“It’s been doing good. Milkshakes are always a big seller,” says Chapman.

Friday was the first night of the fair, which goes through the weekend.

After spending time at the fair, some people caught the other big outdoor event in Berlin. The Redcoats took on Northwest Catholic.

Cheerleaders dressed in ponchos and rain boots. They rallied die-hard fans who did not have to worry about finding a seat in the bleachers.

Keeping it dry and warm was a little more challenging.

“I have a beach towel, blanket, umbrella, winter coat,” says Rhonda Arroyo, Berlin.

The team says the artificial turf can handle the rain, though the conditions make it more difficult for players to grip the ball.

In the stands, John Arroyo was making sure his cup of coffee was held tight.

“Keep me awake and warm. It’s cold out here right now,” says Arroyo.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Robbery on Shoreline Trail has Cyclists, Joggers on Edge]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:18:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New+Haven+trail+web.jpg

Joggers and cyclists in New Haven are on alert after a robbery on a popular shoreline trail. It happened on the Farmington River Canal Trail Thursday night, and police are still searching for the suspects.

New Haven Police say two men in their 20’s wearing light colored hoodies robbed a 21-year-old man on the trail near Munson Street. The victim was on the way to the City Climb Gym with friends when he says he was pushed off of his bike.

“It’s definitely a little nerve racking but I don’t have too many ways to get around,” Andrew Barrentine said.

Barrentine, in his first year at Yale University, says the school sent out an email alerting students about the incident.

“It said that someone was right at this intersection and that their backpack was stolen,” Barrentine said.

Police say the suspects took off with the backpack and the bike. The victim was hit several times, but not seriously hurt.

“I’m going to make my nephew change his route and go home a different way,” Malak Hopes said.

Police are urging those who use the trail to be on the lookout for the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact New Haven Police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Proposed Bill Could Bring Connecticut Tobacco to Cuba]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:42:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tobacco-Cigarettes-generic.jpg

For half-a-century, a trade embargo has banned the sale of US goods to Cuba.

But a Connecticut senator hopes to change that, by co-sponsoring the Freedom to Export to Cuba act which would repeal the trade embargo that's been on the books since 1960.

On Friday, Democrat Chris Murphy held a round table discussion with Connecticut tobacco growers to hear their take on the issue. Many expressed support for the idea, hoping it would provide a new opportunity for business.

"There’s more and more places where they don’t want you to smoke," said William Dufford, a South Glastonbury tobacco grower who's been in the industry for 40-years.

Opening up diplomatic relations is the first step to getting products grown in US soil back over to Cuba.

“This is an island that is just a handful of miles off of our shore with millions of potential customers," said Murphy.

Tobacco is still big business in Connecticut, which is the 8th largest producer, employing 1,000 people and adding $40 million to the economy, but fields are dwindling.

“In the 50’s there was probably 30,000 acres of tobacco grown in the valley, now there’s about three or four (thousand)," explained Dufford.

The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would also remove a president’s authority to impose future embargoes, and repeal the prohibition on Cuban imports. That had some worried about an influx of Cuban cigars to the US that would hurt American tobacco growers, but officials explained that US tobacco is already getting to Cuba through South America, and Connecticut farmers are missing out. Proponents say this bill presents an opportunity to make money off the legal trade of American tobacco to Cuba.

“I hope there’s some dollar signs, and keep us all in business," said Dufford.

Senator Murphy said the proposal is not just good for business but good politically.

“Once they get access to US goods, all of sudden political reform is not so slow to follow," said Murphy.

<![CDATA[Dentist Charged in Death of Patient Granted Probation]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:30:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/RASHMI+PATEL+1200.jpg

An Enfield dentist who was charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of a patient in 2014 has been placed on probation for two years and was granted accelerated rehabilitation.

Dr. Rashmi Patel apologized for the death of his patient, Judith Gan, 64, of Ellington, when he
appeared in court on Friday to answer to the charges with criminally negligent homicide and tampering with physical evidence. 

Gan's daughter said she forgives him.

"I choose to honor my Mom, her kindness and compassion. A lot of that's through forgiveness," Maggie Garden, of Wethersfield, said.

Patel, a first-time offender, will also have to donate $1,000 over the next two years to a charity Patel would have supported. That was one of the conditions of being granted probation.

Gan went to Patel's office Enfield office on Feb. 17, 2014 to have 20 teeth extractions, bone grafting and implants installed when she became unresponsive. She was then transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she was pronounced dead.

In May, the state suspended Patel's license and the State Dental Commission held several days of hearings to determine whether the dentist's license should be re-instated and members found that Patel failed to respond appropriately when Gan's oxygen levels dropped.

In December, he was placed on five years of monitored probation, but the move to revoke his license altogether was denied.

Patel had offices in Torrington and Enfield, where the negligent homicide took place, and he has surrendered his license to practice dentistry in Connecticut. On Sept. 10. he signed a voluntary agreement not to renew or reinststate his license.

While Patel is on probation he faces civil proceedings, and attorney Richard Kenny said he is confident they will be resolved in probate court. 

Patel's attorney, Hubert Santos, refused to comment on the case, but the criminal proceedings are over.




Photo Credit: Enfield Police]]>
<![CDATA[Donations to Bank’s Coin Machine Benefit Food Pantry]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:52:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bank-generic.jpg

TD Bank is using its popular coin counter machine to do good for local charitable organizations throughout the East Coast, including here in Connecticut for the benefit of a local food pantry.

The bank's Middletown branch is teaming up with the Amazing Grace food pantry, hoping spare change from the neighborhood will turn into big bucks to help the community.

"If it’s a dollar or a can of soup, we’re willing to take it," Heather Scozzari, the branch's manager, said.

People who are feeling charitable can bring their spare change to the Middletown branch’s coin conversion machine, make a donation to the food pantry and the bank will match all donations, up to $2,000.

"We want to bring change to the community. We want to help with their financial freedom. We want to give back ways to help them," Scozarri said.

And the coins dropped into the machines at TD Bank is used to buy food that ends up on the shelves of the food pantry.

John Cappetta, a longtime Middletown resident and supporter of the food pantry, made a special stop by the bank to help out with the effort.

"When I heard of the program, I came right down. I save my coins for the food pantry anyway, so the idea of having it matched really meant a lot," he said.

TD Bank branches throughout the northeast will be hosting Bring Change days.

The Amazing Grace Food Pantry was chosen to be the recipient of the Middletown branches proceeds from a pool of nominees.

<![CDATA[Water Restored After Main Break Causes Geyser in Hartford]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:28:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+geyser+water+main.jpg

A water main break shot water into the air on New Britain Avenue in Hartford on Thursday afternoon, which affected traffic for around 18 hours.

The intersection of New Britain and Newfield avenues in Hartford flooded right around 5 p.m. on Thursday. Vehicles were still getting by right after it happened, but traffic would be impacted until late Friday morning.

An NBC Connecticut crew at the scene reported that water gushed into the road for more than two hours and caused significant damage to the road before Metropolitan District crews could shut down service in the area.

Crews were at the scene overnight and shutdown the 12-inch water main that was installed in 1907.

MDC officials said many of the water lines in this area are old and difficult to inspect because it requires tearing up the road to do so. Nine homes were affected by the shutdown, but water was restored as of 5:15 a.m. on Friday. 

Crews spent hours excavating to inspect utilities and announced just after 3 p.m. on Friday that the road cleanup and restoration is complete. Newfield Street, however, still remained closed as of 3:15 p.m.

Residents in the area expressed frustration that the water wasn’t shut off more quickly.

“What about my basement? Do you care about my basement, my house?” said Hartford resident Adesh Singh, who had 3 inches of water pour into his basement.

MDC officials said they had to sequentially turn off valves to find the source of the leak and make repairs.

<![CDATA[Police Search for Teen Missing for Almost a Month]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:07:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Natasha+Rivera+1200.jpg

Police are asking for help to find an East Hartford teen who ran away from home nearly a month ago.

Sixteen-year-old Natasha Rivera has been missing since Sept. 3 and police think she could be in the Rockville section of Vernon or New Britain.

She is 5-feet-5, weighs 160 pounds, and her eyes and hair are brown.

East Hartford Police Department ask anyone with information on Natasha’s whereabouts to call the East Hartford Police Department at 860-528-4401.

Photo Credit: East Hartford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Charged in Child's Death Left Baby in Tub: Docs]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 08:18:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tamara+Santana+and+baby+dies+after+drowning+on+Elmer+Street+in+Hartford.jpg

A 27-year-old Hartford mother who was charged in connection with the death of her 1-year-old son, forgot the baby in a tub with the water running, according to court documents released Friday.

The child, Antonio Armando Delgado Jr., was found unconscious in the bathtub on Elmer Street in July, just four days after his first birthday, and later died.

His mother, Tamara Santana, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

According to court documents, Santana told police she took a shower and then washed her 1-year-old in the shower with her, before placing the boy on the floor of the tub and getting out to dry herself off.  She told officers she then walked out of the bathroom and checked Facebook for about 5 minutes.  It was then that she told police she heard water running and ran back into the bathroom to find the baby face down in the water, according to court documents.

The baby's father told officers he woke up from a nap, heard the water running and found the child unconscious in the tub while Santana was in the kitchen.  He has not been charged.

Santana has been in prison on unrelated charges. When she appeared in court on Friday for the newest charges, bond was set at $600,000.

Her public defender called it "academic."

Police said both of Antonio's parents were home when the incident happened and tried to drive the boy to the hospital, but stopped for help when they saw firefighters on Sigourney Street.

The fire crew began CPR on the baby and then rushed him to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, but the child had suffered life-threatening injuries and was removed from life support.

The office of the medical examiner's office has not determined the cause of death.

<![CDATA[Police Investigate Bank Robbery in East Lyme]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:05:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Generic+Bank+Robbery+722.jpg

CorePlus Federal Credit Union in East Lyme was robbed on Friday morning.

The robbery at the 125 Boston Post Road branch was reported at 9:30 a.m., according to state police.

Employees told troopers a man walked up to a teller and demanded money.  He did not show a weapon, police said.

The suspect was about 5-feet 6-inches tall with a slim build.  He was wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt and tan pants.

After leaving the bank, the man jumped in a pickup truck and headed west on Boston Post Road, police said.

The credit union closed for the day.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call State Police at 860-465-5400.

<![CDATA[Truck Carrying Portable Toilets Rolls Over in Ledyard]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:08:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-crop.jpg

A truck carrying porta potties rolled over in Ledyard on Friday afternoon and the driver has been transported to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

The trucked rolled over on Shewville Road around noon, snapped a utility pole, and the driver was trapped in the cab of the truck, according to the Ledyard Fire Department.

Emergency crews used the Jaws of Life to extricate the driver.

The road will be closed for a while, according to the Ledyard Fire Department, and crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have been called in because of the contents of the truck.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Racially-Charged Letters Left on Police Officers’ Cars ]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:46:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bridgeport+police+cruiser+2.jpg

Bridgeport Police Chief Joe Gaudett launched an Internal Affairs investigation earlier this week after racially charged letters were discovered on several officers’ cars.

An officer reported he found the letter on the windshield of his personal car in a police parking lot on Sunday morning. Officers searched the lot and found about 8 of the letters, including some on police vehicles.

A Connecticut State Police investigation into another racist letter discovered back in February is still ongoing and that is part of the reason Bridgeport Police Union President Charles Paris is so upset by this new one.

"It would be inviting to find out what the results were of the first letter, that would be helpful," Paris told NBC Connecticut.

The new letter ends with “Next to go: All members of the Bridgeport Guardians,” which is a reference to a minority officers’ organization.

"My reaction was the same as the first letter,” Paris said, “it is very disappointing. It is deplorable as far as we're concerned."

Just like the racist memo from February, this new one targeting African American police officers is typed on city letterhead and it includes the phrase coined by the Ku Klu Klan, “White Power.”

“I am disgusted that someone would make such a hateful statement and falsify my signature to the document,” Assistant Chief James Nardozzi said in a statement, responding to the use of his name on the memo.

The letter only hurts a force with its morale at an all-time low, Paris said.

"Our officers’ names have been spread across the country saying that we're a racist department, which is the farthest from the truth,” he said. “We need our names to be cleared."

“The Bridgeport Police Department has one of the most diverse police departments in the state,” Police Chief Gaudett said. “That diversity is a great strength for our department. Any allegation of racial discrimination that seeks to divide our police department or our community will not be tolerated. If the investigation turns up any wrongdoing, swift, fair, just and immediate action will be taken against those guilty of wrongdoing.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Lockdown at Thomaston High Lifted]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:51:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/classroom+generic1.jpg

Thomaston High School was placed on lockdown on Friday after white powder was found in the art room, but the lockdown has been lifted.

Officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said they believe this is a "low credibility" incident and they have contained the powder. It is not likely to be cause for concern, according to DEEP.

If the tests are inconclusive, DEEP will send the material for the lab to be analyzed further. 

The school was on "shelter in place" mode, but that has been lifted.

Photo Credit: Newsworks ]]>
<![CDATA[Police Arrest Man After Finding Pipe Bombs in Milford Home]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:31:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jason+Bayard+1200.jpg

Police have arrested a Milford man accused of making pipe bombs after a family member found them in the basement of his Milford home.

Police took custody of Jason Bayard, 39, of 67 Victory Drive in Milford, on Thursday after an investigation that started on Aug. 22, when one of Bayard’s family members called police about what appeared to be homemade pipe bombs in the basement.

One police determined they were improvised explosive devices, they called the State Police Bomb Unit, who removed them, took them to a safe blast site and detonated then.

Bayard bought the items used to make the bombs at stores and admitted to experimenting with them, according to a news release from police.

He was charged with manufacturing of bombs, illegal possession of explosives and illegal storage of explosives.

He was unable to post the $75,000 bond and was held in custody.

It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Milford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Rizzuto’s to Open Tonight After Kitchen Fire]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:39:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fire+at+Rizzuto+in+Blue+Back+Square+1200.jpg

Firefighters responded to Blue Back Square in West Hartford on Friday morning after a small kitchen fire at Rizzuto’s.

The health department also responded to the restaurant at 111 Memorial Road to see if the restaurant can open and staff members said the restaurant will be open for happy hour and dinner.

Apartments above the restaurant were evacuated, but everyone is back in now.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Bites Trooper After Huffing Dust Cleaner: Police ]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:42:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/connecticut+state+police+badge.jpg

A Somers man accused of biting a state trooper after huffing dust cleaner on Thursday night has been placed on mental health watch.

State police responded to a home on Lafayette Street in Somers at 10:39 p.m. on Thursday after receiving two 911 calls from a family member who said Daniel Roessier was throwing things in the house and smashed the phone when the family member tried to call 911.

Troopers responded and say the 25-year-old had been huffing Dust-Off, which is a dust cleaner, and got angry when his family member refused to bring him to the store to buy more chemicals to huff, according to a news release from state police.

When state police tried to take Roessier into control, he pushed a trooper, who was eventually able to get him into handcuffs.

Then, he allegedly bit a trooper’s hands and began spitting when police were putting him into the cruiser.

Roessier continued to act violently, police said, so troopers warned him to stop, then used pepper spray on him when he refused to comply, a news release from police says.

Roessier was charged with assault on police, interfering with an officer and resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, interfering with an emergency call and third-degree assault.

He was arraigned in Rockville Superior Court on Friday and is being held on $50,000 bond. He is due back in court later this month. He is due back in court later this month.

It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

<![CDATA[Bus and Vehicle Crash Closed Route 188 in Oxford]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:32:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-crop.jpg

Route 188 in Oxford was closed on Friday morning after a minor crash involving a bus and another vehicle, according to police.

An alert from the state Department of Transportation said the road was closed at Nod Hill Road, but is has since reopened.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricane Joaquin Prompts Shoreline Communities to Prepare]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 08:46:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tropical+track+October+2+1200.jpg

Hurricane Joaquin is expected to veer out to sea, away from Connecticut, but some shoreline communities that have been hit hard by previous storms are taking the steps to prepare in the event of a weather emergency.

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo held a storm preparation meeting with emergency leaders from town to talk about storm preparations and they are pruning as many trees as possible, cleaning catch basins and ordering sand for sandbags, among other things.

In Stonington, town officials are opening an emergency command center so that all emergency personnel could respond to problems from one place. They’re also preparing to open the town’s high school as a place of shelter if needed.

“If it's going to be a large storm, we're going to have more officers than usual on a given shift, because if the storm starts, it's going to be more difficult to get officers from home,” Lt. Michael Peckham, of the Stonington Police Department, said.

State emergency management officials are planning to update the media this morning on what they’re doing to prepare.

<![CDATA[SUV Crashes Into Building in North Haven ]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 08:17:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/State+Street+SUV+crash+into+building.JPG

A driver crashed an SUV into a building in North Haven on Friday morning and has been taken to the hospital.

Police said the driver was stricken by some sort of medical condition, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the side of a building on State Street that houses ProFlow Inc. modular processing systems.

No information was available on the driver’s condition and police said they do not expect to charge the person.

The structure was not damaged.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Old Lyme Residents Prepare for Hurricane Joaquin]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 23:33:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Old+Lyme+shore+web.jpg

People in Old Lyme are being urged to prepare despite an improving forecast that takes Hurricane Joaquin further from the coast.

Laurie Mattson’s home sits not far from the Connecticut River in Old Lyme.

“I panic slowly,” says Mattson.

Three years ago, Mattson watched as Sandy sent water pouring into her neighborhood. Her basement flooded.

In other areas of town, the storm battered homes and transformed streets into sand dunes.

Now as Hurricane Joaquin brews near the Bahamas, Old Lyme town leaders are already acting.

“We’re reaching out to people saying you need to look at your yards, you need to look at your resources, you need to look at your plan, and prepare for a storm,” says Bonnie Reemsnyder, Town of Old Lyme First Selectwoman.

Firefighters and other town departments are checking their buildings and fuel supplies.

People in town are urged to sign up for “Old Lyme Alerts.” A text, email, or call lets people know about an emergency, including hurricanes.

“The most important thing that we have to do in a storm is to be able to communicate with people,” says Reemsnyder.

Back by the river, Mattson is most concerned with storm water ruining her well.

For now it’s less about worrying and more about watching the forecast.

“I’m not scared,” says Mattson.

The first selectwoman says hundreds of people have signed up for those alerts. You can do that at town hall or on the town website.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Northeast Wind Could Cause Coastal Flooding]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:40:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Custom+Map+4_101151.png

A strong northeast wind on Friday could result in minor coastal flooding in southwest Connecticut.

With a strong high pressure center over Canada and Joaquin missing out to sea, a tight pressure gradient will exist over the region.

This means sustained winds of 10-20 miles per hour with gusts as high as 35 miles per hour near and along the Connecticut coastline.

A northeast wind maximizes the amount of time the wind is over Long Island Sound, also known as fetch, thereby pushing water to the west.

As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood watch for southern Fairfield and southern New Haven Counties during the day Friday.

Tides will be one-to-two feet above astronomical levels.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect in Girl's Kidnapping, Sex Assault Identified]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 05:44:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/alexy+martinez+mercado_1200.jpg

New Britain police have obtained an arrest warrant for the man they say took a young girl from her window on the morning of August 16 and sexually assaulted her before returning her to her bed.

Officers secured the warrant for Alexy Martinez-Mercado, 27, of New Britain, on Thursday.

According to police, girl was sleeping in her bed in the Broad Street neighborhood when a Martinez-Mercado entered her bedroom through an unlocked window.

Police said he took her outside, touched her inappropriately and then brought her back home.

Through their investigation, police identified Martinez-Mercado as a suspect.  He was already in custody on unrelated charges, police said.

Martinez-Mercado is now facing charges of first-degree kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, home invasion and risk of injury to a minor by sexual contact.

He will be formally charged at his next court appearance on October 8.

<![CDATA[Joaquin Facebook Video Question and Answer Session]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:50:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/QA.png

Major hurricane Joaquin is expected to miss the United States.

First Alert meteorologist Tyler Jankoski answered questions in a live video on Facebook this afternoon.

Watch for details on the storm, including a discussion on the European model.

If you're viewing from the app, click here to see the video.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[State Officials Ask for Public to Help Crack Down on Price Gouging During Storms ]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:26:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/100115+hurricane+joaquin+2+pm+thursday.jpg

As we watch the track of Hurricane Joaquin, state officials are warning the public about the dangers of price gouging.

NBC Connecticut First Alert meteorologists say the most likely scenario as of Thursday afternoon is that Joaquin will veer east and miss the United States, but vulnerable consumers have become victims during past major weather emergencies that hit the state, such as Sandy and Irene, state lawmakers said during a news conference Thursday at the New Haven Emergency Operations Center.

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During a declared state of emergency, it is illegal in the state for businesses to increase the prices of goods and services.

“There are all kinds of opportunities for people without conscience to engage in predatory behavior," State Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) said.

In 2013, after Sandy caused severe damage along the coastline, the Legislature expanded the law to protect consumers from price gouging of services, like repairing roofs and fixing flood damage.

Looney said people concerned about safety to their homes were approached by contractors charging exorbitant rates.

He added the same type behavior can take place during the cleanup following snowstorms.

According to the anti-price gouging law, consumer protection officials determine if a price is excessive by comparing what the same good or service cost thirty days before the weather emergency.

"When there's a storm coming and you need something to protect your family, doesn't matter how much it costs,” New Haven Emergency Management Coordinator Rick Fontana said. “You want it and last thing you want to know is you've been gouged and taken advantage of."

State officials ask people who think they have been the victim of price gouging during a state of emergency to call the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649.

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue Trapped Dog]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:13:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/FF+Tom+Rubenstein+returning+the+cock-a-poo+to+owner+Brian+Kielitz+1200.jpg

Firefighters came to the rescue of an 8-year-old cock-a-poo that was trapped under slabs of concrete and other construction debris on Wednesday morning.

Heavy rain fell on Wednesday, so the possibility of flooding presented challenges, but crews from Engines 3 and 5, Ladder 2 and Cars 2 and 3 responded.

Fairfield fire crews used structural collapse rescue tools, along with traditional tools they use for digging, freed the dog and returned the pet to the owner.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[6 Gang Members Arrested]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:16:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg+20+may.jpg

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, ATF, New Haven Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies held a news conference in New Haven on Thursday afternoon and said six members of the Red Side Guerrilla Brims gang have been arrested on murder charges.

A news release distributed before the news conference said they would be announcing federal murder, racketeering, firearms, narcotics and money laundering charges against several members and associates of a violent New Haven street gang.

<![CDATA[Major Hurricane Joaquin Track Shifts East]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 07:44:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tropical+track+October+2+1200.jpg

While the National Hurricane Center slowly adjusts the track of Hurricane Joaquin away from Connecticut, our First Alert meteorologists say the most likely scenario is that Joaquin will veer east, out to sea, and miss the United States by several hundred miles.

The storm has drifted quite a ways southwest over the past few days, so much so that it’s now likely to miss getting picked up by a trough of low pressure over the eastern United States. This is what would have made for a United States landfall.

Given such a changable forecast, it remains important to communicate all possibilities. Now, the less likely outcome is a New England or Mid-Atlantic landfall. First Alert meteorologists peg the hit potential at only 10 percent, while the miss potential is a whopping 90 percent and likely to grow.

Periods of rain are expected today in Connecticut, in association with a stalled front just offshore. A few showers are possible Saturday. Some sun is likely by Sunday!

The First Alert weather team will have the latest information online and on-air all week long.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Arrested in Connection With Baby's Death]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:29:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tamara+Santana+and+baby+dies+after+drowning+on+Elmer+Street+in+Hartford.jpg

A 27-year-old Hartford mother has been arrested in connection with the death of her 1-year-old son, who was found unconscious in a bathtub in July and later died.

Tamara Santana has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide and reckless endangerment and bond has been set at $1 million, according to police. She is in prison on unrelated charges and is on mental health watch.


Officials said the incident happened on Elmer Street in July.

The child was identified as Antonio Armando Delgado Jr. His first birthday was just four days before the tragic incident.

Police said his parents were home when it happened and tried to drive the boy to the hospital, but stopped for help when they saw firefighters on Sigourney Street.

The fire crew began CPR on the baby and then rushed the boy to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, but the child had suffered life-threatening injuries and was removed from life support.

The office of the medical examiner's death has not been determined.

<![CDATA[Reports of Underground Fuel Line Rupture in New Haven]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 10:58:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+haven+fire+generic.jpg

Firefighters, police and environmental experts have responded to the New Haven Terminal, at 100 Waterfront Street in New Haven, where an underground fuel line is reported to be leaking.

Officials believe a line two inches underground ruptured and police said the substance is low-grade fuel oil.

Officials from the Water Pollution Control Authority, state Department of Environmental Protection and the Coast Guard have been notified.

Police said traffic should not be impacted because the scene is in a remote area.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rollover Crash on Route 6 in Southbury]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 08:49:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rollover+crash+on+Route+6+in+Southbury+1200.jpg

Delays are building after a rollover crash on Route 6 in Southbury.

The crash happened in the area of the Southbury Plaza and there are delays on both sides of the road that extend from Route 67

No information was immediately available on whether anyone was injured.

Check back for updates.

<![CDATA[Man Hit and Killed After Leaving Car Following Crash]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 08:34:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-night-shutterstock_696221173.jpg

A 43-year-old man who got out of his car after a crash in Watertown on Wednesday night was killed when another vehicle struck him, according to state police.

Marc A. Warzocha was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox on Route 8, just before the exit 37 off- ramp at 9:40 p.m., and was injured when he was involved in a one-car crash, police said.

After his car stopped, the 43-year-old man got out of his vehicle, walked across the median and onto Route 8 north, where he was hit by another car.

An ambulance responded and transported Warzocha to Waterbury Hospital, where he later died.
State police are investigating and said the driver who hit Warzocha stopped.

Route 8 northbound was closed for several hours on Wednesday night, but has reopened.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>