<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Fri, 27 Nov 2015 06:56:23 -0500 Fri, 27 Nov 2015 06:56:23 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Accident Closes Pine Street in Bristol]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 22:22:52 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bristol+crash+scene+web.jpg

An accident has closed Pine Street in Bristol.

Bristol police say they are investigating a crash in the area. An NBC Connecticut crew on scene reported seeing two people lying int he roadway just after the accident was called in. The crew also reported seeing a wheelchair in the road. The road was shut down four hours near the intersection of Middle Street while police investigated. 

More information was not immediately available. Check back for updates.

<![CDATA[4 New Dash-Cam Videos Released of Laquan McDonald Shooting]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 13:33:49 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Laquan+McDonald+New+Dash+Cam.jpg

***WARNING: Videos in this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.***

The City of Chicago released four new police dash-cam videos Wednesday showing the moments before the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

The videos were released in response to a request by NBC 5 under the Freedom of Information Act and come a day after the city met a judge's order to release 2014 dash-cam video of a Chicago officer shooting McDonald 16 times.

In the newly released videos, McDonald appears to be running in front of the police vehicle of Officer Jason Van Dyke, the officer charged with McDonald’s murder, 30 seconds before the fatal shooting.

As the video continues, officers pursue McDonald until the shooting, which takes place out of the frame of this dash cam.The video goes on to show officers arriving on the scene after the shots were fired.

At 9:58 p.m., just after the shooting, another police vehicle arrives on the scene. The video released from that vehicle shows McDonald's body on the street.

Another dash-cam video from a separate police vehicle that was first to respond to the call doesn’t start recording until almost five minutes after the shooting takes place.

Police told one of the attorneys representing the McDonald family that five police cruisers equipped with cameras responded to the crime scene that night. However, three vehicles were not recording video.

Van Dyke turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning and was later ordered held without bail in connection with the fatal shooting. Van Dyke is scheduled to appear in court again Monday as Judge Donald Panarese said he wants to see video of the shooting.

Prosecutors said in court Tuesday that the shooting happened within 15 seconds, but for 13 of those seconds McDonald was on the ground. They added the video "clearly does not show McDonald advancing toward [Van Dyke]."Police said the shooting was in self-defense and that McDonald lunged at the officer with a knife while authorities were investigating car break-ins in a trucking yard.

"I’ve been a prosecutor for nearly 30 years," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in Tuesday press conference. "I have personally investigated and prosecuted numerous cases of police misconduct and public corruption, I’ve been involved in hundreds of murder investigations and trials, and I’ve seen some of the most violent and graphic evidence and crime scene photos that you can only imagine. To watch a 17-year-old young man die in such a violent manner is simply disturbing and I have absolutely no doubt that this video will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans."

Attorney Dan Herbert has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if Van Dyke "acted inappropriately" when he fatally shot McDonald, though he has described the footage as "graphic and violent" and "difficult to watch." He said outside the courtroom Tuesday that the case needs to be tried in a courtroom, "not in the streets or in the media."

Alvarez revealed that Van Dyke was one of eight officers who responded to the scene on Oct. 20, 2014 after a caller reported a man was breaking into cars and stealing from them on the city's Southwest Side.

It was later discovered that the suspect was armed with a knife. Alvarez said Van Dyke was at the scene for less than 30 seconds before he started shooting, and opened fire six seconds after he got out of the car.

Van Dyke was the only one of the eight officers at the scene to open fire, she said. McDonald suffered wounds to the scalp, neck, left chest, right chest, left elbow, left forearm, right upper arm, right upper arm, right hand, right upper leg, left upper back and right lower back.

An autopsy confirmed he was shot a total of 16 times and had PCP in his system.

***WARNING: Videos in this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.***

[To view the videos on our app, click here: Dash-Cam 1Dash-Cam 2Dash-Cam 3Dash-Cam 4]

<![CDATA[Pope Presses Case for Dignified Housing in Visit to Nairobi Slum]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 03:36:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PopeNairobi-AP_120869002272.jpg

Pope Francis visited a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday, calling for adequate and dignified housing for society’s most marginal, The Associated Press reported.

Kangemi is one of 11 slums in Nairobi and has about 50,000 residents living without basic sanitation.

The pope referred to the problem of urban shanties when speaking to the African U.N. headquarters on Thursday, saying everyone has the right to “dignified living conditions,” and that local residents’ views must be taken into account when new constructions are designed.

Francis is due to arrive in the Central African Republic on the next leg of his trip, where there is ongoing conflicts between Christians and Muslims.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[West Point Bans Cadet Pillow Fights After 30 Injured]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 03:05:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/WestPoint-AP_161758363204.jpg

Pillow fights involving cadets will now be banned at West Point, U.S. Military Academy officials said.

The move comes after a bloody fight left 30 injured this summer. On Aug. 20, the fight escalated into a free-for-all, with plebes being hit from behind and knocked to the ground. Injuries ranged from a broken nose, a fractured cheek and 24 concussions.

Actions are being pursued against many of those involved, according to The Associated Press. 

The annual pillow fight is organized by first-year students, known as “plebes,” to build camaraderie after a grueling summer of training.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ben Carson to Visit Syrian Refugees in Jordan]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 01:18:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Carson-AP_843823648598.jpg

Ben Carson will visit Syrian refugees in Jordan on Friday, campaign officials said Thursday.

Officials confirmed the trip on Thursday night, after the New York Times first reported that the Republican presidential candidate plans to visit a refugee camp in northern Jordan.

"I find when you have firsthand knowledge of things as opposed to secondhand, it makes a much stronger impression," Carson told the Times before his departure.

A recent poll shows support for Carson in Iowa has dropped 10 points since October, when he stood in first place.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Thieves Strip, Hide in Pool: PD]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:51:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SAN+LEANDRO+VERIZON+ROBBERY+VSV+%28WED%29+-+00000418.jpg

San Leandro police arrested two men on suspicious of stealing iPads and then jumping into a popular Oakland, California, recreational pool - in only their boxers - to try to avoid capture.

But residents nearby and swimmers all thought the scene was pretty odd, and helped lead police to their arrest.

“It’s very, very rare,” Lt. Robert McManus said. “It’s the first of its kind with somebody stripping down into their boxing shorts trying to blend in the crowd in a swimming pool. They were the only two adult males in the crowd. The rest were teenagers.”

Detectives now believe that the men are responsible for similar thefts throughout the East Bay, including one at a San Leandro Radio Shack store on Monday afternoon, McManus said. He did not identify them or release their photos to allow other Bay Area agencies to investigate their cases.

On Wednesday about 1:30 p.m., a plain clothes detective was in the parking lot at the Westgate Shopping Center on Davis Street when he saw a white Cadillac El Dorado driving through the parking lot with three men inside, who appeared to be acting suspiciously.

McManus said the detective watched as the Cadillac, registered to an address on the Peninsula, backed into a parking stall and stopped. The driver and front passenger got out of the car and walked towards the Verizon store, out of the detective’s view, leaving the third passenger in the car.

Minutes later, the detective saw the driver and passenger sprinting back to the Cadillac as they were being chased by a Verizon employee, police said. They got into the car and fled through the parking lot, smashing into an Enterprise box truck, before driving over cement medians.

The detective radioed to other officers and began to follow the Cadillac as it sped out of the parking lot, running through two red lights heading north on Interstate 880 at Davis Street, McManus said. More police arrived. Eventually they found the empty Cadillac on Clara Street, near Edes Avenue in Oakland, a few blocks north of 98th Avenue.

Neighbors told police they saw the suspects running toward the Brookfield Recreation Center in the 9100 block of Edes Ave. Others directed the officers into the building, which had teens and seniors inside. There, they found the men had tried to pose as swimmers: They took off their clothes and slipped into the pool wearing only boxer shorts.

The detectives recognized the two men from surveillance footage from a similar burglary that occurred at the Radio Shack store located at 1359 Washington Ave. on Monday afternoon, where more high-end electronic items were stolen, police said.

Police searched the area and found the stolen iPads, iPhones believed to have been stolen in other thefts, the keys to the Cadillac and some of the clothing worn by the men, underneath a parked car, near the recreation center.

Police have arrested both men on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, and other related crimes. The third man, who remained in the car during the theft, fled and has not been found, McManus said.

The pair are expected to appear be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Niger Says Boko Haram Gunmen Kill 18 in Border Village]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 06:24:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Niger+map.png

Boko Haram militants killed 18 people in an attack on a village in the Niger's southern border area of Diffa on the Nigerian border on Thursday, the country’s government said.

The gunmen arrived in the village of Gogone near the shores of Lake Chad on foot and fired on residents and attacked their homes, security sources said. They also fired rockets in the attack, according to the sources.

Niger has suffered numerous cross-border attacks by Boko Haram, which has a stronghold in northeast Nigeria.

A state of emergency has been declared there in a bid to boost security, according to NBC News.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[Germany to Support Campaign Against ISIS After French Appeal]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:29:25 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MerkelHollande-AP_993382740121.jpg

Germany will deploy military personnel and hardware in the fight against ISIS militants in Syria, according to Reuters.

The country agreed after a direct appeal from France to do more in the fight against militancy. Germany expects to commit four to six Tornado jets, satellite support, refueling planes and a frigate to help protect a French aircraft carrier.

It’s a shift for Germany, which has resisted direct involvement in the conflict. Germany will not, however, join France, Russia and the U.S. in airstrikes in Syria.

Chancellor Angela Merkel promised the support, which has yet to be approved by parliament.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Black Friday March Scheduled]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 23:01:44 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/chicago-protests-sm.jpg

Rev. Jesse Jackson organized a "major" demonstration on Black Friday, calling for protesters to march up Michigan Avenue in Chicago in response to the release of the dash-cam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer.

The demonstration is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday. It will begin at Michigan and Wacker and proceed up to Water Tower Place.

The purpose of the Black Friday protest is to bring the attention of the world to Chicago and to call for change via "mass demonstrations" and voter registration. Jackson said 450 shootings have taken place in Chicago this year, which he believes should have gained the same media attention as the terror attacks in Paris and Beirut and on the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt.

"It's not enough to focus on what brought us here today, the execution of this young man (Laquan McDonald)," Jackson said. "That takes the scab off a deeper sore, a deeper cancer. So we want mass demonstrations, mass voter registration."

Jackson headed a press conference Wednesday, a day after Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for shooting McDonald to death. The video tape showing the incident was also released to the public the same day. During the conference, Jackson asked for an investigation into the video and the timing of its release.

"We want a firm investigation on the suppression of the tapes," Jackson said. "The suppression of the tapes was manipulated for someone's advantage at the expense of others."

Footage from the dash-cam video was released more than a year after the October 2014 shooting. Several officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, faced harsh criticism for the timing of the video's release, and some residents and activists called for the resignation of all three of them this week. Jackson also called for a new police superintendent and a "new infrastructure." 

Alvarez defended herself and Emanuel on Tuesday after first-degree murder charges were filed against Van Dyke, saying the mayor's plea last week to keep the video away from the public eye "was in the best interest of the investigation." Alvarez added that the reason it took 13 months to charge Van Dyke is because investigations into police shootings and misconduct are "massive and labor intensive." 

Minutes before the video was released, Emanuel said he hadn't seen it yet and was waiting until the rest of the city could see it, too. He added that he hoped the release of the video would help "build bridges of understanding" in the city instead of inciting unrest.

"I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than become a barrier of misunderstanding," Emanuel said. "I understand that people will be upset and want to protest when they see this video. But I would like to echo the comments of the McDonald family. They asked for calm and that those who choose to speak out do it peacefully."

Several politicians joined Jackson at the press conference to pledge their support for Friday's demonstration, including Rep. Bobby Rush and Rep. Danny Davis, who both called on the citizens of Chicago to join together to make a change.

"The Magnificent Mile will be magnificent when those seeking justice are the citizens of the city of Chicago," Rush said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Storm, Flooding Risk Threatens Holiday Weekend]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 05:29:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Weather-AP_487424761544.jpg

A blast of cold air was threatening to whip up a Black Friday ice storm across the center of the country, forecasters said.

Ice-storm warnings and other watches and advisories covered a 900-mile stretch from New Mexico and western Texas to Missouri and the Iowa border. Heavy rain is also expected further east, NBC News reported.

The National Weather Service announced that Dallas-Fort Worth broke its all-time yearly rainfall total at 12:14 a.m. local time (1:14 a.m. ET) on Friday, recording 53.56 inches over 2015. The area was also under a flash-flood warning.

Forecasters said the blast of wintery weather could "wreak havoc on the roadways" as millions of people prepare to be traveling over the holiday weekend.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mali Arrests Two Suspects Linked to Hotel Attack: Ministry]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 23:24:19 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MaliAttacks-AP_457868932560.jpg

Two people suspected of links to an attack on a hotel in Mali’s capital that killed 20 people were arrested, the country’s security ministry said on Thursday.

The two have not yet been identified. Three Islamist groups have claimed the strike, Reuters reported.

At least two armed men attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on Friday in a raid. Six Russians, three Chinese and an American were killed in the worst jihadist strike in the country in years.

The siege ended when commandos stormed the hotel and freed 170 hostages. Two attackers were killed.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Online Sales Surge, but Thousands Lining Up for Black Friday]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 04:46:36 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/BlackFridayMacys-AP_931186516506.jpg

Thousands of shoppers are still choosing to line up in the stores to make sure they got the best deals. The tradition of getting there early was still going strong, according to NBC News.

Hundreds lined nine levels of escalators at Macy's flagship store in New York City to get Black Friday deals on Thursday.

Many more consumers opted to stay home and shop online, according to NBC News.

Online sales increased 24 percent through 11 a.m. ET Thursday, compared to the same 12-hour period on Thanksgiving last year, according to Adobe Digital Index, which tracks real-time data for retailers.

Online shops are also reporting greater sales volumes - as much as 50 percent from midnight to noon, including 31 percent at Amazon.com, online retail data aggregator, Channel Advisor, said.

Photo Credit: AP Images for Macy's]]>
<![CDATA[Abigail's Serves Thanksgiving Dinner to 700]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 16:50:46 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/abigails+web.jpg

Thanksgiving is all about traditions and for many their holiday does not including cooking or cleaning. Some people chose to leave Thanksgiving dinner to the professionals.

Barbara McClendon and her friend Don Wheatley got their turkey with all the fixin’s, without lifting more than their forks. They went to Abigail's Grille & Bar in Simsbury.

“It’s a lot easier," said Wheatley.

No dirty dishes to deal with and no leftovers taking up room in the fridge.

“Every Thanksgiving we go out to eat," Wheatley explained.

They’re not alone. Abigail’s hosted 700 people for a full Thanksgiving dinner Thursday.

“Dinner for two at Thanksgiving time really doesn’t make sense if you’re going to cook it," said Marty Leftoff who dined with his wife Beth.

The cooks at Abigail’s prepared 100 turkeys, 200 pounds of mashed potatoes, and 100 pounds of stuffing.

“We are ready with about 60 apple pies, 60 pumpkin pies, and 30 pecan pies. You’ve gotta have pie. That’s a lot of pie," said Abigail's manager Markus Lehofer.

Abigail’s is an institution. Standing in Simsbury since 1781, many say the place is haunted. However, it didn't seem to scare anyone away.

“It’s busy. It’s one of the busiest days for us," said Jeffrey Kelley, one of the restaurant's servers.

This year, the restaurant was booked solid, with many guests who return year after year.

“It’s just really relaxing. Thanksgiving for us is always very relaxing," said Beth Leftoff.

“It’s great. It’s a big day for families to come together and it’s our job to make sure they have a great time and get to enjoy each other’s company and have a nice holiday," said Kelley.
After the crowds cleared, Kelley and the rest of the staff planned to have their own Thanksgiving meal. Where else but here?

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Slammed After He Appears to Mock Disabled Reporter]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:59:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_608044254548.jpg

Donald Trump has come under fire again. The New York Times has slammed the Republican presidential candidate after he appeared to mock a reporter with a congenital joint condition that limits movement in his arms, NBC News reported. 

Addressing a rally in South Carolina on Tuesday, Trump defended his widely discredited claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center came down on Sept. 11, 2001. He then appeared to impersonate reporter Serge Kovaleski, one of the authors of a 2001 article in The Washington Post that Trump has used to support his claim.

"Now, the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: 'Uh, I don't know what I said. I don't remember,'" Trump said, as he appeared to imitate Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis.

Kovaleski told MSNBC on Monday that he did "not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating." 

"We think it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters," a spokesman for The Times told NBC News. Kovaleski is currently an investigative reporter for The Times.

Trump's presidential campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Recovering After Being Stabbed by Relative in Willimantic]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 17:56:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ambulance+GettyImages-478895016.jpg

A man is recovering after being stabbed by a relative Thursday morning.

Police responded to the stabbing on Summit Street around 9:05 a.m. Thursday. There they found 50-year-old Jose Cosme lying on the floor suffering stab wounds to the neck and abdomen.

Cosme was transported to Windham Hospital then air-lifted to Hartford hospital in critical condition. He was taken into surgery and police say he is expected to survive.

Family members of Cosme are shaken but thankful it was’t worse.
“He’s stable and he’s okay,” said Cosme’s daughter Sandra Rios. “Thank God. That’s all we can wish for right now, with the situation at hand.”

Police say a male relative used a small knife on Cosme after the two got into an argument. Rios say the incident is devastating, especially on Thanksgiving.

“There’s no other word. Upset. It’s just emotional.” Rios said.

“We see these types of incidents throughout the year,” said Willimantic Police Corporal Stanley Parizo. “Holidays don’t preclude us from crime,” he added.

Neither police nor the family are saying the relationship between the suspect and Cosme or what the argument was regarding. The suspect is known to police and they are actively searching for him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Security Increased for Manchester Road Race]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 20:58:02 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/manchester+road+race+web.jpg

Manchester Police say spectators and participants in the 79th Annual Manchester Road Race could expect a beefed up security presence on Thanksgiving Day.

Captain Christopher Davis told NBC Connecticut that the department will have an increased presence. He said all officers would be on duty on race day.

He said the race presents a challenge for law enforcement because it often resembles a party or concert instead of simply a running event.

“We’re trying to balance the security of the event with the fun, festive, atmosphere that the race is known for" he said.

Race organizers have already told participants and spectators that pets (including those on leashes) and strollers will not be allowed on the race route.

The course is 4.748 miles long and makes a loop, starting and finishing on Main Street.

Police say if they see any bags unattended along the route, they will be thrown away.

“Any bags left unattended will be discarded for security and we don’t want any unsecured bags just laying along the race route.”

With tens of thousands of people descending on Manchester for the tradition of the Road Race, police say they're ready for all of the challenges that may present themselves.

"An event this scale on its own there’s a magnitude of planning that goes on throughout the year on an every year basis and we adjust things based on current events and things like that but everybody going there should expect to be safe,” Davis said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Tolland Family Reunited with Lost Dog]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 05:25:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/TOLLAND+DOG+web.jpg

This Thanksgiving a Tolland family is extra thankful for their dog.

When ten-year-old Liut, a chocolate lab named for Hartford Whalers hockey goalie Mike Liut, left home in Tolland, he was as gone as the Whalers.

“It was tough him being gone that long,” said his owner, Jason Marcroft, “but the response around town was just unbelievable.”

For nine days, townspeople in Tolland responded to the missing dog notices posted on the internet and around town. Sightings reported almost every day from people the Marcrofts didn't know are why they're thankful this Thanksgiving.

“We were getting text messages and Facebook messages and phone calls from people we never met before saying, ‘I drove around for an hour, didn't see him, good luck, we're rooting for you,’ it was really unbelievable, the response.

The one thing they were worried about was that Liut would get hit by a car, and sure enough, on Tuesday police actually chased him off I-84. But later that day, he turned up at Tolland Middle School.

“And a bunch of bus drivers chased him into the woods and had him kinda pinned,” Marcroft said, “and my brother and sister kinda cornered him and tackled him and got a leash on him and brought him home.”

Liut was heavy with ticks and lighter by ten pounds after his days in the wild, but the veterinarian checked him out and after a couple of days of sleep, he’s back in form.

As for the Marcrofts, they’ve learned the truth of the old saying: there are no strangers, just people you haven't met yet.

“There's a lot going on in the world so for people to pay that much attention to a stranger's dog was just not something we expected. We really didn't think it would be that big a deal to so many people. It was important to us but we didn't think it would be important to everyone else as well,” said Marcroft.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Hollande Calls for 'Grand Coalition' Against ISIS]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 13:47:34 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_967237575586.jpg

Speaking in Russia on Thursday, French President Francois Hollande called for world powers to create a "grand coalition" to defeat ISIS militants who control swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, Reuters reported. 

Hollande is on a diplomatic offensive to build a common front against ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people and for the bombing of the Russian jet that killed 224 people over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Russia's Vladimir Putin said Moscow was ready to unite with Paris against a "mutual enemy." Russia and France have stepped up their aerial bombing campaigns in Syria but they have different objectives.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Arsonist Strikes in Keney Park in Hartford]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 20:09:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/KENEY+PARK+FIRE_1200.jpg

The search is on for an arsonist in Hartford.

Hartford Police are investigated who started several brush fires at Keney Park.

It happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday. Several fires broke out near the park’s Pond House, as well as the Greenfield Street and Vine Street area near the horse stables. It took firefighters about an hour to get them under control.

Police say they found gas containers near the fires.

“Anyone can recognize the smell of gasoline or accelerant and they’ve been around that thing so they’re very familiar with it," said Lt. Brandon O'Brien with the Hartford Police Department. When the containers were found, there was still some gasoline found inside of them.

Police believe there could be more than one person involved in the fires.

Luisa Rosario lives right next to where one of the fires took place. While nobody was hurt, she says it’s still a scary situation because it could’ve been worse.

"Especially when we live so close and somebody would be so malicious to endanger all these people so close to the holidays. It’s kind of scary," said Rosario.

"Brush fire? C’mon! I was about to cut through there! I see this? Now I got to go all the way around!" said Michael Bonner, who bikes the trail.

Police are asking for the public’s help.

"Anyone that might’ve seen anything, no matter inconsequential they might think that observation was, we’re looking to harvest that information and make it part of our investigation," said Lt. O'Brien.

If you have any information on this case, call Hartford Police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Sex Offender Got Past TSA With Woman's Boarding Pass: Police]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:33:20 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/151126-michael-reith-salata-reithjpo-623a_68b8db40842c95990b737234790812b7.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

A registered sex offender passed through a TSA checkpoint earlier this month using a boarding pass that he stole from a female passenger, officials said.

Michael Reith Salata, 61, was arrested at Salt Lake International Airport on Nov. 5 after attempting to get on a plane, according to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Salata had checked in to Southwest Airlines Flight 1760, which was headed for Oakland, California, NBC station KSL reported. The woman who the ticket belonged to had misplaced her boarding pass shortly after printing it out at a kiosk, police told KSL.

Salata was arrested on suspicion of fraudulent handling of a recordable writing, a third-degree felony, the station reported.

Records show that Salata, who is homeless, was convicted of lewdness involving a child in Utah in 2012.

Photo Credit: KSL
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<![CDATA[Here's How Astronauts Spend Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:20:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SpaceThanksgiving-GettyImages-493963640.jpg

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren gave their thanks and previewed their “traditional” Thanksgiving meal in a video from the International Space Station, NBC News reported.

The two astronauts discussed what they’re thankful for, while grabbing a few bites from their zero-gravity feast.

"We just wanted to wish you a very warm and happy Thanksgiving," Lindgren said in the video greeting.

Kelly added his own thanks, as well: "Being on the space station here and looking down at our incredibly beautiful planet gives us a different perspective on what it means to be citizens of planet Earth," he said.

The two have the day off and will share their meal with the four others aboard the space station.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Burglar Crawls into Family's Room]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:42:21 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/210*120/creepy+burglar1.JPG

A burglar quietly crawled his way into a Queens, New York, bedroom where a man and his wife and kids were sleeping and managed to pick up a smartphone from the dresser before the victim awoke, prompting the thief to run away, surveillance video from inside the home shows. 

The NYPD has released the nanny-cam video of the home invasion in Flushing, Queens just before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. The clear video shows the suspect going into the house in the area of Union Street and 33rd Avenue, and then crawling into the bedroom of the 42-year-old victim. 

The suspect lifts a Samsung S6 cellphone from the top of the dresser, but the victim awoke, police said, prompting the suspect to run away.

The victim's wife told NBC 4 New York the couple's three children, all between 3 to 6 years old, were sleeping in the other bed shown in the video. The wife, who asked to remain anonymous, said video shows the burglar was going from room to room for 40 minutes, and the item seen in his mouth was a knife.

The wife said when she first sensed someone creeping around the floor, she thought it may have been one of her young children. 

The suspect is described as being about 6 feet 2 inches and 200 pounds. He was wearing all black clothing and a black snow hat with the word "diamond" in red and white lettering. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

<![CDATA[Man Severely Injured in Dog Attack in New Britain]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 20:45:31 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_12161325.jpg

New Britain police are desperately trying to find a dog that attacked and severely injured a man on Prospect Street on Saturday.

The man walked out of a building and into the parking lot at 15 Prospect Street, when the dog charged at him, unprovoked, according to police.

Police described the dog as a tall pit bull mix, mostly white with black spots. The victim reported the entire right side of the dog’s head was black.

The animal latched onto the victim's leg and pulled him to the ground, ripping flesh from the man's thigh.
With the dog still biting his legs, the man was able to drag himself back to the building and used the door to get the dog off of him.

He was rushed to Hartford Hospital with severe injuries, including nerve and tendon damage in one leg, and several bite wounds on his other leg and hands.

Police searched the area for the dog and interviewed several people in the neighborhood, but no one knew where the dog had come from, police said. Officers believe the dog may be kept in a basement or a crate and isn't used to interacting with people. They are afraid if the animal gets out, it may attack again.

Bonnie Carrillo’s 77-year-old mother lives in the building, and Carrillo says she’s concerned for her mother’s safety.

“I am worried about my mom and I told her ‘Ma make sure you keep your doors locked, don't take out the dog if you see that dog around because it could bite you,’” she said.

Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call Sgt. Keller with the New Britain Police Department at 860-826-3079.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Hit in Hunting-Related Shooting in Colchester]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 09:20:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-night-shutterstock_696221173.jpg

A 14-year-old riding an ATV was shot in the foot in Colchester on Wednesday in what police are calling a hunting-related shooting.

Colchester officers and state troopers responded to the area of Middletown Road and Bigalow Road on Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, a 14-year-old boy was riding an ATV in a wooded area when he was shot in the foot. He was taken to a clinic in Marlborough with minor injuries, according to police.

Officers from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded to the scene and are investigating the incident.

Police did not say if they have located the person who fired the weapon.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Kissed by Pope Sees Brain Tumor Shrink: Family]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:29:14 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pope16.jpg

Gianna had undergone eight surgeries and numerous chemotherapy treatments on her brain tumor at Philadelphia Children's Hospital in her 15 months of life before she met Pope Francis in September. Doctors had told her parents, Masciantonio and Kristen, that she would likely not survive.

With the help of their friend Donny Asper — an FBI agent who was assigned to guard the pope's route in Philadelphia — the family made it the location on Market Street where the pope was due to pass. 

Masciantonio says he held out Gianna and when the pope drove by, his security head spotted Masciantonio hoisting Gianna and grabbed her. The pontiff kissed Gianna on the head and granted her his blessing.

The euphoria of the moment would not last long, however. Gianna still had two pending chemotherapy treatments and an MRI that would show if they were working. Last week, six weeks after her encounter with the Pope, Gianna's MRI results came back, showing the tumor had shrunk significantly, Masciantonio said.

"It [tumor] was basically just a blush on the screen," he said. "It was virtually invisible."

Doctors told them that, although the tumor had not been completely eradicated, the prognosis was life-changing: Gianna would likely survive.

Photo Credit: Masciantonio Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Yazidi Refugees Grateful for Escaping ISIS]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:02:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/151125-lincoln-nebraska-jsw-01-1002a-1.jpg

Many Yazidi exiles now living in the U.S. will be giving thanks this Thanksgiving for their deliverance from ISIS and their new life in America.

"It's horrible. A lot of the girls from my mother's side got captured by ISIS and I don't think we will ever see them again," Hasan Khalil, who migrated to Lincoln, Nebraska, which is home of the largest concentration of Yazidis in the U.S., told NBC News. "So on Thanksgiving I am thankful that we are alive and that we made it here. We will thank God for giving us a better life in America."

The Yazidis, an Iraqi minority with a unique religion that predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam, has been targeted by the ISIS as part of its campaign to "purify" Iraq and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influences.

Khalil, 30, said he understands the plight of Syrian refugees who have also been forced to flee their homeland and who now are being treated like pariahs by many U.S. politicians. 

"I disagree with those who want to close the door on refugees," said Khalil. "For refugees, coming to America is a dream and we appreciate it."


Photo Credit: Andrew Dickinson]]>
<![CDATA[Obama 'Deeply Disturbed' by Video of McDonald's Shooting]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:07:07 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/obama-GettyImages-498084268.jpg

President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he was “deeply disturbed” by footage of the fatal shooting of a Chicago teen, whose death has made national headlines and sparked protests throughout the city.

“Like many Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. This Thanksgiving, I ask everybody to keep those who’ve suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers, and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post. “And I’m personally grateful to the people of my hometown for keeping protests peaceful.”

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with murder in the October 2014 shooting. Video of the incident shows, McDonald, who police say was armed with a knife, walking away from police officers at the scene before being shot 16 times.

Dash-cam footage of the shooting was released Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters flocked to Chicago streets following the video’s release. The majority of them have remained peaceful.

On Wednesday, more protesters marched in Chicago, blocking several major intersections during rush hour. Additional demonstrations are planned in Chicago’s shopping district for Black Friday.

Demonstrators, community leaders and residents have called for the firing of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy since the video was made public. Others have called for an investigation into the Chicago Police Department and into the Independent Police Review Authority.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also preached messages of reform and accountability Wednesday.

"The family of Laquan McDonald and the people of Chicago deserve justice and accountability," Clinton said in her statement. "As criminal charges proceed in this case, we also have to grapple as a country with broader questions about ensuring that all our citizens and communities are protected and respected. The mothers I met recently in Chicago are right: we cannot go on like this. All over America, there are police officers honorably doing their duty, demonstrating how to protect the public without resorting to unnecessary force. We need to learn from and build on those examples. The loss of so many young African Americans taken too soon should reaffirm our commitment to press forward for progress."

Sanders called for "fundamental reform" in the criminal justice system and asked activists to take action beyond chanting "Black Lives Matter."

"All Americans should be sickened by the video of Laquan McDonald's murder," Sanders said in his statement. "As a nation we must do more than just echo the phrase Black Lives Matter. We must put actions behind these words. Actions that will bring about the fundamental reform that is needed in the face of this crisis. Criminal justice reform must be the civil rights issue of the 21st century and the first piece must be putting an end to the killing of African Americans by police officers."

Dan Herbert, Van Dyke's attorney, has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if Van Dyke "acted inappropriately" when he fatally shot McDonald, though he has described the footage as "graphic and violent" and "difficult to watch." He said outside the courtroom Tuesday that the case needs to be tried in a courtroom, "not in the streets or in the media."

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Penn State Could Face Claims From More Alleged Sandusky Victims]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:00:48 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Sanduksy-AP_874373053477.jpg

Penn State could face more claims from six or more alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky, according to documents published by the university.

The university has previously disclosed in legal filings that it rejected the claims of six other alleged victims when it concluded the 2013 settlement, NBC News reported.

"Additional claims could be paid in the future," the statement said.

In its audited financial statement for fiscal year 2015, the university reported this week that it has paid or set aside a total of $92.8 million for 32 claims — including $33.2 million on top of the previously reported settlement payouts.

The school has paid more than $92 million in the last two years on settlements and related costs. Sandusky has maintained his innocence.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Myanmar's Suu Kyi Blames Lack of Safety for Deadly Mine Landslide]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 02:06:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MyanmarLandslide-AP_320156078163.jpg

Accidents such as the landslide that killed more than 100 people in Myanmar are caused by a disregard for the rule of law, according to Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

"As far as we understand, it was the fifth similar incident this year," Suu Kyi said during a radio interview on Thursday.

These were Suu Kyi’s first comments on the disaster, where rescuers recovered 114 bodies before giving up the search.

Hpakant is at the heart of the jade mining region and produces some of the world's highest quality jade. But workers, many migrants from other parts of the country, operate in perilous conditions for little pay.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy has called for stricter safety measures and more government oversight in the wake of the disaster, Reuters reported.

Photo Credit: Eleven Media Group via AP]]>
<![CDATA[No Charges in Manger Baby Case]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 22:46:21 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/church+baby+woman+1.JPG

Authorities have located the mother of a newborn baby who was left in a Christmas manger inside a Queens, New York, church two days ago and determined no criminal prosecution is warranted. 

"The mother followed the spirit of New York's 'Safe Haven' law," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement after investigators spoke to the mother, whose wailing, hours-old baby was found with his umbilical cord still attached inside a nativity scene at Holy Child Jesus Catholic Church in Richmond Hill.

"It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found," Brown said. 

Police said earlier Wednesday they were looking to speak with the mother of the baby to determine if she was OK. 

The state's Safe Haven law allows a parent to leave a baby up to 30 days old with an appropriate person or in a suitable location where the parent promptly notifies an appropriate person. It wasn't clear if the mother in this case would face charges because the baby was left alone, and it didn't appear she immediately alerted anyone about the child. 

Video obtained by NBC 4 New York offers a clearer picture of what happened moments before the child was left in the church. It shows the mother walking briskly up 113th Street with the newborn baby in her arms, then turning onto Jamaica Avenue and stepping into a 99-cent store. Still clutching the child, the woman moves to the linen aisle and grabs several purple towels. She pays and leaves without saying a single word to the cashier. 

Minutes later and less than a half-mile away, the newborn was found swaddled in the same purple towels inside the manger of an unfinished nativity scene inside Holy Child Jesus Catholic Church.

Jose Moran, the church custodian who found him when he heard the baby's cries, told NBC 4 New York in Spanish that he's happy he was able to help save the baby. But he said his heart breaks for the child who was left alone on the wooden floor of the unfinished nativity scene with purple towels covering his face. 

The Rev. Christopher Heanue recounted to NBC 4 New York Tuesday how he learned of the baby in the manger. 

"The secretary burst in and said, 'Father, there's an emergency in the church, you have to come,'" Heanue said.

Bishop Octavio Cisnero, also there, couldn't believe his eyes.

"There was a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a towel," said Cisnero. "The umbilical cord was still hanging from the baby." 

EMTs checked out the baby, and he appeared to be healthy. 

Heanue said surveillance video from his church -- not released -- captured a woman entering the church about 20 minutes before the baby was found.

"A woman did come into the church with some bag, left the church and the bag was sort of dangling in the wind," he said. 

Heanue said the parish has taken a special interest in the baby and some members have expressed an interest in adopting.

"This child, we believe, is a gift, almost, to this parish," said Heanue. 

"God works in mysterious ways," he added. 

The child is currently in protective custody. 

There is a Safe Haven hotline in New York where a parent who wishes to leave their baby can call and have child care workers pick up the child: 1-877-796-HOPE. It's most important the baby is left with a person, not in an undisclosed location, authorities say. 

<![CDATA[Wheelchair Stolen From 4-Year-Old]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:31:38 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/192*120/nolegs-112515.PNG

After a 4-year-old California girl named Milagros, or "miracle" in Spanish, who was born without legs had her wheelchair stolen days before Thanksgiving, an NBC4 viewer came to the rescue, donating $10,000 for a new specialized wheelchair.

The viewer called the assignment desk and said that after hearing Milagros' story on NBC4, she just had to help.

"What better gift can I give myself for the holidays than to reach out to help this child?" Joyce Brandman, the donor, said.

Brandman handed over a check for $10,000 from the nonprofit Saul Brandman Foundation so that the family could buy a new specialized wheelchair built especially for Milagros.

Milagros' mother, Rosa Perez, was understandably overcome with gratitude.

Tears streamed down her face as she viewed the check.

Brandman said the experience made her Thanksgiving that much better.

"You are remarkable," Brandman said in a message to the family. "God is watching over you. I hope I am your angel this holiday season, and I admire you very much for what you are doing for this child."

Police also came together to brighten the family's spirits with a Thanksgiving dinner in addition to hunting down the person who took it.

"A $10,000 check - I mean, that's amazing," said Nelson Menendez of the Santa Ana Police Department, who assisted when the check was presented to the family. "You can see how humble these people live, and they can't afford [a $10,000 wheelchair.] Who can?"

Milagros' family pleaded to the public for help earlier Wednesday to get back Milagros' motorized wheelchair, which is the miracle girl's main way of getting to school.

Milagros was born without legs, a heart condition and other ailments.

Despite the theft of her wheelchair, Milagros was upbeat, using a skateboard to get around.

Her mother Rosa Perez, however, could not control her sorrow as she explained how the expensive wheelchair was stolen from the family's yard in Santa Ana Saturday night.

The wheelchair was behind a gate that couldn't be locked because it is a common area in the apartment complex in the 400 block of South Flower Street.

Santa Ana police were doing what they could to recover the wheelchair, but they didn't have surveillance images or any descriptions of who may have taken it.

"There is no real use unless you have the handicap she has, so our guess is somebody is trying to either pawn it off or melt it down for cash," Corp. Anthony Bertagna of Santa Ana police said.

Officers said they were taking the theft personally.

Before the donation, the department banded together to donate a Christmas tree with all the trimmings to the family, courtesy of Home Depot.

"Gracias," Milagros said, thanking the officers.

The officers went the extra mile, donating a full Thanksgiving dinner to the family as well.

Anyone with information on the crime can contact Santa Ana police at  (714) 245-8029.

Officers set up a fund for Milagros and her family, and anyone who would like to help can make checks payable to: S.A.P.O.A. Widows & Orphans Fund, Memo: S.A. Resident Rosa Perez

Mailing address: S.A.P.O.A. 1607 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, California 92701. 

If you would like to donate to her family's GoFundMe account, it can be found here.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Rain, Snow, Icy Thanksgiving for Much of U.S. ]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:02:22 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DeverWeather-AP_463771047702.jpg

Most of the country will wake up to rain, snow, ice or any combination of them on Thanksgiving morning, according to forecasters.

Ice could cause travel problems across the central United States from Kansas City, Missouri, to Texas. Major flooding is predicted for large parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas through Friday.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for parts of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, while Rock Springs, Wyoming, was under a blizzard warning.

Wyoming — especially near Interstate 80 across the state — is "going to get hit very hard," said Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, while parts of northern New Mexico could get as much as 18 inches of snow.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pharmaceutical Company Reneges on Drug Price Cut]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 20:40:05 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_608385186153.jpg

After weeks of criticism from patients, doctors and other drugmakers for hiking a life-saving medicine's price more than fifty-fold, Turing Pharmaceuticals is reneging on its pledge to cut the $750-per-pill price.

Instead, the small biotech company is reducing what it charges hospitals, by up to 50 percent, for its parasitic infection treatment, Daraprim. Most patients' copayments will be capped at $10 or less a month. But insurers will be stuck with the bulk of the $750 tab. That drives up future treatment and insurance costs.

Daraprim is a 62-year-old pill whose patent expired decades ago. It's the preferred treatment for a rare parasitic infection, toxoplasmosis, which mainly threatens people with weak immune systems, such as HIV and organ transplant patients, and pregnant women, because it can kill their baby.

Dr. Carlos del Rio, chairman of the HIV Medicine Association, called Turing's changes "just window dressing."

Turing's move comes after a pharmacy that compounds prescription drugs for individual patients, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, started selling a custom-made version for 99 cents per capsule. Those sales weren't a factor in Turing's pricing strategy, chief marketing officer Nancy Retzlaff said Wednesday.

Del Rio noted that while hospitals treat many patients initially, most are then treated at home for a couple months, so the lower hospital price doesn't help.

"This medication can be made for pennies. They need to reduce the price to what it was before," he said.

Turing, with offices in New York and Switzerland, bought U.S. rights to sell Daraprim in August, when it had no competition. Daraprim is one of numerous old drugs with limited competition whose makers have raised prices sharply.

A furor over Turing's staggering price hike erupted, triggering multiple government investigations and pledges from politicians to rein in soaring prescription drug prices. Those include newly approved medicines costing around $100,00 a year and some old, formerly cheap generics.

Amid the heat, Turing CEO Martin Shkreli said he'd lower the price. Instead, the company just lowered hospitals' price and is offering the option of buying 30-pill bottles instead of 100-pill bottles to reduce their costs to stock it. Shkreli wasn't available for an interview.

Imprimis Chief Executive Officer Mark Baum said Wednesday in an exclusive interview that orders are pouring in for its version of Daraprim from doctors and the company has dispensed more than 2,500 capsules since Oct. 22.

He's now working with insurers to get them to cover Imprimis' capsules and will be talking with federal health agencies and members of Congress about changing current rules to allow the Defense Department and government health programs such as Medicare to cover so-called compounded medicines.

Imprimis also has begun selling capsules of another drug whose price was jacked up and is considering doing the same with dozens of now high-priced generic drugs for pain, heart disease, infections, skin and hormonal conditions and immune disorders.

Mass-produced drugs must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Imprimis, like other compounding pharmacies, instead makes up individual prescriptions using drug ingredients already approved — in this case pyrimethamine, Daraprim's active ingredient, plus a second drug to limit its side effects.

Dr. Warren Dinges of the Seattle Infectious Diseases Clinic said he's treating an HIV patient who got toxoplasmosis in his eye, damaging his vision. The man, an artist, tried to fill a prescription Dinges wrote for Daraprim but was told by his pharmacy that it wasn't in stock and would cost about $27,000 for a month's supply.

Dinges instead got Imprimis to make up a custom version for barely $100 per month.

"He was feeling great on Monday" at a checkup, with his symptoms much reduced, Dinges said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gun in Muralist Homicide Was Stolen]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:26:49 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/antonio3.jpg

A gun police recovered in the shooting death of a muralist in Oakland, California, was traced back as a weapon stolen from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in San Francisco, according to police sources.

The ICE agent's weapon, a Glock, was reported stolen in September from a vehicle being used by the officer, police sources said. The suspect in that case, Sean Claude Gibson, 24, of San Francisco was booked on more than two dozen charges on Oct. 20, police said. Gibson declined a jail house interview.

How the gun found its way into the hands of the alleged killer of the slain muralist is unknown at this point.

Oakland police on Wednesday confirmed the gun used in the homicide was stolen from ICE, which the federal agency addressed Tuesday evening.

"A duty weapon belonging to an officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations was stolen Sept. 13 in San Francisco from a vehicle being used by the officer," ICE said in a statement. "The theft was properly reported to local authorities and through official federal channels. The matter is currently under investigation by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility."

The stolen Glock was allegedly used to kill muralist Antonio Ramos, who was gunned down on Sept. 29. The 27-year-old Emeryville resident was painting a mural – depicting colorful Victorian homes and a tree-lined street – on the 3500 block of West Street in Oakland, just under the Interstate 580 overpass.

Marquise Holloway, who was arrested Friday in Stockton, is charged in the shooting death of Ramos. During his arraignment on Tuesday, Holloway began swearing and screaming in court while handcuffed. He blurted out the F-word several times. Deputies had to subdue him and take him away.

Investigators said on Tuesday at a news conference that Holloway came up to Ramos, who was painting with a group of muralists, and eyed his camera equipment. The two got into a brief, but heated argument before Holloway pulled out a gun and shot Ramos, police said.

"He was painting the mural and he had taken a break and was taking some pictures – so he could memorialize it and put it up on a website — so he had some of his camera equipment out there. And I believe that’s what sparked the whole incident," Oakland police Lt. Roland Holmgren said.

Along with a murder charge, Holloway has been slapped with multiple counts of robbery, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The 20-year-old is accused of stealing camera equipment – at gunpoint – from a pair of film crews in Oakland last month. He also faces an attempted robbery charge from his face-off with Ramos.

Court documents reveal Holloway told officers Ramos' shooting was an accident. Holloway is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 30.

Since 2006, ICE agents have lost more than 140 weapons, according to NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit.

Ramos is not the only one to be killed with a stolen gun that belongs to the feds.

An undocumented immigrant shot and killed Kate Steinle in July using a gun that was stolen out of a Bureau of Land Management employee's car in San Francisco.

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani and Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Attitudinal Healing Connection]]>
<![CDATA[New Chicago Dash-Cam Video Protest]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:09:03 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/218*120/Christmas+Tree+Lights+2.jpg

During the second night of protests over the Laquan McDonald shooting, police made several arrests after some demonstrators tore off lights from the Christmas tree standing in Millennium Park.

Video shows a group of protesters just before 10:00 p.m. yanking the lights from the bottom of the tree. Police quickly responded to disperse the crowd. Investigators have not said exactly how many arrests were made.

Dozens of protesters took to the streets in Chicago's Loop during rush hour Wednesday calling for "justice for Laquan" after video of the teen's fatal 2014 shooting was released Tuesday. 

Demonstrators marched down State Street and at one point blocked traffic near State and Randolph streets. They were heard chanting "the whole damn system is guilty."

Several protests have been planned in Chicago, including a number of demonstrations scheduled to take place on Black Friday, following the release of video showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

A Chicago police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting. Dash-cam video of the incident shows McDonald, who police say was armed with a knife, walking away from police officers at the scene before being shot. In the video of the shooting, McDonald's body appears to jerk repeatedly from additional gunshots while he’s on the ground.

A rally and march were scheduled to begin during rush hour Wednesday involving community and youth leaders from across Chicago, including those who gathered to protest the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The group was expected to host a public screening of the dash-cam video showing McDonald’s fatal shooting at 5:15 p.m. at the Bronzeville Visitors Information Center. They also plan to march to the Chicago Police Department’s headquarters.

“Much like the Jon Burge police torture scandal, this most recent incident has drawn national and international attention to the corrupt practices of the Chicago police department,” Patricia Hill, a former police officer and the current leader of the Chicago Independent Human Rights Council, said in a statement. “Unless we want to subject ourselves to similar human rights violations, we must fundamentally redefine the policing of our communities.”

Black Lives Matter protesters marched Wednesday afternoon from the Cook County Criminal Court building, where a protester arrested Tuesday was appearing for bond court, to the site of McDonald’s shooting.

Aislinn Sol, Chapter Coordinator for Black Lives Matter Chicago, said no other demonstrations were scheduled for Wednesday, but later events could be organized.

Five people were arrested Tuesday night as hundreds marched along city streets in a largely peaceful protest over McDonald's killing. 

Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said that outside of the incidents that led to the five separate arrests, the protest was otherwise respectful.

"The Chicago Police Department supports citizens’ First Amendment rights and goes to great lengths to ensure those rights can be exercised," Guglielmi said in a statement Wednesday morning. "While on the whole last night’s demonstrations were peaceful, a few isolated incidents resulted in five arrests and assaulting [of] police officers."

Several activist groups have also planned demonstrations in Chicago for Black Friday.

Groups including the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network have each called for protests along Michigan Avenue during one of the biggest shopping days of the season.

Despite the protests, retailers are still encouraging shoppers to come downtown for the day.

“Our job as the business association is to work with the retailers restaurant and our partners to make sure every single day is a safe experience on the mile and that's what we expect,” said John Curran, vice president of the Magnificent Mile Association. “We keep in close contact with police and other city services and we relay that information to our members and we’ve been in very close contact with our members as we always are for Black Friday.”

Curran called the Mag Mile event “the quintessential Black Friday experience.”

“Come down here,” he said. “We intend to have a very safe and wonderful day.” 

<![CDATA[Gaps in Airport Security Highlighted in New Video]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:45:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tsa-generic-464375288.jpg

President Obama said Wednesday that the government is taking "every possible step" to keep Americans safe from terrorism — but new video is raising questions about whether that's the case at the nation's airports.

At New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, used by more than 50 million passengers a every year, NBC News' cameras captured employees simply swiping their electronic key cards to get into the facility this week. NBC News also obtained video from earlier this year that showed the same thing.

Unlike passengers, airline crew and employees who work in the terminal, the ramp agents in the videos did not undergo ID checks or bag checks, walk through metal detectors or get scanned for explosive materials, sources said.

And that, some say, is cause for concern — especially amid worries that an airport insider could have been involved in the bombing of a Russian Metrojet over Egypt three weeks ago.

"The insider threat is real," Marshall McClain of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association told NBC News.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Nowhere to Go': Calif. Band Recalls Paris Attack]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:42:44 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498446394.jpg

The beginning of the Nov. 13 massacre at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris sounded like firecrackers to the sound engineer for California rock band Eagles of Death Metal. Then he saw fans fall to the floor.

Shawn London was among the first to realize what was happening, he told VICE news in the band's first interview on the attacks. "Injuries. Death. And then, also, running," he said. "There was nowhere to go."

One of the gunmen looked at London, then shot at him, but the bullets missed, NBC News reported. He dropped down and huddled with others.

"He stayed there and continued to shoot and shoot and slaughter and just scream at the top of his lungs, 'Allah Akbar.' And that's when I instantly knew what was going on," London said.

On stage, each member of the band panicked, choosing different routes that ultimately led them out of the club. One employee, British merchandise manager Nick Alexander, was among the 89 who died.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[History of Trump Golf Course in Va.]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:20:31 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/112515+trump+golf+course.jpg

The Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia includes a plaque commemorating the Potomac River as "The River of Blood" during the Civil War — but historians say no battle ever was fought at that location and the "River of Blood" name never was used.

Far beyond the entrance of the golf course, along a bank of the Potomac, is a plaque that commemorates the history of the river.

"Many great Americans, both of the North and South died at this spot," the inscription says, as The New York Times was first to report. "The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and become known as 'The River of Blood.'"

Beneath Trump's family crest and his full name, the plaque says, "It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!"

The trouble is, historians said the events Trump cited never occurred.

"That's not true," Civil War historian Jim Morgan said. "I think it says many soldiers died at this spot, and that's not true. It didn't happen."

Morgan is an expert on another battle, the Battle of Ball's Bluff, which took place in October 1861 about 10 miles north of the Trump National Golf Club. Hundreds of soldiers were killed and wounded there, Morgan's book says.

"Certainly there were casualties and certainly bodies that floated down past that golf course," Morgan said about how the golf course could be connected to Civil War history.

Trump told the Times that "numerous historians" had told him that the golf club site had been known as the "River of Blood." He said he did not remember their names, and he declined to identify any of his staffers who might know the historians' names.

“How would they know that?” Trump asked when he was told local historians had questioned the veracity of the plaque. “Were they there?”

The historian said plaques and monuments in the area have included errors before.

"The history of this area is pretty well-preserved, pretty well written about. What you've got is a little monument that misstates some things," Morgan said. "It wouldn't be the first historical monument that has some things on it that's incorrect."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[South Park-Inspired Bullying]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:40:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sp15.jpg

Students at a middle school in Melrose, Massachusetts, could face disciplinary action and possibly even criminal charges following a bullying incident Friday that school officials say was inspired by an episode of the show "South Park."

The incident occurred Friday when students at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School chose to imitate a 2005 "South Park" episode called "Ginger Kids," in which they target and kick red heads, according to a statement posted on the school's website.

School officials called the incident "unacceptable," saying the students used "poor judgment." They said the incident did not involve the entire seventh grade, and for the most part didn't include students in grades six and eight.

"We are outraged by the behavior and poor decisions made by a group of students and we are concerned for both the victims and the aggressors for the impact this will have on them. We are incredibly disappointed," the statement said.

School officials said the behavior took place mostly in corridors and stairwells in between classes. When they became aware of the incident around 11:30 a.m. Friday, a public announcement was made ordering the behavior to stop and informing students that this could be considered assault and that any students who were involved would be subject to disciplinary action. A message was also sent out to parents at the end of the day explaining what happened.

Disciplinary hearing letters were sent home to the parents of students identified as aggressors. The parents of students who were hurt were contacted by phone.

School officials said they have reviewed surveillance tapes and spoken with students and families about the incident.

They have also been in contact with Melrose Police, and it is possible that charges may be brought if any students are found to have engaged in an assault.

Investigation into the incident is ongoing, school officials said. Disciplinary hearings are expected to continue through next week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Respond to 2 Shooting Scenes in Hartford]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 09:20:49 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hartford+farmington+avenue+shooting_1200.jpg

Hartford police are investigating after three people were shot in two separate incidents Wednesday evening.

Both incidents occurred within minutes of each other around 6 p.m., according to police.

The first incident occurred outside a market and pizza shop near 298 Farmington Avenue. Two men were injured. Police closed Farmington Avenue near Marshall Street for several hours to investigate.

Tammy Mendes of Hartford says her nephew was one of the victims. She says he was being robbed when he was shot in the chest.

“It’s tough,” she said. “We’re just praying that he will be okay.”

Some in the neighborhood were rattled by the latest shooting, which follows a year of violence and spike in homicides over the summer.

“It’s crazy. It’s ridiculous. It never stops. We need to get these people who are committing these crimes need to get where they belong and off the streets,” says resident Jessica Martins.

The second shooting happened about two miles north in the area of 98 Martin Street. One person was shot there, police said.

All of the victims are expected to survive, according to police. There is no word on whether the incidents are connected.

The Hartford Major Crimes division and Shooting Task Force are investigating. Anyone with information should contact Hartford police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>