<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Wed, 03 Sep 2014 03:23:31 -0400 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 03:23:31 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Farmington Man Stabbed to Death in Florida]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:46:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Kevin+Adorno+with+homeless+man.jpg

A Farmington family is coming to grips with the death of their 28-year-old son, who was stabbed to death just days before finishing a bicycle trip down the East Coast, family members said.

Kevin Adorno, 28, of Unionville, was at a McDonald's restaurant on U.S. Route 1 in Vero Beach, Florida, when he was stabbed around 9:30 p.m. on Monday. Police said he had stopped to buy food and charge his phone.

Authorities have identified his suspected attacker as 59-year-old Rene Herrera Cruz, a homeless man who had recently arrived in Vero Beach from Miami, according to the arrest affidavit.

Cruz told police he was in the parking lot when a motorcycle pulled up near him. According to the affidavit, "Cruz had felt as if people kept watching him" so he walked away and took a filet knife from his backpack.

He told police Adorno was sitting in the restaurant looking at him. When Adorno went outside to use his cellphone, Cruz thought Adorno was taking pictures of him and "directing people to go after him," according to the affidavit.

As Adorno approached, Cruz pulled out the knife and slashed him, the affidavit says.

Authorities found Adorno lying on the floor near the restaurant bathrooms. Police said he'd been stabbed several times in the chest and arm and collapsed inside McDonald's while witnesses applied pressure to his wounds.

Adorno was pronounced dead a short time later at Indian River Medical Center, according to police.

According to the affidavit, Cruz had tossed the murder weapon into the bushes while running from McDonald's and threw his shirt and a second knife into the trash at Burger King. Police took him into custody there.

Police said Cruz admitted to stabbing Adorno and said it wasn't their first encounter with him.

"We dealt with him actually the night before. He called us from Burger King right across the street and he told responding officers that individuals were looking for him or were after him," said Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey.

Family members said Adorno biked from Maine to Maryland with his sister last summer. He was two days and 100 miles away from completing the second leg of his trip, from Maryland to Miami.

They said Adorno, an athlete and animal lover who owned a graphic design company, was planning to propose to his girlfriend and was on the phone with her when Cruz attacked.

Cruz has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond.



Photo Credit: Indian River County Sheriff's Office/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Man Sexually Assaulted Sacred Heart University Student: Police]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:37:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Sketch+of+man+who+attacked+Sacred+Heart+University+student.jpg

A Sacred Heart University student was sexually assaulted in her Fairfield home early Monday morning and police have released a sketch of the attacker in hopes that someone can identify him.

Police said the student was attacked around 3 a.m. Monday while she was entering her house on Berkeley Road, located off campus in the southeast section of town near Tunxis Hill Park.

She has roommates but was home alone at the time, according to police. They said the assailant broke into her house and struggled with the victim before assaulting her and running off.

"Obviously, someone who is brazen enough to break into somebody's home and then on top of that assault them is really someone we need to get a hold of right away," explained Fairfield police spokesman Lt. James Perez.

The suspect is described as a short, stocky man between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-6 in his 20s with some acne on his face. He speaks with a Spanish accent and has dark, spiky hair and light-colored eyes, police said.

It's not clear if he got away on foot or in a car, but police said the victim didn't see or hear a vehicle leaving the scene.

Sacred Heart officials said they don't believe the attacker is a student, and police said the suspect and victim don't appear to have known each other.

The university is offering counseling and support to the victim and her family.

In a statement released Tuesday, Sacred Heart officials said safety is their top priority and that they "send safety tips to students on a number of topics."

"The University also complies with all federal and state requirements to assist and respond to victims of sexual assault," the statement reads.

Anyone who can identify the man from the sketch or who has additional information should call the Detective Bureau at 203-254-4840.
 



Photo Credit: Fairfield Police]]>
<![CDATA[3.7 Earthquake Rattles SoCal City]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:45:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/140902-earthquake-san-jacinto.jpg

Residents across Riverside County reported hearing loud rumbling followed by a strong jolt when a magnitude-3.7 earthquake struck the San Jacinto area Tuesday night.

The temblor hit about 7:38 p.m. at a depth of a little more than 8 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was followed by a magnitude-2.9 aftershock nearly an hour later.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

The epicenter was located in a San Jacinto residential neighborhood in the 900 block of Yorkshire Lane, according to the USGS.

"It felt like it was like, 'Boom!'" said a man who lives in a home in that neighborhood. "It maybe lasted like 15 seconds."

A Twitter user in Winchester described the tremor as a "short jolt." Another user in Moreno Valley said it felt like a "gentle roller."

"It was loud," said Gina Dolce on the NBCLA Facebook page. "Sounded like an explosion."

"Shook here in San Jacinto! It was a loud one. Heard it before I felt it!" said another Facebook user.

"I live in Hemet, and we just moved to CA, so it's our first one. Wow...a little freaked and excited! Did not expect the noise...sounded and felt like a train ran right next to the house," said Jennifer Blenk Walsh on Facebook.

Residents as far away as Diamond Bar, Palm Desert and parts of Orange County reported feeling the shaking.

Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Milford School Closed Again Over AC Problems]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:52:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Joseph+Foran+High+School+1200.jpg

Joseph A. Foran High School in Milford is closed Wednesday while workers continue to repair an air conditioning malfunction that sent students home early Tuesday.

Students were released at 10 a.m. Tuesday due to the high heat and humidity after school officials noticed the high school's air conditioning system wasn't working properly.

Administrators said the windows at Foran do not open.

Milford Asst. Supt. Michael Cummings said the school will remain closed Wednesday.

Foran High School Principal Max Berkowitz notified parents and guardians of the early dismissal through the School Messenger system on Tuesday.

The Durham Bus company came to transport students home who normally take the bus, according to a news release from the school.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Hartford Selects Ballpark Developer]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:18:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rock+Cats+stadium+rendering.jpg

The city of Hartford has selected one of three finalists to develop the Downtown North section and build a minor-league baseball stadium.

Mayor Pedro Segarra said Tuesday the city has chosen DoNo Hartford, LLC as the developer of the area just north of I-84 in Hartford.  

Segarra will convene a special meeting of the Common Council on Thursday to listen to details on a resolution, which includes transferring 19 properties to DoNo Hartford, LLC for $1 each. There will be no vote on the resolution on Thursday, Segarra said.

"The ballpark has proven to be the catalyst that was needed to drive private investment and development of the Downtown North property. We have a developer who’s committed to investing over $350 million to create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood that will better utilize long vacant and underperforming land and reconnect Hartford’s downtown with North Hartford," Segarra said in a statement on Tuesday evening. "The new ballpark will be paid for by private investment and revenues generated by the entire Downtown North development and will be a source of pride for neighbors and all City residents.”

Hartford received four proposals earlier this summer. Three plans – from CV Properties, the Hooker Brewing Company and Centerplan Development Company with Leyland Alliance – met the criteria for development.

CV Properties proposed a $217-million project, including a 6,000-seat stadium, brewery, residential and office space and a supermarket with covered parking, while the Hooker Brewing Company outlined a $16-million 40,000-square-foot stadium and beer garden.

The proposal selected by Hartford includes a $350-million development including a 6,000-seat stadium, Little League park, brewery and supermarket.

"We can't comment at this point but Centerplan continues to be very eager to work with the City of Hartford and invest in its future," said Yves-George A. Joseph II, vice president of development at Centerplan.

The resolution would authorize the city to lease back the ballpark from DoNo Hartford, LLC for an initial term of 25 years and then sublease it to Connecticut Double Play, LLC, the parent company of the New Britain Rock Cats.

The ball club would rent the stadium for $500,000 per year for the first 15 years of the deal and $600,000 for the final 10 years of the initial agreement.

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<![CDATA[ Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Himself: Cops]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:50:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/southington+bank+robbery+with+mug.jpg

The 28-year-old suspect in a Southington bank robbery and crash on Tuesday morning has taken his life, and police said he robbed the same bank two years ago.

Officers surrounded a house at the corner of Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike and Meriden Avenue as they investigated a robbery at the TD Bank at 921 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike in the Plantsville section of town just after 9 a.m. Tuesday.

When police responded to the bank after receiving a call from staff, the robber – identified as Brian Jacobs – fled the bank in a car, crashed into a vehicle, drove away and then crashed again, according to Southington police Lt. Michael Baribault.

He then took off running from the car and led police on a foot chase along Marion Avenue, ultimately breaking into an empty house two miles from the bank robbery site on the corner of that road.

Jacobs slit his throat and was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said it's the second time in two years he robbed the TD Bank on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.

No residents were home at the time of the incident. The area was cordoned off by crime scene tape and Marion Avenue was closed in the area, but the road has since reopened.

South End Elementary School and John F. Kennedy Middle School were locked down and Strong Elementary School went on external lockdown on Tuesday morning, according to automated calls received by parents in Southington.

All lockdowns were lifted at 10:15 a.m. when police determined that there was no threat to the school or community, police said.

TD Bank has also reopened.

The case remains under investigation.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Southington Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Fast Food Workers to Strike for $15 per Hour]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:11:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_mcdonalds_cierra_mcresource_st.jpg

The minimum wage battle rages on, and fast food workers in more than 150 cities around the country, including Hartford and New Haven, are expected to walk out this week in a push for $15 per hour.

According to a news release from Connecticut Working Families, employees of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Dunkin Donuts and other franchises will strike Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

They’ll do “whatever it takes” to earn $15 per hour and the right to unionize and will be joined by clergy, community leaders, officials and activists, according to the release.

“Time and time again, [McDonald’s] and other industry players have tried to sidestep workers’ calls, inventing a make-believe world in which responsibility for wages and working conditions falls squarely only on the shoulders of the franchisees, not the corporations that control how food is served and priced,” said Taylor Leake, communications director for Connecticut Working Families, in the release.

Fast food workers in Seattle are now earning $15 per hour, a feat attributed to a campaign that began in New York City, when 200 fast food employees walked out in November 2012.

“As it spreads, the movement is challenging fast-food companies’ outdated notion that their workers are teenagers looking for pocket change,” Leake said.

Hartford workers will gather at the McDonald’s at 172 Washington Street on Thursday morning in hopes of bringing home higher wages someday soon.

Fast food employees protested in a similar strike in May, two months after Connecticut became the first state to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.



Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tries to Sexually Assault Girl, 9, and Boy, 15: Cops]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:48:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/denny+clayton+Edited.jpg

A man tried to force a 9-year-old girl to perform a sexual act on him in New London on Monday, then attempted to sexually assault a 15-year-old boy who intervened when the girl escaped to her home, police said.

Police arrested Clayton Denny, 37, after responding to calls reporting that two men were fighting on Grand Street just before 6 p.m. on Monday.

Denny approached the 9-year-old girl on her birthday and attempted to kiss her, then grabbed her wrist and "tried to have her perform a sexual act on him," according to police.

The girl was able to get away and Denny chased her as she ran home, police said.

When a 15-year-old boy who saw what was happening stopped Denny at the door to the girl's house, Denny tried to sexually assault the teen and raised a fist to punch him when the teen backed away, according to the incident report.

Police said Denny ran and officers found him hiding several blocks away in the backyard of 37 Spring Street.

He led officers on a short foot chase and struggled with police.

Denny was charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree sexual assault, two counts of risk of injury to minors, first-degree unlawful restraint, resisting arrest, breach of peace and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police are holding him in custody on a $250,000 bond.

Denny also has two outstanding warrants for his arrest on charges of violating a standing criminal protective order, second-degree burglary, violation of a protective order, third-degree criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

It is not clear if he has an attorney.

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<![CDATA[Komisarjevsky Requests New Trial]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:14:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/185*120/%5BNECN%5D120811_komisarjevsky_1230p_NECN1500kMP4_640x416_2174716818.jpg

One of two men on death row for killing a Cheshire family and burning down their house in 2007 is asking for a new trial, citing phone conversations among police that were never released to the defense.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, who was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to death alongside Steven Hayes, filed a motion to appeal the verdict on Aug. 29. The men are accused of brutally attacking and murdering Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters in their home on Sorghum Mill Drive.

According to the motion, Komisarjevsky’s attorneys “have learned of a number of police calls that would have provided substantial additional support for his contention during the guilt-innocence phase that the police response… was inadequate, and that, therefore, a number of the Cheshire police officers who testified against him had a motive, self-interest, bias a prejudice against him.”

Among the calls that were allegedly withheld is one from an officer who was at the house watching Hayes drive Hawke-Petit back from the bank, where he asked her to withdraw money. During the trial, police said Hayes had already returned when they arrived.

Another came from a sergeant on scene who did not testify at either trial, and two more instructed a hostage negotiator and SWAT officer not to report to the police station, according to the motion.

“It is difficult to imagine that the State’s failure to preserve this evidence was not in bad faith, and therefore, that failure violated the appellant’s federal due process rights,” the motion says, claiming violation of Komisarjevsky’s Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

“The State's treatment of the police calls deprived the appellant of a powerful tool to impeach the police officers who testified against him at the guilt-innocence phase and, thus, might well have produced his convictions for capital felony, which made him eligible for the death penalty,” it continues.

In a 2012 death row interview, Komisarjevsky offered no remorse and said he tries not to think about the brutal attacks.

Connecticut has repealed the death penalty since the convictions of Komisarjevsky and Hayes.

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<![CDATA[Boy Saves Sister, 2, From Abduction]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:12:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/0902-rooney.jpg

A 14-year-old boy helped save his 2-year-old sister when a man tried to abduct her in Northern Virginia last weekend.

According to a news release from Prince William County police, the incident was reported around 6:40 p.m. in the 1400 block of Geraldine Court in Woodbridge Sunday. 

Police say a stranger picked up a 2-year-old girl who was playing with a group of children in the area and tried to walk away with her.

Her 14-year-old brother saw the man trying to take his sister, followed him and confronted him until the man let his little sister go. 

A witness then followed the accused abductor and called police. Shortly after, 26-year-old Patrick F. Rooney of Woodbridge was arrested and investigators say he was drunk. He's facing attempted abduction charges and is being held behind bars without bond.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

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<![CDATA[Welker Suspended for PEDs]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:20:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP13080611240.jpg

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, currently of the Denver Broncos, has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL's performance enhancing drug policy, according to NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk.

A source told Pro Football Talk that Welker took MDMA, better known as "molly," which had been cut with amphetamines, at the Kentucky Derby.

MDMA is banned under the league's substance abuse policy, while amphetamines are banned under the PED policy.

Welker was an extremely important figure in the Patriots' offense for six seasons. As Tom Brady's target, he caught 672 balls for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns in 94 regular season games between 2007 and 2012.

After leaving New England and signing with the Denver Broncos, Welker became a target for Brady's longtime rival, Peyton Manning. He appeared in 13 regular season games with the Broncos, making 73 catches for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The suspension comes shortly after the slot receiver suffered his third concussion in 10 months, leading many to question whether he should retire.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[DEEP Worker Falls 20 Feet in Hartland ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:44:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/life+star.jpg

A state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection employee was injured when he fell 20 feet over a wall while mowing grass near a boat launch in Hartland on Tuesday, according to the DEEP.

LifeStar medical helicopter responded to Howell's Pond in Hartland after the worker fell near Dish Mill Road, according to Litchfield County Dispatch.

State officials said they believe the employee was pushing a large lawn mower and doing routine work when the accident happened.

According to the DEEP, the injured worker was a seasonal employee who had just started work with the agency this summer as part of the DEEP Field Support group.

A coworker at the scene called for help, and LifeStar airlifted the injured worker to Saint Francis Hospital, where he was treated for broken bones, a spokesperson for the DEEP said.

His injuries are not life-threatening.

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<![CDATA[Man, 74, Convicted of '80s Killings]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:41:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/samuellittlecourt011113.jpg

A 74-year-old man was convicted Tuesday of the serial murders of three women who were strangled to death and dumped in alleys in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s.

The third murder occurred almost exactly a quarter of a century ago today.

Samuel Little, who was in his late 40s when the crimes occurred, is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole. Jurors deliberated for about two hours before reaching the verdict.

Semen and other DNA from the victims' clothing matched Little's DNA profile so closely that, for at least two pieces of evidence, the chance of a random match was one in 450 quintillion, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told jurors, according to City News Service.

He was accused of murdering three women between 1987 and 1989, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

A jury of seven women and five men deliberated just two hours before finding Little guilty of the first-degree murders of Carol Alford, 41, on or about July 13, 1987; Audrey Nelson, 35, on or about Aug. 14, 1989; and Guadalupe Apodaca, 46, on or about Sept. 3, 1989.

In April 2012, LAPD detectives were notified that a DNA match was obtained identifying Little as the suspect in Nelson’s murder. DNA matches also came back on the other two victims tying Little to their murders. All three victims were strangled to death.

Little's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Michael Pentz, questioned the evidence, and challenged the prosecutor's insistence that DNA proved his client's guilt, according to CNS.

Pentz told jurors that the DNA results would show "that Mr. Little had nothing to do with the homicides."

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said the victims were troubled and had lost their way. Drugs and prostitution made them vulnerable and easy targets for Little.

A grand jury indicted Little in April 2013 of the three murders with the special circumstance of multiple murders. Prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty.

Little returns to court on Sept. 25 for sentencing.

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<![CDATA[Doc Cured of Ebola Thought He'd Die]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:50:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Lauer+Brantly+Interview+090214.jpg

Dr. Kent Brantly, the American doctor who contracted Ebola while working with relief organization Samaritan's Purse in Liberia, told NBC in an exclusive interview that he felt like he was about to die when he was isolated in a Liberian hospital.

"I said to the nurse who was taking care of me, 'I'm sick. I have no reserve. And I don't know how long I can keep this up,'" the Fort Worth doctor told Matt Lauer in Asheville, North Carolina, where his family has been living in seclusion since he left an Atlanta hospital almost two weeks ago.

A portion of the interview, Brantly's first ever, was airing Tuesday on "Nightly News," and another portion will air Wednesday morning on the "Today" show. The full report will air in an hour-long NBC News primetime special on Friday.

"I said, 'I don't know how you're going to breathe for me when I quit breathing,'" Brantly recalled telling the nurse in Liberia. "'Cause that was the reality. I thought, 'I— I'm not gonna be able to continue breathing this way.' And they had no way to breathe for me if I had to quit breathing."

Brantly's wife Amber, who lived with her husband and children in Liberia, and the doctors who treated him at Emory University Hospital have also spoken with Lauer, and NBC News cameras had exclusive access to the isolation room where Brantly was treated.

Amber described to Lauer how scared she had felt when she found out her husband had contracted Ebola.

"I knew what was coming," she said. "I knew how it ends. I knew how everyone had ended up so far."

Brantly was flown out of Liberia a month ago after contracting Ebola in July. He was isolated and spent three weeks being treated at Emory University Hospital before he was declared cured and discharged on what he called "a miraculous day."

Aid worker Nancy Writebol, 59, was also flown to Emory Hospital for treatment in early August and was quietly released several days before Brantly, also cured of the potentially deadly disease.

On Tuesday, NBC News reported another American missionary doctor has tested positive for Ebola, the aid group SIM USA said. The doctor was treating obstetric patients at ELWA hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, though not in the hospital’s isolation unit, NBC News reported.



Photo Credit: TODAY Show]]>
<![CDATA[$1.4B Fine for Fatal 2010 Gas Blast]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:32:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bruno5.jpg

PG&E was hit Tuesday with $1.4 billion in penalties by the California Public Utilities Commission  for safety violations related to the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

The new fines and penalties bring the total amount Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has been ordered to pay in the wake of the explosion -- which killed eight people and injured 66 others on Sept. 9, 2010 -- to more than $2 billion.

The CPUC said the figure reached by two administrative law judges over the San Bruno pipeline explosion reflected nearly 3,800 violations of state and federal law, regulations and standards by PG&E in the operation of its gas pipelines.

The penalty is meant to ``send a strong message to PG&E, and all other pipeline operators, that they must comply with mandated federal and state pipeline safety requirements, or face severe consequences,'' Timothy J. Sullivan, one of the two judges, wrote in the order.

The largest share -- $950 million -- of the penalty is a fine to be paid directly to the state. That amount drew objections from city officials in San Bruno, the utility and a private ratepayers-advocacy group that the overall penalty should be focused on spending for the safe operation of the aging pipeline network.

``We are accountable and fully accept that a penalty is appropriate,'' the utility said in a statement.

Asked whether PG&E would appeal, utility spokesman Greg Snapper said, ``We're reviewing the decision and believe that any penalty should go toward pipeline safety.''

The recommended penalty requires approval by members of the state utility board. PG&E and other parties in the case have 30 days to lodge an appeal.

The commission previously ordered PG&E to pay $635 million for pipeline modernization in the wake of the Sept. 9, 2010, blast in the suburb of San Francisco. The explosion destroyed more than three dozen homes and was California's deadliest utility disaster in decades.

The blast occurred when a 30-inch natural-gas transmission line installed in 1956 ruptured. At the time, survivors described the heat of the blast burning the back of their necks like a blowtorch as they ran away.

The $1.4 billion penalty also includes $400 million for pipeline improvements, and about $50 million to enhance pipeline safety. PG&E cannot recover any of the money from customers, including the earlier $635 million penalty, although a ratepayers' group called The Utility Reform Network maintained PG&E could raise rates in other rate cases to indirectly offset the penalty.

Sending $950 million to the state's general fund, with no strings attached, means it could be spent in any way the governor and Legislature see fit, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance.

The public utility commission staff recommended in July that the utility pay at least $300 million in fines.

San Bruno city officials were just beginning to study Tuesday's decision but on first read believed the overall judgment fell short of what was needed to ensure PG&E upgraded pipeline safety as much as necessary, city manager Connie Jackson said.

San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane commends the record-setting penalty but said he is disappointed the decision does not include independent oversight to ensure the CPUC and PG&E Follow through on pipeline safety plans.

“We need a revamping,” Ruane said. “We’ve asked for an independent monitor to any future actions by the PUC and the utility – any utility – and a pipeline safety trust who in some way is overseeing that and implementing safer pipeline regulations going forward. So, it’s a very unfortunate situation.”

The mayor said the city is also upset the majority of the fine is going to the state’s general fund.

“This reflects, if you will, a payday for Gov. Jerry Brown, when we believe this money should be directed instead to a safer pipeline system,” Ruane said. “I call on the governor to see that these funds are reinvested for pipeline safety.”

The penalty was historic in terms of financial charges levied against utilities on safety violations, said Britt Strottman, a lawyer for San Bruno. However, ``a lot of the utilities do not cause the same amount of devastation and destruction that was a result of the PG&E explosion in San Bruno,'' Strottman said.

A 2011 investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded the rupture occurred in a weak weld in a pipeline that PG&E records had shown as being smooth and unwelded. Among other safety failings, PG&E let 95 minutes go by before shutting off the natural gas that was fueling the fire, the federal investigators said.

That same 2011 federal investigation also faulted what it called the California Public Utilities Commission's weak oversight of the utility, which serves customers in the northern two-thirds of California.

The San Bruno blast prompted congressional hearings on pipeline safety and recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board and other government bodies that utilities intensify their oversight of decades-old natural gas lines.

This year, federal prosecutors separately indicted PG&E on 27 counts alleging the utility violated pipeline safety requirements.

PG&E faces additional fines of more than $1 billion if convicted of the federal charges, which are separate from the state financial penalties. PG&E has pleaded not guilty to the counts.

Separately, PG&E was hit with about 160 lawsuits from people who lost family members, suffered injuries or had property damage.   

 

Bay City News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[HIV Suspect to Stay Off Dating App]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:28:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/thomas+guerra+0902.jpg

A man accused of knowingly spreading HIV has been ordered by a judge to stay off dating sites, specifically the gay dating app Grindr.

Thomas Guerra, 29, has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor health and safety violation. The Imperial Beach man is accused of giving HIV to an ex-boyfriend after assuring the man he was HIV-negative.

Guerra stood silently behind his attorney in court on Tuesday as prosecutors filed an amended complaint, naming the communicable disease Guerra is accused of transmitting as HIV. 

The judge denied prosecutors' request to increase bail from $2,500 to $50,000, citing he had seen no evidence of additional victims or current online dating activity. However, the judge agreed to bar Guerra from using all dating websites, including Grindr.

According to court documents, Guerra assured the victim he was HIV-negative when they started dating in April 2013.

Guerra said he didn’t know about his infection when his partner contracted the virus, but the victim said he found text messages, videos and emails that proved Guerra knew he had HIV since 2007.

Another man who said he had been a former partner of Guerra’s told NBC 7 that Guerra would tell people he was HIV-negative, have sex with them and then brag about it.

Guerra faces a $1,000 fine and six months in jail if convicted. More charges could be filed against him as the investigation continues, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

Another readiness hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16. A jury trial is set to begin Nov. 13.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Sam May Sign With Dallas Cowboys: Report]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:33:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP865141898162.jpg

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, is scheduled to undergo a physical exam with the Dallas Cowboys and could join the Cowboys' practice squad, according to NFL.com.

Sam was released Saturday by the St. Louis Rams, who drafted the defensive end in the seventh round of this year's NFL Draft.

Sam, who was named 2013 SEC defensive player of the year at Missouri, led the Rams with six tackles in last week's preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins and had 2.5 sacks in the preseason.

Sam is expected to be in Dallas on Wednesday, and if he passes the physical, he would be added to the team's practice squad, NFL.com reported, citing a team source.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Waterbury Man Hospitalized After Police Shooting]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:07:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/connecticut+state+police+badge.jpg

A 31-year-old Waterbury man is hospitalized after police shot at him, then shot him with a Taser after the man tried to ram a police cruiser and pointed a weapon at law enforcement, police said.

Officers responded to a home on Old Waterbury Road in Southbury on Saturday to investigate a domestic complaint, but the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Tyler Santoro, of Southbury, had fled.

Charges are still pending, but police said Santoro will be charged in connection with a domestic incident that happened Aug. 30 and will be charged for allegedly stealing a neighbor's 2006 Chevrolet Blazer.

Police said Santoro was also in possession of a handgun. Waterbury police spotted the Blazer at 10:45 a.m. Monday and tried to pull it over, but police said Santoro got away.

Half an hour later, Trooper Tyler Spence, who was on patrol on Main Street in Woodbury, saw the stolen SUV, so he and a Woodbury police Officer Tim Wright tried to stop the vehicle and chased the man into Washington, where he crashed on Wykeham and Bell Hill roads, according to police.

Santoro then tried to ram the trooper and officer's vehicle, pointed a weapon at Spence and Wright and refused to drop it, police said. 

Spence opened fire and Santoro took a knife and tried to cut his own neck, according to police. Spence then shot his Taser and police pulled Santoro from the stolen vehicle.

They provided emergency care for the neck injury and an ambulance transported Santoro to the Waterbury Hospital emergency room for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Spence and Wright sustained minor injuries during the crash and were taken to Saint Mary's Hospital. Both have since been released, according to police.

The State Police Central District Major Crime Squad is investigating with help from the Litchfield State's Attorney Office.

Spence has been assigned to administrative duties throughout the investigation, in accordance with department policy.

Police said Santoro was placed under state police guard at Waterbury Hospital. His has been set at $250,000, but police said he'll likely be charged in the police pursuit and use of force incident.

The case remains under investigation.

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<![CDATA[Route 66 Reopens After Motorcycle Crash in East Hampton]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:41:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/east+hampton_motorcycle+crash.jpg

Route 66 was closed in East Hampton in both directions after a car collided with a motorcycle Tuesday just before 2 p.m.

The accident happened near Keighley Pond Road, police said.

One person was taken to Hartford Hospital. The extent of that person's injuries has not been released.

The road reopened around 3 p.m.



Photo Credit: Google]]>
<![CDATA[Kids Back in Class After School Evacuated Over Fire]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:08:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/classroom5.jpg

Mahan Elementary School students are back in class after the Norwich was evacuated earlier because of a fire in the office area of the building.

The small electrical fire started at 12:45 p.m. and was contained, school officials said.

Police said there was an electrical issue and there are slight smoke conditions.

The school was evacuated as a precaution and buses took students to Kelly Middle School on Mahan Drive, where parents were permitted to pick up their children. Students are now back in the school and safe, police said.

Police ask parents to contact the school before coming to school grounds.

No one is injured and no information was immediately available on cause.
 

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<![CDATA[ Part of Route 202 in Torrington Closed After Serious Crash]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:03:41 -0400

Part of Route 202 in Torrington is closed between Center and Maud streets after a serious crash this afternoon, according to Torrington police.

Someone had to be extricated from the car and LifeStar medical transport helicopter was called, but it was not unavailable.

Police said the side streets of Willow and Wall streets are also impacted to keep people from accessing the main intersection where the crash happened.

Check back for updates.
 

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<![CDATA[Mom Accused of Leaving Child in Car Overnight Appears in Court]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:32:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/KelseyJames+Edited.jpg

The mother accused of leaving her 2-year-old girl in a car overnight outside a sports bar in Bristol while she spent the evening in the hospital intoxicated appeared in court on Tuesday.

A judge continued the case of Kelsey James, 22, of Bristol, who police arrested late August after learning that her daughter was left in her car for more than five hours.

James seemed drunk when she arrived at City Sports Grill in Bristol on Friday, Aug. 22 and employees refused to serve her any drinks, according to staff members at the bar.

"I was talking to her a little bit, went and grabbed her a water, told her to stay there and I came back and she was gone," Courtney Lausier, a server at the bar, said.

Bar employees called police, who responded to the 177 Farmington Avenue bar at about 11:56 p.m. on Friday to investigate a report of a woman found sleeping at the bar who was "intoxicated and incapacitated," according to police.

She was taken to Bristol Hospital for treatment and to be evaluated. When she woke up at about 5:20 a.m. the next morning, she asked hospital staff where her baby was, so the hospital contacted police.

Police found her 2-year-old daughter sleeping in the mother's car at the sports bar parking lot, where she was left while her mother was in the bar and then the hospital, according to police.

The baby was taken to Bristol Hospital to be evaluated and is okay, police said. She was kept in the hospital until Department of Children and Families representatives arrived in response to the incident.

Police charged James with risk of injury and leaving a child unsupervised in a vehicle, according to police.

The mother was released after posting a $50,000 bond and she is scheduled to appear in Bristol Superior Court on Sept. 2.

NBC Connecticut previously knocked on her door for comment, but no one answered.

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<![CDATA[Route 8 Reopens After Car Fire ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:15:47 -0400

Route 8 North has reopened after a crash that resulted in a car fire in Seymour Tuesday morning, according to state police.

The crash and car fire happened between Exits 21 and 22.

There were no injuries, according to a dispatcher.

The highway was closed just before noon, but the scene has since been cleared.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

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<![CDATA[Scene Clearing at Gas Main Break in Canton ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:11:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rou4+44+Canton+Lawton+Road.jpg

Route 44 in Canton is reopening soon after a gas main break at a construction site at 117 Albany Turnpike, which is Route 44 and 202, according to town officials.

The gas main break occurred just after 9 a.m. and the CVS in the area was been evacuated.

The road has been closed for just over an hour at Lawton Road. The scene was clearing, as of 10:08 a.m.

Connecticut Natural Gas and Connecticut Light and Power responded.
 



Photo Credit: GoogleMaps]]>
<![CDATA[Stamford CEO Accused of Abusing Dog Resigns]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:26:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/des+hague+dog+abuse.jpg

The CEO of Stamford-based catering company Centerplate has resigned after he was caught on surveillance video abusing a Doberman puppy in an elevator.

Canadian television network Global News obtained the video, which shows Desmond Hague, who was staying at a hotel in Vancouver, kicking the dog, then snapping its leash.

At one point, the video shoes him jerking so hard that he lifts the puppy off the ground by its neck. Then he leaves the elevator, dragging the dog behind him.

Hague has resigned from Centerplate, according to a statement from the company on Tuesday. 

Chris Verros has been appointed acting president and chief executive officer, effective immediately.

“We want to reiterate that we do not condone nor would we ever overlook the abuse of animals,” Joe O’Donnell, chairman of the board of directors for Centerplate, said in a statement. “Following an extended review of the incident involving Mr. Hague, I’d like to apologize for the distress that this situation has caused to so many; but also thank our employees, clients and guests who expressed their feelings about this incident. Their voices helped us to frame our deliberations during this very unusual and unfortunate set of circumstances.”

Global News reports that the local SPCA got ahold of the video and is actively investigating. The officers reportedly found the dog in a crate surrounded by its own urine.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," Hague said in a statement to Global News. "This incident is completely and utterly out of character and I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed."



Photo Credit: Global News]]>
<![CDATA[Bridgeport Police Investigate Shooting]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:32:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bridgeport+police+generic.jpg

A Bridgeport man was shot early Tuesday morning near Central Avenue and Williston Street in the city.

Police identified Kamora King, 31, as the victim. His wife called 911 when he returned to his home on Beardsley Street at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday with multiple gunshot wounds.

Police responded and an ambulance transported King to Bridgeport Hospital.

Detectives identified the shooting location and continue to investigate the incident.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Bites Boyfriend in Front of 3 Kids: Cops]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:09:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/9214+jaime+israel+Edited.jpg

A South Windsor woman bit her boyfriend at a hotel Friday during an argument that happened in front of their three children, according to police.

Jaime Israel 38, of South Windsor, is facing multiple charges including risk of injury to a minor.

Officers responded to reports of a domestic dispute at  7:30 p.m. Friday at the Nitey Nite Motel at 1519 John Fitch Boulevard, which is also Israel's listed address, according to police.

After biting her boyfriend, Israel smashed his car window, police said.

The couple's three children, all under 10 years old, were present during the dispute.

Police charged Israel with breach of peace, third-degree criminal mischief and risk of injury to a minor.

Israel was released on a $5,000  non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Manchester Superior Court on Sept. 2.



Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Bobcat That Attacked People Was Rabid: Officials]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:21:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/9114+bobcat+Edited.jpg

A bobcat that state officials believe attacked several people and dogs in Connecticut over the weekend was rabid, officials said on Tuesday.

The animal was captured and euthanized shortly after a man fought back to protect his family during a weekend encounter. It was one of several attacks state environmental officials believe the animal was responsible for, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Summer and Tom Berube were out for a walk with their newborn daughter, Neeve, the area of Norwich Avenue and Waterman Road in Lebanon around 7 p.m. on Sunday when the bobcat approached Tom, who was carrying the baby in a sling, Summer Berube said.

“It started running toward me. It made like a hissing noise. I stomped my foot, but it didn't do anything," Tom Berube said.

Tom grabbed a mailbox from the side of the road and swung at the bobcat when it jumped at him, hitting the animal in the head and knocking it to the ground, the couple recalled. It then "did a quick flip over on the ground, got back up, did another hiss," according to Tom Berube.

"I was just screaming at the top of my lungs for help," Summer Berube said.

The animal kept circling, so Summer flagged down the driver of a truck passing by and they called the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Environmental Conservation Police were already nearby because the bobcat had attacked a woman in Bozrah the day before.

EnCon police said she was feeding her chickens on Stanton Hill Road on Saturday when the bobcat scratched and bit her. The woman's husband and two sons hit the animal until it ran away, at which point the woman was taken to William W. Backus Hospital for treatment.

Soon after, police received the report of a third attack and found the bobcat stalking dogs nearby.

“Finally, they were able to make contact with the bobcat and had put it down with gunshot," said EnCon Officer Steve Stanko. 

The Berubes said they are shaken but thankful that the latest family walk was far less eventful.

"Going forward, if I ever see a bobcat, I'm waving down someone immediately to get in their car," said Summer Berube.

The DEEP has just received federal funding to better understand the state's bobcat population.

Anyone who sees an animal behaving unusually is asked to call the DEEP's 24-hour dispatch line at 860-424-3333.



Photo Credit: DEEP State Environmental Conservation Police]]>
<![CDATA[State’s Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:30:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/medical+marijuana+stock+cannabis+nursery+hold+seedlings+plant.jpg

A medical marijuana dispensary has opened in Bristol, becoming the second to open in Connecticut.

The Healing Corner is inviting patients with a Connecticut Medical Marijuana Card to come by for a tour starting today. 

Thames Valley Apothecary, LLC, at 1100 Norwich-New London Turnpike (Route 32), in Uncasville, is also taking appointments with patients starting today.

Connecticut was one of the first states in the nation to pass a law to approve medical marijuana, which allowed a doctor to prescribe the substance to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy and the treatment of glaucoma. The law was passed in 1981, according to the governor’s office.

In 2012, Malloy signed the law to allow licensed physicians to prescribe medicinal marijuana for adults suffering from certain debilitating diseases or medical condition.

The state has approved six dispensaries.

The first to open its doors was Prime Wellness of Connecticut, which opened in South Windsor in August.


 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[First Day of School for Students, Armed Cops]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:06:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rocky+hill+police+generic.jpg

Rocky Hill students have their first day of school Tuesday and it is also the first day for armed police at the schools in response to the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly two years ago.

There's been an ongoing conversation in Rocky Hill about it since the tragedy. Now, district schools will have school resource officers for the first time as part of an effort to make everyone feel safer like many other school districts have done after Sandy Hook. The decision comes after a school security consultant recommended the officers.

The district has hired one school resource officer to walk the halls at Griswold Middle School and the elementary schools and another officer will be stationed at Rocky Hill High School. The officers have completed more than 100 hours of training for the job.

Other safety measures installed over the summer  include a new intercom system and security cameras.

Originally, town officials wanted one officer for each school, but the budget didn't allow for that. But officials are hoping that everyone will see the added benefit of having the school resource officers so that they can hire more in the future.

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<![CDATA[Crash Partially Closes East Hartford Road]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:57:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/East+Hartford+police+cruiser.jpg

A one-car crash has closed part of Wells Avenue in East Hartford on Tuesday morning.

A car hit a pole on Wells Avenue off of Main Street in East Hartford, according to East Hartford Police.

The road is partially closed in the area because the pole is damaged.

Police said the driver was not injured.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

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<![CDATA[High School Mourns Teen Swimming Death]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:42:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/West+Haven+Water+Search+Photos+Edited.jpg

Grief counselors will be available at West Haven High School Tuesday as students mourn the loss of a senior who died while swimming at Bradley Point Park on Labor Day.

Rescue crews recovered the body of missing swimmer Alejandro Zitlalpopoca,16, of West Haven, from Bradley Point Park in West Haven on Monday afternoon.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Alejandro's family and friends, and we cannot imagine how heartbroken they must be,"  said West Haven Superintendent Neil Cavallaro. "We're devastated to see a student from our district pass away and will have additional support services available at West Haven High School tomorrow for any students or staff who feel they need to talk to someone."

The school is making grief counselors available for students as well as additional staff to help with the students' need as they deal with this loss.

A massive search began for Zitlalpopoca after he went missing while swimming with friends and family.

Crews from Coast Guard Stations in New Haven and Cape Cod along with the Milford Fire Department and West Haven Fire Department began the search just before 3 p.m.

At 7:18 p.m., his body was recovered 30 yards off shore in approximately five feet of water.

The incident remains under investigation.

"It basically looks like a tragic accident," Chief James O'Brien said. "A young man was swimming and we're not sure what happened."

There were no lifeguards at Bradley Point that day, but the chief said he doesn't know if they would have made a difference.

One West Haven resident who witnessed the commotion had called 911.

"They said what do you see and I look and see two heads," Ellen Steffen, of West Haven, said. "I couldn't see the third one."

She also said, "I just can't believe it how quickly something can happen and how horrible."

Zitlalpopoca's body will be transfered to the medical examiner's office. The cause of death is under investigation.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Dies in Chaplin Crash]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:16:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ChaplinCrash+Edited.png

A motorcyclist has died and Life Star airlifted another to the hospital after two motorcycles crashed into a guardrail in Chaplin on the westbound side of Route 6.

State Police said that Anthony Perfetto, 43, died at the scene and that Jerry Nassi, 37,  was airlifted by Life Star  to St. Francis Hospital with serious injuries.

According to police, the two motorcycles came up on stopped traffic at a red light at the intersection of Route 6 and Route 198.

Perfetto struck a metal guard rail and traffic sign and was ejected. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Nassi also lost control and was ejected. Neither motorcyclist were wearing a helmet.

Both Nassi and Perfetto are from Rhode Island.

The intersection was closed in the westbound directionas of 4:27 p.m. Traffic is detouring onto Cross Road and Bedlum Road. Route 6 east is still open toward Providence.

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<![CDATA[AA Flight From LA to DFW Lands Due to Cracked Windshield]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:25:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/AA2488+cracked+windshield.jpg

An American Airlines flight headed for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Monday immediately returned to Los Angeles International Airport after the cockpit windshield cracked.

Flight 2448 landed at LAX without incident and passengers boarded another plane for the trip to DFW.

The flight landed about 9:15 p.m., several hours later than originally planned.

"We were flying for about 20 minutes, and we just heard an announcement that the windshield cracked. The captain said in all his years of flying, he had never seen anything like it and that the safest thing to do was to turn around and go back to L.A.," said passenger Mark Denesuk.

A photo from passenger Glenn Kagan showed a series of cracks that covered the entire left side of the windshield in the cockpit of the Boeing 757.

"The captain and the crew were incredible. They were absolutely calm at all times. Never raised their voice. Never put fear in anybody. And the old adage is true, calm is contagious," said passenger Arthur Underman.

American Airlines spokesman Paul Flanagan said there were no injuries and the cause of the damage wasn't immediately known.



Photo Credit: Glenn Kagan]]>
<![CDATA[Vigil Planned for Abused Groton 2-Month-Old Baby]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:13:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Candlelight_Vigil_Generic.jpg

Groton residents will take a moment to pray Monday night for a baby police say was abused by his father, a U.S. navy sailor.

Neighbors are holding a vigil for a 2-month-old who the father, Jordan Rittenhouse, 24, is accused of assaulting. Some also planned on tying blue ribbons on homes at the Naval submarine base earlier in the day to raise awareness about child abuse.

The infant was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London and then Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for injuries including 29 bone fractures. Hospital officials previously said this is the worst case they have seen and authorities said they were surprise the baby survived.

Rittenhouse admitted to squeezing his son hard enough to make him stop crying eight times and one of the times he was concerned that he might have punctured a lung, according to court documents. Police also said that Rittenhouse "shoved" a bottle into the baby's mouth, causing him to bleed.

Rittenhouse is facing first-degree assault and risk of injury to a child charges and is scheduled to appear in New London Superior Court again on Sept. 10, according to the state judicial website.

 The vigil is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at 100 Tern Road in Groton.

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<![CDATA[Trooper, Cop and Suspect Injured in Crash After Car Chase]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:21:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/9114Washington+Crash+3+Edited.jpg

A suspect, state trooper and Woodbury police officer were injured after a stolen car pursuit from Route 6 in Woodbury to Washington that led to shots fired and ended with a crash.

A Life Star helicopter was en route to the scene just before noon and State Police were at the crash site at Wykehame Road near Bell Hill Road at 11:57 a.m. soon after the incident.

State police and Woodbury police officers pursued a stolen car starting at Route 6 in Woodbury, chasing the vehicle through Bethlehem and ending in Washington, State Police said. The chase resulted in shots fired and a crash in Washington, according to State Police. It's not clear who fired the shots, but police said that the windows of the cars the suspect and Woodbury police were in were shot out.

The suspect was taken to Waterbury Hospital to be treated for unknown injuries and a state trooper and Woodbury police officer were taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury to be treated for minor injuries, according to State Police.

The incident is "under control," State Police from Troop L said just before noon.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[State Police Make 35 DUI Arrests Labor Day Weekend]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:34:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/connecticut+state+police+trooper1.jpg

State Police have made 35 drunken driving arrests so far over the Labor Day weekend as troopers increase traffic enforcement for the holiday weekend.

As of Monday at 9:40 a.m., 1,496 drivers were issued speeding tickets across the state and State Police ticketed 130 motorists who weren't wearing seatbelts.

State Police have also doled out more than 3,225 tickets for hazardous moving violations like using a cell phone while driving or following too close.

There have been 268 accidents so far Labor Day weekend, including 31 with injuries. State Police are not including the Lime Rock racetrack fatal crash in the stats and said that it is categorized as an untimely death.

By comparison, in 2013, State Police ticketed 1,513 people for speeding and 231 people for seatbelt violations on Labor Day weekend and made 50 DUI arrests. In 2013, there were 259 crashes, including 44 with injuries and three fatalities.

The increased traffic patrols will continue through Labor Day on Monday.

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<![CDATA[Man Touched Juvenile Inappropriately: Police]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:23:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/14-21918-LOPEZAngelo+Edited.jpg

A Naugatuck man was arrested after entering a juvenile's home uninvited and touching her inappropriately, police said.

Police responded to a Naugatuck home at 12:57 a.m. on Sunday to investigate a sex assault complaint from a girl under 18 and later arrested Angelo Lopez, 31, of Naugatuck.

The victim told police that Lopez came into her house without having permission and "inappropriately touched" the female juvenile "who is an aquaintance of is," police said.

Police charged Lopez with risk of injury to a child, fourth-degree sexual assault, first-degree criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

He is scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Sept. 2. Police are holding him on a $10,000 surety bond.



Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Cousin Charged in Death of Girl, 5]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:46:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Angel-Lizandro-Sanches-Zenteno.jpg

Dallas police have arrested and charged a family member with capital murder in the killing of a young girl found dead inside a vacant apartment Sunday afternoon.

The body of 5-year-old Kathrine Alejandra Gonzalez was discovered inside an empty, ground-floor apartment at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Sontera Palms Apartments in northeast Dallas, police said.

On Monday, police said Gonzalez's cousin, 17-year-old Angel Lizandro Sanches-Zenteno, has been arrested and charged with capital murder in connection with the girl's death.

Gonzalez had been playing outside of her aunt and uncles apartment with her sisters when she disappeared. She, along with her brothers and sisters, were being watched by their aunt and uncle while her parents were at work.

Police said as soon as neighbors in the community realized the girl was missing, many of them were quick to assist in the search for the missing girl — even before police were called at about 11:30 a.m.  After officers arrived, many of the residents allowed officers to search their homes and cars for the missing child.

When police arrived, maintenance workers informed them there were a large number of vacant apartments at Sontera Palms. After obtaining a key, officers began what they described as a systematic search of all vacant units.  Officers eventually discovered the girl’s body inside a unit at the back of the complex, next door to Sanches-Zenteno's apartment.

Police said Monday that the Dallas County medical examiner said preliminary results of the autopsy indicate the girl's cause of death was strangulation.

A witness told police that he saw the girl walking with a person at about noon and that he had seen them together before the girl disappeared. That person in question, along with a number of other people, were taken to Dallas Police Headquarters for questioning.

The investigation into the girl's death is ongoing. The Dallas Police Department asked for anyone with information on this offense to contact detectives at 214-275-1300.

Sanches-Zenteno is being held in the Dallas jail with no bond. Jail records did not list an attorney.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Two People Hospitalized After Crash With Driver Fleeing Police]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:59:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New+London+police.jpg

Two people were extricated from a car and hospitalized after a driver fleeing police crashed into it.

Police arrested New London resident Richard Miller, 51, after he led police on a pursuit after a motor vehicle stop.

Police pulled Miller over on Colman Street to address that his headlights weren't on, but he sped away in the southbound direction when the officer approached him to talk, police said.

After running a red light in the process at the intersection with Bank Street, he struck a car heading westbound. Power lines were knocked down as a result of the crash and Connecticut Light & Power responded to repair them.

The two people in the other car were extricated and taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London to be treated for serious injuries.

Police charged Miller with two counts of interfering with police and officers are holding him in custody on a $10,000 bond.

The incident remains under investigation and police said other charges are pending.

Police ask anyone with information to contact the department at 860-447-5269 or to send an anonymous tip to Tip411 (847411) with NLPDTip and the information.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tries to Choke West Haven Resident During Burglary]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:54:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/9114+West+Haven+Mug+Shots.jpg

A man and two women assaulted a woman during a break-in at her Highland Street apartment in West Haven on Sunday and fled the scene, police said.

Police arrested Eric Boone, 48, of West Haven, Lashell O. Sellers, 41, of New Haven, and Virginia Rodriguez, 57, of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, on multiple charges including burglary.

The three suspects forced entry into a woman's home on Sunday by kicking down her front door to steal from her, police said. The woman told police that one of the people, who she identified as "Eric," grabbed her neck and tried to choke her while the two female suspects hit her. Then, all three went through her drawers, stole her wallet and $200 in cash and fled in a red pickup truck, police said.

Police identified the man they say tried to strangle the woman as Boone and apprehended him near his home. Police found Boone with Lashell Sellers and Virginia Rodriguez, and the victim identified all three of them as the people who had broken into her house and stolen from her, police said.

Police recovered the victim's stolen wallet and took photos of her damaged front door.

Officers charged Boone with second-degree unlawful restraint, fifth-degree larceny, third-degree assault, second-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief.

Rodriguez is charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree assault, disorderly conduct and sixth-degree larceny and Sellers is facing second-degree burglary charges.

All three are scheduled to appear in Milford Superior Court on Tuesday.



Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Gunmen Force Workers Into Fridge]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:49:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/red+lobster+kendall.jpg

A pair of masked gunmen stormed a Red Lobster in Kendall, Florida, and closed several employees in a restaurant refrigerator before taking off with $500 cash.

Workers at the Red Lobster at 11550 Kendall Drive were closing up the restaurant around just before midnight on Sunday when police say two armed men, their faces covered with either shirts or skullies, walked through the front door.

The men ordered the employees to surrender their cell phones, then pistol-whipped shift manager Edith Olivares, 52, and demanded she open the restaurant's safe, according to police.

The masked men also kicked 24-year-old bartender Leron Reid several times, then forced the employees into the store's refrigerator and made off with the cash, police said.

Once the coast was clear, employees were able to open the refrigerator door and call police.

While Olivares sustained several lacerations to the head, she will recover.

Red Lobster's general manager Neil Anderson said he and his employees are grateful no one was killed in the robbery and called the robbers "cowards."

"They're cowards. It's really cowardly to hit a 52-year-old lady with a pistol," he said. "She's a valued employee. A fantastic employee."

“Our thoughts are with the employees who were impacted by this terrible crime. Their recovery, the safety of our Kendall team and local guests is our No. 1 priority," a Red Lobster spokeswoman said in a statement. "We have taken steps to increase security presence at this location and we are actively partnering with the police on their investigation."

In the meantime, the Kendall Red Lobster is back open for business.

Now police need the public's help in identifying the armed robbers. They are described as one man with a thin build and another with a heavy build, both in their 30s, between 5 feet 8 inches and and 5 feet 10 inches tall.

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS(8477).



Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Hiker Killed by Boulder in Md.]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:46:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/210*120/2014-09-01_1140.png

A hiker on Hermit Island in the Potomac River died Sunday after he was pinned under a large boulder, emergency officials said.

Rian Avarham Khalder, 25, had been hiking with his 14-year-old brother along the Potomac on the island near the Angler Inn boat ramp when he began to climb an area of rocks.

Some of the rocks gave way, Khalder fell and a large boulder came down on him, police said.

Montgomery County emergency services mounted a "technical rescue," including swift water boat teams. The rescue was made even more difficult as a line of severe storms moved through the area, forcing rescuers to shelter in place and wait for the storms to pass.

Khalder of Silver Spring, Maryland, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington for more on this developing story.

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<![CDATA[Crash Involving State Police Trooper Injures 4]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:07:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Connecticut+State+Police+generic.jpg

Four people including a 7-year-old were injured when a State Police vehicle crashed into another car Sunday afternoon in Waterbury.

A 2003 Toyota Tundra stopped for traffic in the left westbound lane on Interstate 84 three tenths of a mile from Exit 26 when a State Police Dodge Charger behind it didn't stop and rear-ended the car, the Tundra driver, 34, told State Police. There were two passengers in the Toyota, ages 7 and 35.

The state trooper, 44, driving the State Police vehicle involved in the crash told State Police that the car in front of him stopped and he couldn't stop in time.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged and the airbag deployed in the State Police car but not the Toyota, State Police said.

State Police have not said if there will be any charges or citations.

All parties were transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury to be treated for minor injuries.

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<![CDATA[Man Stabbed Mom to Death in NJ: PD]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:33:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ho+ho+kus+murder.jpg

Murder charges have been filed against a 24-year-old New Jersey man accused of stabbing and beating his mother to death.

Bail for Nicholas Piotti was set at $2 million. Prosecutors say he allegedly beat and stabbed his 63-year-old mother, Karen Piotti, killing her inside the home they shared in Ho-Ho-Kus. Her body was found early Monday.

Piotti was taken into police custody and was being evaluated at Bergen County Medical Center. Authorities say he had no "physical issues." 

Neighbors said the news has devastated those who knew the family.

"I only heard nice things about Nicholas," said Donna Cioffi. "I used to see him skateboarding up and down Powderhorn Road, like any other teenager would do. I never had any issues with him."

"It's just devastating to a hear a 24-year-old can take his mother's life," she said. "No matter what the situation or circumstance is, you have to believe there's something very wrong behind that. It's very, very unnerving."

Gerry Pearce said the death of Karen Piotti was incomprehensible.

"This neighborhood is unbelievably nice, quiet," he said. "You never hear anything like this happen here."  

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