<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usSat, 01 Oct 2016 13:30:27 -0400Sat, 01 Oct 2016 13:30:27 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Hartford Firefighters Rescue Woman From Burning Home]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 13:23:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Sherbrooke-Avenue-fire.jpg

Hartford firefighters pulled a woman from a burning home on Sherbrooke Avenue early Saturday morning.

Fire official said they responded around 1:45 a.m. to 58 Sherbrooke Ave. Officials said when they arrived they had to rescue a 47-year-old woman from the building. The victim was taken to the Bridgeport Hospital Burn Unit for treatment.

Officials said she was unresponsive at the time of the rescue and her current condition is unknown. She has not been identified.

According to fire officials, a total of eight people – four adults and four children – live in the multi-family home and were relocated as a result of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but it appears to have started in the kitchen on the first floor.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[22-Year-Old Killed in Old Saybrook Accident Friday Night]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 10:21:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Police-GettyImages-187062332.jpg

A 22-year-old woman was killed in a car accident in Old Saybrook Friday night.

Police said they responded around 10:40 p.m. to an accident at the intersection of the Middlesex Turnpike and Bokum Road. When officers arrived on scene they tried to pull the driver from the vehicle, which was on fire, but despite their efforts the driver was pronounced dead.

The victim has not been identified pending notification of her family.

Two officers were taken to Middlesex Medical Center Shoreline for treatment of injuries they got trying to free the driver. They were treated and released.

Police said it appears the vehicle was traveling north on Middlesex Turnpike and struck a tree at the intersection of Bokum Road. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

No other vehicles were involved and the driver had no passengers, police said.

The road was closed for about five hours while the accident reconstruction team investigated. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact police at (860) 395-3142.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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<![CDATA[Aleppo Hospital Hit by Barrel Bombs, Nurse Say]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 13:09:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/M10+Aleppo+Hospital+Bombed.png

Bombs knocked out one of besieged Aleppo's last remaining hospitals Saturday, a nurse inside the facility told NBC News.

Abo Rajab said two crudely made barrel bombs hit M10 — one in front of the hospital and other behind — at 11 a.m. (4 a.m. ET). Within two hours at least one cluster bomb struck the facility, he said.

While there were no casualties, all the patients had to be evacuated, Rajab said by telephone.

A worker with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) reported a similar attack. NBC News was not able to independently confirm the separate accounts but they appeared consistent.

Russian-made cluster bombs — weapons that kill indiscriminately and inflict long-lasting damage — were used in an attack on the same hospital earlier this week, a video obtained by NBC News appeared to show.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Officers Fired 109 Shots at Stabbing Spree Suspect]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:45:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cobbs+Creek+Stabbing+Shooting+Home+Bullets.jpg

Philadelphia police officers fired 109 shots at a Cobbs Creek father who went on a stabbing spree in his neighborhood Wednesday night.

The sheer number of rounds that whizzed down a residential street concerns the department's top brass, Commissioner Richard Ross said Friday.

A number of bullets sprayed two homes at the intersection of Cobbs Creek Parkway and Webster Street. They also took down 32-year-old Christopher Sowell.

Police said Sowell snapped Wednesday evening, choked his daughter, stabbed his young son and a friend and then assaulted a woman and slit the throat of a elderly neighbor after barging into her home. All victims remain hospitalized, Ross said. The three stabbing victims remain in critical condition.

Nine officers opened fire on Sowell, whose daughter believed he under the inffluence of drugs, after he walked out of the neighbor's home and failed to listen to their commands, according to investigators. The medical examiner has not yet said how many times Sowell was hit.

The standard service weapon for Philadelphia officers is a Glock handgun. Depending on the caliber of the bullet, the gun can fire up to 17 rounds before needing a new magazine.

Investigators said police thought Sowell was pulling a gun from his pocket when they opened fire. The initial dispatch information they received reported that the children had been shot, not stabbed, Ross said.

"They had every reason to believe that he was armed with a gun because even the officers who broadcasted that they were headed to the hospital with the victims, they believed the children were shot," Ross said.

A weapon was not found on or around Sowell's body, but a cell phone was.

Danny Sowell, a man alledging to be Christopher Sowell's brother in a Facebook post, admonished police for killing him and the media for describing the man in a negative light.

"My brother is not no killer, he not no menace...he a teddy bear. He'd do anything for you," Danny Sowell wrote in a post. "He just got on some bad s--t, man."

No one else on the block was injured by gunfire, but another resident being hurt by friendly fire is central to Ross' worry.

He said officers could have fallen victim to "contagious shooting" -- where they followed each other in discharging their weapons.

"Other officers hear that gun fire and they believe they are under fire. And they return fire. And in this case firing multiple times," Ross said.

Ross said there may be a training issue that needs to be addressed.

The officers who opened fire have not yet spoken to Internal Affairs investigators about what transpired. The department carries out an investigation every time an officer uses their service weapon.

The department is currently undertaking reality-based training where officers are put in a number of real-world scenarios to see how they react. Ross said 1,000 officers have gone through the program and it specifically focuses on "contagious shooting."

"They have to maintain their ability to hold their gunfire while the officer next to them is firing simultaneously," Ross said.

A dual investigation into the stabbing and the police-involved shooting are ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Va. Teen Accused of Stealing Milk Carton at School to Stand Trial]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:34:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_110503031012.jpg

A Prince William County, Virginia, teen is headed to court after being charged in a dispute over a carton of milk, according to the Washington Post.

Ryan Turk, 14, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and petit larceny after being accused of stealing a 65-cent carton of milk and pushing a school resource officer. The incident occurred at Graham Park Middle School on May 10.

Turk said he forget to get his milk the first time through the lunch line and just went back to grab it, the Post reports. He said as a recipient of free lunches at the school, he felt he was just doing what he did every day.

Authorities told the Post that a school resource officer saw Turk take the milk and accused him of stealing it. When the student did not cooperate with a trip to see the principal, he was arrested and charged.

"No one needs to be punished for stealing a 65-cent carton of milk," Emmett Robinson, the family's attorney told the Post. "This officer treats kids like they’re criminals, and guess what happens — they’re going to become criminals."

Shamise Turk, Ryan’s mother, alleges Ryan was discriminated against and targeted because he is a black teenager who didn’t want to go with the officer, who she said was being unfair, according to the Post. The officer and principal involved are also black.

Phil Kavits, a Prince William County schools spokesman, said that he could not comment on the specifics of the incident but that it is not a race-related issue, noting "all the key parties involved, including the principal and the police officer, are African-American.”

"The staff members are well known in our highly diverse community for their dedication and caring approach to all students,” Kavits added.

The Washington Post generally does not identify minors charged with misdemeanor crimes, but Ryan Turk and his family opted to speak publicly to bring attention to the matter.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Diesel Fuel Leaked Into Wetlands near Montville Reservoir]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:24:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DEEP-LOGO.jpg

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is on scene in Montville after hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel reportedly leaked into wetlands, according to Montville dispatch.

Dispatchers confirmed that fire crews responded to wetlands near the Stony Brook Reservoir around 9:30 a.m. DEEP was also called to respond. It is unclear where the leak originated at this time but crews have contained it, dispatchers said.

It’s been reported that between 500 and 600 gallons of fuel have leaked into the wetlands, but it does not appear the reservoir itself is affected, dispatchers said.

DEEP remains on scene working to clean up the leak.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Department of Energy and Environmental Protection]]>
<![CDATA[Middletown Non-Profit Works to 'Knock Out' Domestic Violence]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:31:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MTOWN-KICKBOXING-DOMESTIC-VIOLENCE-EVENT.jpg

Women and men filled 9 Round Kickboxing and Fitness in Middletown Saturday hoping to not just break a sweat, but also break the silence that surrounds domestic violence.

“We’re here to knock out domestic violence. To create awareness around it so in the future people are more empowered to take a stance against it,” said Dr. Kimberly Citron, the Director of Domestic Violence Research at Community Health Centers.

Dr. Citron says domestic abuse is such an intimate crime, many people don’t feel comfortable talking about it.

Funding for the life-saving services that CHC’s New Horizons shelter offers to victims has been harder to come by, thanks in part to budget cuts at the state and federal level. In addition to the shelter, New Horizons has a number of outreach programs.

“We have a 24-hour hotline that is staffed 365 days a year. We also have community based support groups, we have family violence victim advocates in the courts,” said Citron.

Participants paid a dollar at each station, nine in all, as they navigated through the kickboxing course at 9 Round. Through this unique fundraiser they hoped to not only spread awareness and raise money for their shelter, but also give people the skills to fight back.

“More women need to be involved. More women need to train. I’m a firm believer in training makes somebody confident and with confidence you become a hard target,” said Sly Manente, a trainer at 9 Round, and a self-defense expert.

The statistics are staggering. According to the Connecticut Coalition against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their life.

“It’s very important to me because I do know a lot of people and we all have been through things in some kind of way and we have to be there for one another,” said Yajaira Joaquin-Ortiz, of Plainville.

Joaquin-Ortiz brought a group of coworkers to Round 9, where they not only got a great workout, but after a few rounds with Manente and his time, went home with the knowledge of how to protect themselves. They also raised over $300 for the cause.

New Horizons has two more fundraisers planned this October, which is domestic violence awareness month.

The Walk to End the Silence is Sunday, October 9 at 2 p.m. at Harbor Park in Middletown. They're also holding a Game Show Night in the Middletown Board Room on October 20.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[East Windsor Gas Station Closed Due to Fuel Spill]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 11:14:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/EAST-WINDSOR-FUEL-SPILL.jpg

The Sunoco Gas Station on Route 5 in East Windsor is closed while crews work to clean up a fuel spill.

Police said the Warehouse Point Fire Department is on scene waiting for environmental services to assist. 

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection confirmed they were aware of the spill and that it was a small amount of gasoline. They were not responding.

It is unclear what caused the spill or how long it will take to clean up. Traffic on Route 5 is not affected, police said.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Tried to Break Into Shop by Backing Into Door: PD]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 11:02:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/connecticut+state+police+cruiser+lights.jpg

Connecticut State police said a suspect driving pickup tried to break into a motorcycle shop in Andover by backing into the garage door.

According to police, a red Dodge pickup backed up into the garage door at X Pro Motorcycles at 5 Bunker Hill Road early Saturday morning. Police said the truck has rear end damage and a broken left tail light from the incident.

The shop was also significantly damaged.

Anyone with information or who spots the suspect vehicle is asked to contact Troop K at (860) 465-5400.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Manchester Police Seek Armed Robbery Suspects]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 10:37:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Manchester-sunoco-suspects.jpg

Manchester police are looking for two suspects that robbed a gas station at gunpoint Saturday morning.

According to police, two masked males reportedly entered the Sunoco Gas Station at 330 Tolland Turnpike around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. The showed handguns and robbed the store clerk of an undisclosed among of money then took off, police said.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Manchester police at (860) 645-5510.

Photo Credit: Manchester Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[New State Laws Taking Effect October 1]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 09:57:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/scales-of-justice-stock.jpg

Dozens of bills passed during this year’s legislative session take effect Saturday.

Phony school threats were one issue addressed by legislators this year.

“This is becoming such a big problem. You’ve seen school systems shut their entire school systems down for days,” said Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.

Now those found guilty of making a threat intended to cause a school evacuation during school hours could go to prison for up to ten years. Pardons can be granted to those under 18, but police said these threats often come from overseas and are intended to cause fear in the school system.

State Senator Tony Hwang was a champion for tougher punishments.

“This is not a practical joke. It is not funny. The implications and traumas that you cause in these kinds of threats are so devastating.”

Minors suffering from certain illnesses will also have access to prescription medical marijuana. The president of the Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate says the cannabis oil is often the final option for some young patients.

Patients under 18 can register if they have conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, severe epilepsy, a terminal illness requiring end-of-life care or uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder.

The Connecticut Humane Society hopes a pair of laws focused on our four-legged friends will make it easier to prosecute animal abusers.

“We’ve looked at the success rate of prosecution in the state of CT and it is not very good,” said Gordon Willard, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Humane Society.

Law students will serve as animal advocates in court cases and the penalty for repeat offenders will be bumped up to ten years in prison.

Other new laws that take effect on Saturday are tougher penalties for ATV drivers operating illegally and more access to experimental drugs for terminally ill patients.

For a full list of the new laws and details on each of them, visit the Connecticut General Assembly website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Groton Woman Accused of Sexually Assaulting 14-Year-Old]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:06:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dawn-Kerr.jpg

A Groton woman is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old, police said. 

Dawn Kerr was arrested on Friday following a month-long investigation. 

The 34-year-old was known to the victim and the assault took place over the summer at her residence, Groton Police said. 

Kerr was charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. 

Her bond was set at $50,000. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

Photo Credit: Groton Police]]>
<![CDATA[Phila. Orchestra Goes on Strike]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 05:06:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/200*120/Philadelphia+Orchestra+strike+cp.jpg

Musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra went on strike Friday evening, minutes after they were scheduled to perform for an Opening Night gala at the Kimmel Center.

The vote took place inside the performance center shortly before the event's 7 p.m. start time. Carrying signs and, for some, instruments, the musicians loudly made their way through the the center to Broad Street where they began to picket.

A few of the musicians played their instruments as concert attendees filed out of the the hall.

In a statement, the Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians said the strike is not a "greedy search for ever more money," but rather a stand for fair compensation.

"Over the past nine years, we have endured multiple cuts to our wages, pension, and working conditions in the hopes that our sacrifices would give the Association time to rebuild and restore us to our proper status," the statement read in part.

The Philadelphia Orchestra filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 and emerged a year later. The 116-year-old institution is one of America's oldest and most acclaimed orchestras.

Musicians were working on a one-year contract that recently expired. They continued to work as negotiations continued, but those talks broke down Friday.

Under the orchestra's offer, musician's annual base salary would have been $127,608 a year with two percent increases for three years. A profit sharing fund would also have been created, officials said.

The musicians union said they are compensated much less than players in comparable ensembles like the Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony.

"If a talented musician has to decide between auditioning for Philadelphia or Boston or San Francisco, which orchestra will they choose?" the group wrote. "We can no longer remain silent while we continue in a downward spiral."

Earlier Friday, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra went on strike after rejecting a proposed 15 percent pay cut and pension and staffing reductions.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's weekend performances have been canceled. Contract negotiations are expected to resume on Monday.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians
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<![CDATA[Man Dies in Police Confrontation]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:26:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/9-30-16+Pasadena+death+investigation+thomas.JPG

A large crowd of demonstrators shut down the streets of Pasadena on Friday, as police release the 911 calls and surveillance video in the incident of a man who died after a confrontation with officers.

The protesters, many carrying signs, marched on streets, bringing traffic to a halt at some intersections in Old Town Pasadena.

They came out after the girlfriend of the man who died demanded answers, claiming officers used excessive force when they restrained him.

The man's girlfriend, Shanie Lindsey, identified him as 36-year-old Reginald "J.R." Thomas. 

"I'm hurt, disgusted, disappointed and just upset," Lindsey said.

Pasadena police received a call reporting a family disturbance around 2 a.m. Friday, said Capt. Steven Katz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau. 

Then they received a second call around 2:35 a.m., and were told that a man had a knife and a fire extinguisher. Authorities said the caller identified the man, and that they heard a struggle during the call.

Although investigators do not know who made the calls, they believe both were made by the same person. Katz noted detectives were working to identify who that caller was.

Police were able to trace the second call to an apartment, and responded to the 200 block of East Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, according to authorities.

When Pasadena police officers arrived, they attempted to detain Thomas to take him into custody, and "he struggled with the officers," Katz said. Police used a Taser and non-lethal force, and restrained him with handcuffs and ankle restraints.

Surveillance video from the complex shows officers rushing across the courtyard of the apartment where Thomas was visiting his family.

Officers noticed Thomas was no longer breathing and removed all of his restraints and started performing CPR, according to authorities. Pasadena Fire paramedics "took over life saving efforts," before Thomas eventually died, Katz said.

Lindsey believes officers used excessive force on her boyfriend, who she says was mentally ill.

"They knew he was disabled, they knew he was bipolar, they knew he was on social security, and they still killed him," she said.

Lindsey said Thomas called police claiming someone was in their apartment, and said he was holding a knife in one hand and a fire extinguisher in the other when police arrived.

Officers told him to drop both items and used a Taser twice when he did not, according to Lindsey. Then, Thomas got up and slammed the door on the officers.

"They busted through the door and they wrestled him down to the ground, they started kicking him and beating him with the stick, and then they start tying him up," Lindsey said. "And that was it, and they told us to get out."

Los Angeles County Sheriff investigators are investigating the circumstances of his death, and Katz noted that there were six detectives at the scene Friday around 11 a.m., adding that the investigation was in its "infancy."

Two officers were also injured during the confrontation, Katz said.

Police had not identified the man as of 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Anyone with information about this investigation was encouraged to call the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's Information Bureau at 213-229-1700.

Photo Credit: Shanie Lindsey]]>
<![CDATA[Gloomy With Showers This Weekend]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:41:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%283%291.png

An upper-level low will bring showers to Connecticut Friday through the weekend.

More showers are expected Saturday, when temperatures will again only be in the lower 60s.

Sunday will be the least wet of the next few days, but a shower is still possible. It will be warmer, with temperatures reaching the upper 60s.

While there could still be a shower on Monday, dry weather finally returns Tuesday and lasts into the middle part of next week.

High temperatures will be in the middle 60s to near 70 degrees next week.

First Alert meteorologists continue to monitor the tropics, as Matthew will be somewhere off the East Coast by late next week.

<![CDATA[Officer Slams Suspect's Head Into Windshield, Cracking Glass]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:40:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Pele+Smith+Arrest.jpg

A man suing a northeast Ohio police department alleges his rights were violated by an officer who slammed his head into a cruiser's windshield with enough force to crack the glass.

Dashcam video of the September 2014 arrest, obtained by NBC affiliate WKYC, shows 32-year-old Pele Smith, being escorted to the patrol car by four Loraine police officers while handcuffed. Smith's head then violently hits the windshield. The glass cracks from the impact.

"Why are you doing this to me?" Smith is heard saying as he is held on the car’s hood.

He was treated at Mercy Regional Medical Center for facial injuries, WKYC reported.

Smith was later charged with "tampering with evidence, obstructing official business and resisting arrest. In a plea deal with prosecutors, Smith pleaded guilty and received probation," according to court records WKYC reviewed.

Last month, Smith filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and several officers.

In his lawsuit, Smith says that Lorain Officer Zachary Ferenec, who was walking Smith to the cruiser and pushed him into the windshield, used excessive force during a 2014 arrest that he claims was warrantless.

"It’s unbelievable. It’s sad. It’s frightening that an individual while in handcuffs has something like that happen to them,” Mark Petroff, an attorney representing Smith, told WKYC.

Smith also alleges that three other Lorain officers at the scene did not intervene and that one of the officers, identified in the lawsuit as Michael Gidich, got in the back of Ferenec’s cruiser and “began to taunt and insult the bleeding [Smith]” while being transported in the patrol car for treatment.

The video does not show the beginning of the traffic stop.

Lorain police Capt. Roger Watkins said Smith swallowed suspected drugs and struggled with officers during the arrest, The Associated Press reported. He says the slamming of Smith's head into the windshield was unintentional.

In a statement, Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera said "During the arrest and Mr. Smith’s active resistance, he was placed on the hood of the police unit to gain control and conduct a search, as per policy." Rivera called Smith a "violent drug trafficker" and said the cautioned "observers to not rush to judgment relative to the actions of the police on scene."

But according to the Lorain County Clerk of Courts website, Smith has no felony convictions for violent crimes. He has prior convictions for drug offenses and possessing a firearm.

WKYC says it has requested all records associated with Smith’s arrest and any subsequent internal investigations. Lorain police have not provided any records related to the incident, the station says.

Photo Credit: WKYC]]>
<![CDATA[Rainbows Shine Before, After Arnold Palmer's Funeral]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:05:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/IMG_0997-rainbow.jpg

Arnold Palmer’s family spread his ashes at his country club in Pennsylvania on Thursday and locals took solace in several rainbows, which they said reminded them of the golf great. 

Palmer died on Sept. 25 due to heart complications. His former assistant Doc Giffin said that a rainbow appeared at 9:55 a.m. at Latrobe Country Club, one hour before his intimate funeral.  

Steelers Radio Network host Gerry Dulac tweeted a photo snapped by a friend to commemorate the moment.

“When Arnold Palmer wants to play through, you let him,” Dulac said in the caption. 

That wasn't the only rainbow connection on that day. At 3:50 p.m., Duane Stein captured another image of a rainbow, this time framing Palmer’s statue where he works at Laurel Valley Golf Club, in Ligonier, about 11 miles southeast of Latrobe.

The photo he shared on social media was unfiltered and unedited, as Stein isn’t especially tech-savvy, he said.

"It’s a moment you’ll never forget," Stein said. "Kind of like he was looking down on us."

He was one of many to pull out a phone and flash a pic there.

Chris Mcknight, head golf professional at Laurel Valley, took a nearly identical image to Stein's that was shared on Twitter by the Tri-State PGA as an homage to Palmer. 

Photo Credit: Duane Stein]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Charged With DUI After Driving to Wallingford Police Dept.]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:44:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/203*120/Marisa-Lemme.jpg

A drunk Wallingford woman drove to the police station with her four year old child in the car to report that she was being followed, police said. 

Marisa Lemme, 34, was arrested on Thursday and charged with driving under the influence and risk of injury to a minor. 

Lemme called the police department at 6 p.m. on Thursday to report that she was being followed and was told to come to the station on Main Street., police said. 

Police stopped the car Lemme said was following her and the driver said he was following the woman because she was driving erratically, according to Wallingford Police. 

At the station, Lemme was asked to perform field sobriety tests and failed.

Her bond was set at $2,500 and she is expected to appear in court on Oct. 11. 

Photo Credit: Wallingford Police]]>
<![CDATA[El Cajon Shooting Video's Release]]> Sat, 01 Oct 2016 00:09:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ECPD-Olango-Video.jpg

The El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) released two video clips Friday showing the controversial deadly police shooting of an unarmed black man that has fueled days of protests in the community in San Diego's East County.

ECPD Chief Jeff Davis said the decision to release the video of the Tuesday shooting of Alfred Olango, 38, was due in part to a concern for public safety.

One video was captured by a witness's cellphone as she worked her shift at a nearby taco shop, while the other comes from one of the shop's surveillance cameras. They show two ECPD officers, Richard Gonsalves and Josh McDaniel, approaching Olango. Olango's sister, wearing nurse's scrubs, can also be seen near the officers in one of the clips.

Olango appears to move in the moment before the shooting takes place. Gunshots are audible in the cellphone video, followed by a woman's piercing scream.

Police have said Olango pulled a 4-inch-long vaping device out of his pocket and held it in a "shooting stance." McDaniel deployed a Taser while Gonsalves fired multiple rounds from his gun at the man, critically striking him.

"For the sake of the wellbeing of the community, the decision was made to show you this video," Davis said, calling the event tragic. "It is that vital, we felt, to present it today to show what we have at this point."

Olango was shot and killed by the officers on Tuesday in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 800 block of Broadway in El Cajon.

According to the ECPD, Olango was reported to be “acting erratically,” walking in and out of traffic, and did not follow orders to remove his hands from the pockets of his pants when approached by two officers.

Earlier this week, Chief Davis promised a complete and transparent investigation into Olango's shooting. He was joined Mayor Bill Wells and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis as they released the footage for the first time at an afternoon news conference.

The high-profile case has prompted uproar in the community and several days of protests, some of them peaceful, some violent.

Davis discussed the timeline of those protests and their impact on those who live and work in El Cajon.

He said the protests began peacefully Tuesday hours after the shooting and continued Wednesday morning. That day, the crowd grew to about 400 demonstrators who later blocked intersections and shut down traffic on Broadway.

Davis said some protesters threw bottles at officers and deputies. At one point, a civilian was assaulted in the crowd, and a freelance news photographer had his camera stolen amid the protest.

"These events marked a change in the protesters from peaceful to more aggressive behavior," Davis said.

He said a demonstration Thursday evening grew even more heated, with protesters blocking traffic again. This time, some protesters stopped cars and broke windows. Davis said his department was flooded with 911 calls reporting the disturbances stemming from those Thursday night protests.

Since the shooting of Olango, civil rights leaders, including Rev. Shane Harris of the San Diego chapter of the National Action Network, have pushed for police and the District Attorney's office to release the full video of the incident, saying the single still image of Olango initially released by the ECPD does not tell the full story and, in Harris' words, serves to "shape the narrative" of the police department.

Recently, Dumanis issued new protocols for the disclosure of officer-involved shooting video evidence in San Diego. The new practice states agencies will release video "as soon as it’s appropriate to do so."

Photo Credit: El Cajon Police Department
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<![CDATA[Video of Trump Deposition Released]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:32:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/TrumpScreenShot2.jpg

Video of Donald Trump giving a deposition in a case involving one of his hotels was released Friday. The case is part of Trump’s ongoing legal feud with celebrity chef and restauranteur Geoffrey Zakarian.

Zakarian and another chef pulled out of deals to open restaurants at a new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., NBC News reports, after Trump’s 2015 speech in which he referred to “rapists” crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, “bringing crime” to the United States.

“All I’m doing is bringing up a statement that is very real about illegal immigration, and I think most people think I’m right,” Trump testified under oath.

He further defended his speech on-camera and objected to the chefs being “politically correct” and “grandstanding.”

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Returning Marine Meets Son For First Time]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:41:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MarineBaby0930_MP4-147526448627400001.jpg A Tennessee Marine returning from deployment met his newborn son for the first time Thursday. ]]> <![CDATA[Cop Smashes Car Windshield With Man's Head]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:47:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Windshield0930_MP4-147526444380600001.jpg Police in Lorain, Ohio, are defending themselves against brutality claims raised by a man whose head was slammed into a cruiser with enough force to shatter the windshield. The incident took place in September of 2014 and the video was recently obtained. ]]> <![CDATA[Man Driving SUV Approaching Children at Middletown Bus Stop]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:35:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_158502308-%281%29.jpg

A man driving an SUV is approaching children children waiting for the bus in Middletown, police said. 

On Thursday and Friday morning, a man driving a small gray SUV was lurking near the bus stop on East Street in the Westfield section of Middletown, police said.

The man offered children candy during one of the incidents. Another time, he drove by the children, then slowly turned around and drove away. 

Police are asking anyone witnessing similar types of occurrence to contact them. 

Middletown Police are investigating the incidents. Anyone with information is asked to call (860) 638-4000.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Christopher Boswe]]>
<![CDATA[New London Woman Attacks Group With Spray in New London: Police ]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:16:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Destinie+Seales+mugshot.jpg

A New London woman is accused of attacking several people in New London, including child, which a spray that caused a burning sensation in their eyes, caused them to cough and made their skin red. 

Police said they responded to an undisclosed residence just before 7 p.m. to investigate a domestic violence incident after someone used some type of citrus-type spray on several people. 

Officers said they determined that Destinie Seales, 38, of New London, went to the house and caused a disturbance about a family matter and sprayed several bursts of the spray through the screen door. 

The spray hit one person in the face and four other people, including a 3-year-old child, sustained residual effects. 

The victims complained of a burning sensation to eyes, skin redness and coughing and they were treated. 

Seales was charged with five counts of assault in the third degree, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace. 

She was held and brought to court.

Photo Credit: New London Police]]>
<![CDATA[NoCal Nudist Retreat Opens Doors to Loma Fire Evacuees]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:30:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/LMX_N5A+LUPIN+LODGE+CHARGES+VO_KNTV_000000012250324+-+00003714.jpg

A nudist retreat nestled below the Santa Cruz Mountains is opening its door to all Loma Fire refugees and their animals "until the fire’s out.”

Lupin Lodge CEO Lori Stout told NBC Bay Area on Friday that many shelters aren’t allowing displaced Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county residents to bring their animals, like horses, to stay with them as Cal Fire crews battle the fire, which as of Friday, had scorched 4,300 acres and destroyed eight homes.

So, Stout decided to invite the evacuees and their pets – including farm animals - to her Los Gatos retreat on Aldercroft Heights Road, which boasts to have been “freeing the nipple for 82 years.”

And the offer gets better: The stay is open to any of the cabins, yurts, dormitories and 100 campsites, for free. Prices vary, but a typical yurt costs $125 a night.

“Hey, we got lots of room,” she said.

Stout said she came up with the idea on Thursday, but has not yet received occupants. 

But if history is any indication, the guests, clothed and not, will come.

During the 2015 Lake County Valley Fire, Stout invited the staff at the Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown, Calif., to stay at the lodge. During the Corralitos Fire near Watsonville last year, the lodge also opened its doors to evacuees, some of whom decided to try the nudist colony out. And in the 1980s, she said more than 1,000 firefighters stayed on the 112-acre property during the Lexington Fire and 1989 earthquake. Her retreat has been open since 1935.

Stout and her late husband, Glyn Stout, was accused last year of diverting water from a nearby waterfall during the drought; a topic she didn't want to discuss on Friday. She pleaded no contest to trespassing charges, and was sentenced to probation and 100 hours of community service, along with a fine of $9,800 to the Midpenninsula Regional Open Space District, the Mercury News reported.

Stout told NBC Bay Area that she plead no contest because her husband had died unexpectedly, but that she never actually trespassed.

As for making sure she doesn’t get duped or taken advantage of, Stout said that all guests have to undergo screening, including a database check through the Megan’s Law sex offenders list. They also have to provide a license plate number and driver’s license, which will show where they live. Only local residents will be approved, she said, and determining when it’s time for a guest to leave will be on a case by case basis.

“They can stay until the fire’s out,” she said.

Stout said evacuees looking for help should call the retreat at 408-353-9200 or email relax@lupinlodge.org.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Thwarts Attempted Kidnapping]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:37:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NC_attemptedkidnap0929_1920x1080.jpg

One Albuquerque, New Mexico mother got the shock of a lifetime when she turned around just in time to see a complete stranger running away with one of her children.

Quick thinking and protective, the mother was able to chase down 29-year-old Dustin Sherman and wrestle her child from his arms.

"He was carrying her like he was carrying his own child," the mother said. "He was holding her close you know trying to hold her really close to him and that bothered me really bad."

Sherman was arrested, and authorities say he has a criminal history that includes battery on a peace officer as well as domestic violence charges.Read more from KOB here.

Photo Credit: KOB]]>
<![CDATA[Experts Looked Inside Mylan's Upgraded EpiPen]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:34:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/epipen-julie-brown-injectors-nbc-news.jpg

With Congress trying to figure out Mylan's business model for the EpiPen, a medical technologies expert and a Seattle doctor have been physically taking apart the auto-injectors to find out exactly how the device has changed since Mylan acquired it, NBC News reported.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch testified last week that it invested more than $1 billion enhancing the product, which is one of the reason the Epipen's price has risen from $100 to $600.

After a Seattle doctor cut open EpiPens from before and after Mylan's upgrades, NBC News sent versions of the epinephrine auto-injectors to a medical technology consulting firm. Despite seeing safety and graphics upgrades, both found the devices shared a similar "core."

After NBC News sent the firm's results to Mylan, a spokesman for the drugmaker said it was "not familiar with the research referenced in your email" but contended that "anyone who has used the product knows, the epinephrine auto-injector we have in the market today is substantially different than the one we acquired."

Photo Credit: James Cheng / for NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Yard Goats File Motion to Fight Delay on Hartford Ballpark Construction ]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:51:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/onlin_yard_goats_1200x675_730693699898.jpg

The day after the developer that was fired from building the new Hartford baseball team filed a court motion asking a judge to stop all construction at the ballpark, the owner of the baseball team the park is being built for has responded and is asking a judge to deny the motion that would further delay work on the park. 

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters broke the story yesterday about how the former developer, Centerplan Construction, is asking a judge to allow the company to “preserve” evidence in its lawsuit against the city by not allowing work to resume at Dunkin Donuts Park. 

The park was supposed to be completed this past Spring, in time for the Hartford Yard Goats to play their inaugural season at a new ballpark, but there were several delays and the park is still not finished.

Centerplan was fired from the project and Arch Insurance, the surety that guarantees completion of the project, hired Whiting-Turner Construction as the new general contractor. 

The goal is for the park to be completed by next spring, in time for the Yard Goats to play in Hartford next season, and officials from Arch told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that work at the ballpark is scheduled to begin next week. 

In a filing today, the Yard Goats say Centerplan has had more than sufficient time to document the quality of work and state of completion since getting fired from the project in June. 

They went on to call Centerplan's motion an attempt to get a “settlement of their bogus claims and to obscure” and said “the plaintiffs are and were incompetent or worse.” 

Hartford mayor Luke Bronin responded on Thursady night about Centerplan's motion to delay construction sand said Centerplan’s latest lawsuit has no legal basis and is a non-issue. 

“We look forward to working with the new contractor, Whiting-Turner,” Bronin said. “A responsible company with a great reputation and extensive experience building stadiums." 

In July, Centerplan filed a lawsuit against the City of Hartford and the owner of the Yard Goats. They said they are looking for an injunction against the city because it did not use the proper dispute resolution channels laid out in their joint agreement before the city fired them.

<![CDATA[Supreme Court Takes on Case of Portland Band 'The Slants']]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:15:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/the-slants.jpg

Asian American boy band "The Slants" is headed to the nation's highest court and the fate of the Washington Redskins' name could hang in the balance, too.  

The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear the case involving The Slants' controversial name choice in the question of whether the group should be allowed to trademark it. The case could have implications for the Washington Redskins’ trademark status by setting a precedent on the matter of free speech in trademarks, according to The New York Times.

In 2011, band founder Simon Tam filed for a protected trademark for The Slants with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) but the office denied it. The band is still allowed to use the name, but without the trademark they are not able to prevent others from using the same name, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The band saw a major victory last year when a federal appeals court backed the band, calling the PTO’s rejection of an offensive trademark a violation of the right to free speech. The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to overturn that ruling.

In February the appeals court categorized the band’s name as “private speech” and called the rejection of the trademark a result of the government’s own disapproval of the message. The First Amendment can protect even hurtful speech. Lawyers for Tam have said that the PTO has been inconsistent on when it deemed names “offensive,” citing the 1980s hip-hop group N.W.A. as an example. That group was allowed to trademark their name. 

In response to the appeals court, the Justice Department said that a trademark is in fact a government benefit, not private speech, and therefore could be seen as an endorsement. In a dissent on The Slants’ name, the Justice Department argued that granting a trademark “would convey that the United States regards racial slurs as appropriate,” Los Angeles Times reported. 

The Slants, originally from Portland, Oregon, was formed in 2006. The self-proclaimed “Chinatown dance rock” group has released four albums under an independent label.

The Supreme Court has so far declined to hear the Washington Redskins case. The team has had a history of controversy over its name. In 2014, the PTO canceled the team’s six trademarks, including the team’s logo, following the years-long complaints from Native American groups. The team name has been called offensive, as the term “redskin” is a derogatory term for Native Americans. President Obama has called on numerous occasions for the D.C. team to change its name, citing a need to “break stereotypes.”

Tam, for his part, has called the Redskins a racial slur against Native Americans. He has said that the difference lies in the fact that The Slants does not intend to offend anyone and is not an inherent racial slur.

The court is not expected to rule on the issue for several months.

The Slants has not returned NBC’s request for comment.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Community Honors Police Through ‘Southington Blue’]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:55:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Southington+Police+thank+you.jpg

Community members in Southington came together on Friday to show support for the Southington Police Department. 

They wore blue clothes and blue ribbons and hung large signs on buildings and blue ribbons on light poles throughout the downtown area. 

They called the movement “Southington Blue.”  

“It’s a great day for our community. A day that we can recognize, appreciate and say thanks to our men and women in blue,” John Myers, the executive director of the YMCA, said. “Every day they’re out there serving us, protecting us and they’re just true community partners.” 

The school district joined in to show support by passing out blue ribbons to the staff members at every school. They even decorated their office doors and put coffee and donuts out for officers who stopped by. 

“It just brings everybody together and we all kind of make fun. We have a little competition and we are here just to support the Southington Police Department, who support us every single day throughout the school district,”

Michelle Passamano, the executive director to the assistant superintendent of schools, said. 

Passamano said supporting police is a message she also wants to relay to her own children. 

“They do so much. They are there all the time. As a parent, I think showing your child right from wrong and being able to show them what you can do when a community pulls together, I think it helps them become a better person,” said Passamano. 

Webster Bank on Main Street even had pizza, donuts and cookies for the officers. 

“The officers here, they come to work and do their job because it’s their job. They don’t look for it, they don’t expect anything,” Southington Police Lt. Michael Baribault said. “It really makes us feel good and makes us feel appreciated.” 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Safest Place to Sit on a Train, What to Do If It Crashes]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:22:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/train34.jpg

Paul Worley from the North Carolina Department of Transportation shared with the "Today" show's Jeff Rossen a handful of suggestions on how to minimize the danger if you're involved in a train crash.

Among the tips: sit in the middle of your train because the worst damage in a derailment is likely to be in the front and back cars; sit facing backwards so that if the train stops short or crashes you'll be pushed back instead of thrown forward; and the best way out in a emergency could come from removing an emergency window or popping out a door manually.

Photo Credit: Today.com]]>
<![CDATA[White Helmets Video Shows Despair]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:55:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16253598019602.jpg

The volunteer group known as the White Helmets are not immune to the tragedies they face while trying to save civilians in Syria, NBC News reported.

Aleppo has been the target of airstrikes and bombs, transforming the city into a rubble-filled battleground. The video, which was filmed Thursday in the Idlib province, shows emotional volunteers after the hours-long rescue of a baby.

Doctors Without Borders reported that from Sept. 21 through Sept. 26, more than 278 people, including 96 children, have been killed from the attacks. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power has condemned the Syrian government and Russia for “unleashing a savagery” against people they’re labeling terrorists.

“Children are not terrorists,” she said. “Rescue workers are not terrorists. Hospital workers are not terrorists.”

Photo Credit: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP
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<![CDATA[‘Paintball Gun War’ Has to Stop Before Serious Injuries: Police ]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:19:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/paintball+gun+wars.jpg

New Haven police have received a dozen reports of gun violence in the last week alone and have determined that people embroiled in turf or gang conflicts are using fake weapons that appear to be real, and causing panic and significant injuries. 

Police are calling it a “paintball gun war” and they are trying to stop it before it escalates to retaliation with a real weapon or someone who mistakes a fake gun for a real one kills someone. 

The victims include a 10-year-old girl who was shot in the head with a BB in Newhallville last night and a person who was shot this morning with a BB gun in Fair Haven. 

Days ago, police received a frantic call from a woman who thought groups were shooting each other with “assault weapons” or “A K-47s.” When police took the guns from the teens, they determined that the weapons were air guns, but they looked real. 

Police have made some arrests, but they are working on identifying others who are involved. 

This investigation comes after police noticed a rise in gun complaints in which the assailants used paint-ball guns, facsimile guns and BB guns. 

Detectives with the Criminal Intelligence Division have determined that most of the calls involved groups from several New Haven areas who are embroiled in turf or gang conflicts, according to police. 

“These groups are targeting rivals in neighborhoods, such as the Hill and Newhallville,” Intel Division supervisor Karl Jacobson said in a statement. “This has got to stop before someone is seriously hurt or worse.” 

Police said they fear retaliation and said targeted groups have made threats with real weapons, and carried some of them out. 

Local police have also consulted state prosecutors on appropriate charges for those caught with paint-ball guns, facsimile firearms and BB-guns. 

“We’re trying to avert a tragedy,” Assistant Chief Achilles “Archie” Generoso said. “The effort to stop this is a top priority for our department.” 

As they investigate, police are urging parents to pay close attention to their teenagers’ activity, especially if you know they are involved in these types of rivalries. 

Police are also asking anyone with information to report criminal activity when you see it by calling police at 203-946-6316 or 911. If you’d like to speak with detectives, call 203-0946-6304.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police]]>
<![CDATA['Great Man': Obama, Clinton Pay Tribute to Shimon Peres]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:57:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-611524328.jpg

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres was remembered as a "great man" as scores of world leaders attended his funeral Friday, NBC News reported.

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton were among 90 delegations from 70 countries paying their respects to Peres, who died Tuesday while hospitalized for a major stroke. He was 93.

"Even in the face of terrorist attacks, even after repeated disappointments at the negotiation table, he insisted that as human beings, Palestinians must be seen as equal in dignity to Jews and must therefore be equal in self-determination," Obama said.

Clinton said Peres was Israel's "biggest dreamer" and called him a "wise champion of our common humanity."

After the ceremony, the casket was led to the gravesite carried by eight members of an honor guard and led by soldiers carrying wreaths. Netanyahu and Obama chatted along the way, also talking with Peres' family.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect in Viral Purse-Snatching Video Arrested]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:38:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Frederic+Mordon+Mug+Video.jpg

A man suspected of stealing a purse from a Florida woman's car in a viral video has been arrested, authorities said. He is also accused of stealing an SUV with a baby inside in North Lauderdale days later, according to an arrest warrant.

When a local television station aired surveillance footage of a woman jumping on the hood of a car driven by a man who stole her purse, several people called Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives to identify him, county officials said.

Three people told officers that they "were certain" the bald man seen in the Mobil Gas Station video grabbing a purse and driving off was Frederick Mordon Jr., a convicted felon, according to an arrest warrant released Thursday.

Mordon’s parole officer also said the suspect "appeared to be his client," a detective wrote in the warrant.

The 35-year-old was arrested Thursday in connection to the Sept. 17 incident. Cameras captured Mordon pulling up to the gas station in a light-colored car, opening a woman's driver side door while she pumped gas, and then taking her purse. The victim jumped on his car, falling off when he sped away.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, he was released from prison June 18 after an 11-year jail sentence for grand theft, burglary of a dwelling and reckless driving. Acquaintances who recognized Mordon in the viral video had advised him to turn himself in, but he refused, saying he was scared and "didn't want to go back to prison," the warrant said.

Authorities said that Mordon was also connected to a car theft at a shopping plaza in North Lauderdale on Sept. 24. A two-month-old infant was inside the Nissan Murano when it was stolen as the baby's mother spoke to a store manager nearby.

The SUV was later found abandoned nearby, with the unharmed baby still inside.

Mordon was booked into jail Thursday evening and was being held without bond on charges charges including burglary, strong arm robbery, kidnapping, child neglect, grand theft auto, and violation of parole, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Cell Phones Stolen from West Hartford in Large Theft Ring: Police ]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:57:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/West+Hartford+cell+phone+theft+ring.jpg

Two Connecticut men as well as a Florida man were arrested in a multi-state theft ring and one of the suspects is a UPS driver. 

Police said the men stole the identities of more than 100 West Hartford residents, along with residents of New Jersey and Florida, to buy iPhones and sell them overseas, where they’re worth more money. 

Police have arrested David Bagot, a 52-year-old UPS driver from Hartford; Ramone Sooman, 27, of West Hartford; and Andre Duffus, 26, of Plantation, Florida. 

West Hartford Police said 216 iPhones were missing and believed stolen and 122 of them were shipped to West Hartford. They are worth nearly $178,000 combined. 

Bagot reported that some of the packages were delivered when they were not and other phone were stolen by people following the UPS truck, according to police. 

“Our local security group worked closely with local law enforcement to investigate the driver in question. He has been terminated for dishonesty," Dan McMackin, UPS spokesperson, said.

The victims all lived in the center of town, on Farmington Avenue, Trout Brook Drive, Asylum Avenue or Prospect Street, according to police. 

Authorities believe the ring originated in Florida. 

According to authorities, the cell phones were purchased through one major carrier, though police won’t identify which one, saying it could compromise the investigation. 

West Hartford police said they were initially notified by that carrier and worked with UPS to nab one of the suspects in the case. 

“We set up a surveillance and we did watch the UPS driver truck pull up and then pull away. Shortly thereafter he made a stop with a civilian vehicle and a transaction was made at the civilian vehicle. We stopped them and determined a crime had occurred," said Lt. Eric Rocheleau, of the West Hartford Police Department. 

Fifty-two-year-old UPS driver David Bagot of Hartford was arrested and charged with larceny and conspiracy to commit identity theft. Twenty-seven-year-old Ramone Sooman of West Hartford was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit larceny and conspiracy to commit identity theft. Twenty-six-year-old Andrew Duffus of Plantation, Florida was arrested and charged with larceny and conspiracy to commit identity theft. 

Rocheleau said there are still cell phones out there and more arrests are expected, including in Connecticut. 

Police suggest that if you live in the central part of West Hartford that you monitor your credit report to make sure a cell phone account wasn't opened up in your name.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police]]>
<![CDATA[14 Rescued When Ride at Big E Gets Stuck]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:34:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Big+E+rescue+1200.jpg

More than a dozen people were stuck on a ride at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts for around an hour and a half last night and had to be rescued. 

Officials from the Big E said the “Wipeout,” which spins on the ground then lifts up, got stuck around 7:30 p.m. It was upright, at a 45 degree angle, and the highest point of the ride was around 18 to 20 feet in the air. 

The West Springfield Fire Department responded and used a ladder truck to take the 14 riders off, one at a time. 

No one was injured and no other information was available.

The ride will be closed on Friday.

Photo Credit: WWLP]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search Home of Mom Who Disappeared at Sea]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:29:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Linda+Carman+house+Middletown+daylight.jpg

Police searched the Middletown, Connecticut, home of a woman who is presumed dead after disappearing during a fishing trip with her son, a source close to the investigation said. 

NBC Connecticut was at the home on Thursday night when police were at the scene for about an hour and officers took items in brown paper bags from the house. Officials said on Friday that police were given consent to go into the home.

There is a joint investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance of 54-year-old Linda Carman, according to police in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and it includes federal law enforcement agencies, as well as state law enforcement in Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts.

Linda Carman has not been seen since she and her 22-year-old son, Nathan, went fishing on Sept. 17.

The mother and son failed to return from a fishing trip in their boat, the Chicken Pox, from the waters off Point Judith in Rhode Island.

For the next six days, the Coast Guard searched a span of 62,000 miles, from Block Island to New Jersey, but called off the search when nothing turned up.

Two days later, the crew on the Chinese freighter spotted a life raft 100 miles from Martha's Vineyard and discovered Nathan Carman in it. He had a supply of emergency food and water, but there was no sign of his mother.

Nathan later told the Coast Guard that he heard a "funny noise" coming from the boat's engine compartment when they were at sea. When he went to go look, it was filling up with water. Then he got into the life raft and called for his mother, but could not find her.

"I got to the life raft after I got my bearings and I was whistling and calling and looking around and I didn't see (my mom)," Carman told the Coast Guard.

Nathan Carman now lives in Vermont and officials have searched his home there as part of the investigation. The search warrant affidavit says police "believe that evidence relating to the crime of RIGL 46-22-9.3 {Operating so as to endanger, resulting in the death} will be located inside Nathan's residence located at 3034 Fort Bridgemon Road in Vernon, Vermont."

A friend of the family told investigators that Linda Carman said the pair was going fishing at Striper Rock, which is located approximately 20 miles off of the Block Island shoreline, according to the affidavit.

However, another witness told police that Nathan Carman said they were going fishing at the Canyons, which is approximately 100 miles off the Block Island shore, the affidavit reads.

When Carman was rescued about 100 miles off shore of Martha's Vineyard, he told investigators he and his mother were fishing on the Block Canyon for tuna, the affidavit said.

Sources close to the investigation also said that Nathan Carman is a person of interest into his wealthy grandfather's homicide in 2013.

The 22-year old told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had nothing to do with his grandfather's unsolved slaying and didn't harm his missing mother.

While the investigation into what happened to Linda Carman is ongoing, Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Groll said during a news conference on Monday that the chances of Linda Carman's survival are minimal. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>