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    The victim of a brutal attack in a Chicago suburb last weekend left the hospital Friday and said in an emotional statement about the arrest of her alleged attacker that she "won."

    "I defeated him," said Melissa Schuster. "He tried to take everything away from me but I won in the end. I did not give up."

    Her nose fractured, her face covered in stitches and bruises, Schuster said she looked in the mirror for first time Thursday.

    "It kind of broke my heart, I was almost in tears but then I realized it's just the beginning," she said.

    Though NBC Chicago does not normally name victims of sexual assault, Schuster said she wanted her story heard because she "wanted to make a difference in someone else's life."

    The 26-year-old was unloading groceries in the driveway of the home in the 700 block of 73rd Court at about 1 p.m. Saturday when a dark blue older model Nissan Altima pulled up, and that is when police say 31-year-old Londale Madison got out and approached her.

    "All he asked me was, 'Can I have money?" she said. "And I politely said, 'I'm sorry, I don't have any money to give you.'"

    She went inside and locked the door, but Madison later knocked and asked again. When she refused, he knocked the door down and attacked her, according to police.

    After punching her repeatedly, Schuster says the man forced her to remove her clothes, and get into the shower – where he raped her.

    “I remember standing there thinking to myself, ‘This is it. I’m not going to make it. I'm gonna to die,” she recounted.

    He stabbed her over 17 times, before stealing her purse and cell phone and leaving her for dead.

    “But then I told myself, ‘No, I’m not going to let this person overcome me.’” Schuster said. “I was terrified, but I was not going to give up.”

    She managed to build enough strength to run to a neighbor's house.

    "She was covered head to toe with blood," the neighbor said. "My husband put a blanket around her and ran outside to see if he could find who had done this to her."

    Tips lead authorities to determine that Madison returned to Indiana after the attack. He was charged Wednesday with one count of attempted first degree murder, one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, one count of home invasion and one count of armed robbery, according to the DuPage County state's attorney's office. All charges are felonies.

    Just two weeks ago, Madison was cited in Indiana for violating probation, which he was granted after getting an early release from prison late last year. He received a 6-year sentence in 2012 for a felony burglary conviction in St. Joseph County.

    If Madison is convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 120 years in prison, according to the state's attorney's office.

    "I want to see him put away for a very long time," Schuster said.

    Madison appeared in court Friday where prosecutors say he confessed to the horrific crime.

    Madison has already served time for charges that include felony, theft and battery. After attacking Schuster, police say he went to LaGrange approaching more people for money. He is also being questioned on child molestation charges.

    Bond was set at $5 million dollars and he faces up 120 years in prison if convicted.

    As for Schuster, her healing process moves forward with the hope of helping others.

    "Talking about what happened is a relief, part of my recovery," she said. "I have been talking about it since day one."

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    The Cromwell-Portland Panthers took on the Granby Bears Friday night in the high school football team's first scrimmage since a 16-year-old player was arrested on hazing charges.

    "You never know when it's going to happen: college, high school, you never know," said Granby parent Mario Tirillo.

    This week, Cromwell police charged a 16-year-old Panther with hazing, accusing the student of hitting four freshmen teammates with a belt in the locker room at Cromwell High School.

    Investigators said the alleged hazing, which happened last week before practice, was so severe it left welts on the students' bodies.

    "You think about your child and what happens behind closed doors," said football parent Miriam Ray.

    A district source close to the investigation said after the allegations came out, football coach Chris Eckert was placed on paid administrative leave. NBC Connecticut has not been able to reach Eckert for comment.

    Friday night’s game was the first for the Cromwell-Portland Panthers following the uproar.

    Some Panther parents at the scrimmage said the hazing was over and wouldn't happen again. Others called the incident eye opening.

    "Being a parent of a football player, it is something that concerns me," said Ray.

    Granby parents said they're making sure to have conversations with their children.

    "If they ever see anything like that, they should let me know about it," said Tirillo. "If it's happening to them, they should definitely let me know about it."

    The arrested student faces up to a $1,000 fine. Police said their investigation is complete unless someone else comes forward.

    Granby Memorial won Friday night’s scrimmage, 49-8.

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    A kite surfer in San Francisco was blown from the ocean onto a busy coastal thoroughfare and struck by a car Friday, police said.

    The incident was reported at 3:12 p.m. at the intersection of the Great Highway and Sloat Boulevard near the zoo, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

    Police said the surfer was setting up his board when a gust of wind, which reached 42 miles per hour, lifted and deposited him in the highway's southbound lane where he was hit by a car. 

    But a witness told NBC Bay Area that the man was in the ocean and carried nearly 50 feet over sand dunes and parking spaces into the path of oncoming traffic. The surfer was caught in an uncontrolled spiral and unable to safely eject, he said.

    The victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said, stressing that this is not a hit-and-run collision. 

    Police, who deemed the accident bizarre, temporarily closed the Great Highway's southbound lanes near Lincoln Way during the investigation. They were reopened around 5:30 p.m., officials said.

    Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the SFPD anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    A kite surfer is in critical condition after being blown onto Great Highway and struck by a car on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.A kite surfer is in critical condition after being blown onto Great Highway and struck by a car on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.

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    A school bus driver was arrested Friday after a 5-year-old boy was left alone on the bus in New Britain for more than three hours, according to police.

    Police said the driver, Shamowl Evans, 28, has been charged with risk of injury to a minor.

    Investigators discovered the child after the principal of Smith Elementary School called them to report the boy missing Wednesday morning, according to police.

    New Britain police spokesman Capt. Thomas Steck said the child's mother told them the boy had boarded the bus to school around 8:40 a.m. Wednesday. School administrators said the boy never made it to school.

    "We have an automated system that calls parents within two hours of any absence if their child's absence has not been called in first by the parent. We have a tight system," New Britain Supt. Kelt Cooper said in an email to NBC Connecticut on Friday. "Once the parent called to say she received an automated call and that she put the child on the bus, the school took immediate action by calling the bus company, searching every classroom, nook, and cranny, and with other schools with shared routes."

    According to Cooper, the process took about 35 minutes. He said the school district asked the bus company "numerous times" to double check the bus "as it was the last and most logical place" for the child to be.

    The boy was found sleeping on the bus around 12:30 p.m., according to Steck.

    Temperatures climbed above 90 degrees Wednesday, prompting concern for the child's welfare.

    "It was warm that day and by our estimation he had been on the bus in excess of three and a half hours. So he was transported for evaluation and it’s my understanding he’s fine," said Steck.

    Police said the school bus belongs to DATTCO. Company officials said in a statement Friday that Evans has been suspended while police and school officials investigate.

    "DATTCO has a longstanding excellent safety record across Connecticut, and is concerned first and foremost with the safety of every child we transport," DATTCO Chief Operating Officer Cliff Gibson said in the statement. "Our entire company will continue to focus on the safe transportation of our passengers."

    Gibson said DATTCO is cooperating with authorities.

    It's not clear if Evans has an attorney.

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    Germany anticipates up to 7,000 people pouring across its borders from Hungary over a 48-hour span, authorities told NBC News — a final stop for asylum seekers fleeing war and poverty in their homelands.

    Neighboring Austria said it received at least 6,500 refugees and migrants who flooded across the Hungarian border Saturday, where charity workers provided hospitality and much-needed bedding and food.

    Hungarian authorities had spent most of the week trying to force those crossing into the country to report to government-run refugee centers to apply for asylum in their initial European Union entry point as the 28-nation bloc's rules require.

    But thousands refused — some expressing fears that Hungary would deport or detain them indefinitely — and demanded free passage overwhelmingly to Germany. 

    Photo Credit: AP

    A woman holds her smiling baby in her arms as she arrives  at the Hauptbahnhof station in Salzburg, Austria, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 on their way from Hungary via Vienna to Germany.A woman holds her smiling baby in her arms as she arrives at the Hauptbahnhof station in Salzburg, Austria, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 on their way from Hungary via Vienna to Germany.

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    Dogs from Huskies to Bulldogs are helping rescue dogs Labor Day Weekend -- at the inaugural UConn women's volleyball Dog Pound Challenge, that is.

    The Huskies are starting their season with a two-day charity tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, inviting three other universities with dog mascots to play and help raise money for animal rescues. The tournament started on Friday and continues Saturday.

    Teams competing with the Huskies in the round robin tournament include the UMBC Retrievers, the James Madison Dukes and the Bryant Bulldogs.

    The Sigma Alpha sorority will be at the matches collecting donations that will benefit local animal rescues.

    The matches are free of charge.

    You can also make donations through GoFundMe at

    A Bloomfield Animal Hospital and Colchester Veterinary Hospital rabies vaccination clinic will also be held outside Gampel Pavilion. Fans can bring dogs on leashes and cats in carriers to get vaccinated. The clinic will be set up near the Jonathan statue. John Gagnon's Pet Resort in Colchester is sponsoring the event.

    The UConn women's volleyball team is going into its third season in the American Athletic Conference after finishing last season with a 12-19 game record, winning seven games at home. The team will have 14 home matches this year, including two tournaments at Gampel.

    Ed Tolentino joins the coaching staff as assistant coach and brings 15 years of coaching experience. He'll be working alongside head coach Kris Grunwald and second-year assistant coach Ellen Herman.

    Fans can follow updates on the tournament under the hashtag #RuffEmUp on Twitter or follow the UConn women's volleyball team at @UConnVB. You can also see the full Huskies volleyball schedule at

    From one dog to another! GO UCONN!! Willow, from Middletown CT watching the Men's Final Four with Jonathan, the UConn Husky mascot!   She'll be in the same spot tonight with Jonathan cheering on the women!!   GO HUSKIES!!!!   From Willow's mom- Janice in Middletown, CT  --  Application: NBC Conn Version: (b3227f9b) Edition: en-US-nbcconnect Ref: ubnshlsykl6qd7b98vp45kgezynxzsfguabd Model: iPhone System Version: 7.1From one dog to another! GO UCONN!! Willow, from Middletown CT watching the Men's Final Four with Jonathan, the UConn Husky mascot! She'll be in the same spot tonight with Jonathan cheering on the women!! GO HUSKIES!!!! From Willow's mom- Janice in Middletown, CT -- Application: NBC Conn Version: (b3227f9b) Edition: en-US-nbcconnect Ref: ubnshlsykl6qd7b98vp45kgezynxzsfguabd Model: iPhone System Version: 7.1

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    A Southern Connecticut State University student was robbed at gunpoint and police are looking for the two men responsible, police said.

    Two men wielding handguns stole items from the student in front of the 190 Pinerock apartments and took off, police said.

    The student wasn't injured in the robbery.

    Police have not said what the men took from the student or released information on the gender or identity of the victim.

    No suspects have been identified at this time.

    Hamden police continue to investigate the incident and look for the robbers.

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    Gas prices continued to fall as millions of Americans hit the road for the three-day weekend.

    Many people stopped to fill-up in Branford, after getting an early start on Saturday.

    “I left at four o’clock this morning to beat the traffic,” said Jessica Newhouse, who was traveling to Cape Cod from Philadelphia.

    “Leaving early so to avoid that but I’m sure will catch up with us later,” said Carrie Hammond, of Fairfield, who was headed to Block Island.

    Most people NBC Connecticut spoke to said they were headed to Cape Cod. Newport and Block Island were also popular choices.

    About 1.6 million people were expected to be on the roads in New England over Labor Day weekend. Of the 35-million people expected to travel this weekend, 85 percent will do so by car, according to AAA.

    While no one we spoke to said gas prices influenced their decision to hit the road this holiday, many did notice the lower prices at the pump.

    “They’re doing ok compared to years in the past,” Matthew McBride, of Boston, said.

    “They’re a lot lower this year than last year,” Marc Gordon, of Bethany, added.

    “It’s wonderful definitely want to venture out and take advantage of that while we can,” Hammond pointed out.

    Some out-of-state travelers also noticed that it costs more to fill up in Connecticut than it does back home.

    “Still much higher than we have in Brooklyn,” said Michael Pogretskiy.

    “They’re very cheap in New Jersey,” added Blanch House.

    “I just noticed it’s higher in here than it was in town in Philadelphia,” said Newhouse.

    At $2.41 a gallon Saturday morning, the national average for gas was the lowest since Labor Day weekend in 2004. Connecticut’s gas averaged $2.56.

    Newhouse said the higher price at the pump wasn’t the only reason she wished she could avoid Connecticut.

    “It’s always under construction and there’s just so many bottlenecks. I do this drive a lot and Connecticut is always the worst spot for me,” she said.

    Still, gas is the lowest the state has seen in seven years for Labor Day weekend, leaving travelers with a little extra spending money this holiday.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    File image of a woman pumping gas.File image of a woman pumping gas.

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    In every food feud over what type of pizza to order, there is almost always one ingredient that prevails no matter what you end up getting. Cheese!

    And for anyone who has ever been laughed at or called boring for having simple tastes and just wanting the one topping, fear not. Today is your day to celebrate because it's National Cheese Pizza Day!

    National Cheese Pizza Day falls every Sept. 5, according to

    Cheese pizza traces back to Greek origins. Ancient Greeks used to lather bread with oil, herbs and cheese and pita in Byzantine Greek means pie, according to

    Then, the Romans transformed pizza, coating dough with cheese, honey and bay leaves for flavoring, according to

    Pizza as we know it is closer to Italy's Neapolitan flatbread. In the Naples area, pizza consisted of mozzarella, usually a high quality buffalo mozzarella, according to

    According to the website, the first American pizza shop opened in Little Italy in New York in 1905.

    We might not be able to eat that oozy, cheese "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" pizza that always looked visually savory. But Connecticut is abundant with pizza restaurants to satisfy your cheese pizza craving today, from thinner New Haven-style pizzas like Frank Pepe's to thicker crusts.

    What's your favorite pizza place in Connecticut?

    Do you see the fresh smoke coming off that cheese pizza?  You should have seen Full of Life's galactic oven.Do you see the fresh smoke coming off that cheese pizza? You should have seen Full of Life's galactic oven.

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    West Hartford firefighters are responding to a fire reported at a restaurant in Blue Back Square.

    Crews were on scene at Rizzutos on Memorial Road at about 4:47 p.m.

    No further information was immediately available.

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    Hayden Hill is closed in Torrington after a rollover crash that trapped someone in a vehicle.

    A vehicle flipped over in the accident near 161 Hayden Hill Road, trapping someone inside.

    It's unknown how long the road will remain closed.

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    LifeStar airlifted a man to the hospital after falling from a railroad trestle on Barlow Street in Bristol on Friday night.

    Bristol police responded to the area at about 9:33 p.m. Friday after receiving a report about the incident, finding a severely injured man lying on the road underneath the railroad trestle. Police identified him as Michael Blake, 41, of Bristol, and said he had fallen about 30 feet.

    There was an off-road quad vehicle on the railroad trestle, so police said it appears that Blake was driving the quad in the eastbound direction on the tracks when he was thrown from the vehicle.

    EMS personnel responded, as well as a LifeStar helicopter, which landed at the Firestone Plant on James P. Casey Road and took Blake to Hartford Hospital to be treated.

    Blake is listed in stable condition.

    Bristol police continue to investigate the accident.

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    Emergency responders rescued three fishermen from Long Island Sound near Cockenoe Island in Westport after their canoe capsized.

    Westport Police Department's Marine Division responded to a distress call regarding a vessel that tipped over east of the island.

    When marine police arrived, they found three men floating in the water away from their boat, an 18-inch canoe. They were all wearing life jackets. They had been fishing when they encountered choppy waters and their boat tipped over.

    People on a passing sailboat saw they were in trouble and radioed in a distress call. The men had been in the water for 15 minutes at that point.

    Officers pulled the men onto a police boat.

    The men were in good health when they were rescued.

    Police recovered the boat and towed it to Compo Marina.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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    Manchester animal control officials described a beautiful encounter with a bobcat Thursday after area residents spotted one and called to alert them.

    Some locals in Manchester spotted the wild cat and took photographs of it from inside while they called Manchester Animal Control to make sure it was normal behavior for the bobcat.

    Animal control officials responded and evaluated the bobcat, determining the "beautiful animal was healthy" before it ran off, Manchester animal control officers posted on Facebook along with some photos.

    Photo Credit: Manchester Animal Control

    Manchester animal control officials described a beautiful encounter with a bobcat after area residents spotted one and called to alert them.Manchester animal control officials described a beautiful encounter with a bobcat after area residents spotted one and called to alert them.

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    Police are investigating a fatal crash in Bloomfield involving a pickup truck and a motorcycle that occurred on Friday.

    Motorcyclist Joseph Caruso died in the crash.

    The accident happened on Sept. 4 at about 11:56 p.m. in the 1400 block of Blue Hills Avenue.

    Police ask anyone with information to call the Bloomfield Department at 860-242-5501.

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    Two skydivers collided Saturday over Long Island, New York, rendering one unconscious and grateful for an automatically activated reserve parachute.

    Patricia Baronowski, 46, took a knee to the head from fellow skydiver Kevin Arcamona, 29, during their free fall over Calverton, Riverhead police said.

    Baronowski, of East Farmingdale, was knocked unconscious and descended into a tree after her reserve parachute opened. She was suspended about 15 feet from the ground until retrieved and taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she was treated for a head injury.

    Arcamona, of Island Park, was taken to the same hospital with a leg injury, police said.

    The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. 

    Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Riverhead News-Review/Grant Parpan

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    Friends and family of a 14-year-old South Jersey teen are mourning her passing at a sleepover with her soccer team.

    Kara Lemanowicz was found dead Saturday morning at a home along the 200 block of Barnsboro Road in Mantua Township, police told NBC10. She and teammates from her soccer club had spent the night at the home.

    Jamie McGroarty, head coach of the Eastern High School girls soccer team, knew Lemanowicz since she was a child. He called her death "a heart wrenching blow to all that knew her."

    "She was a goofy, fun-loving kid who always was smiling," he said. Lemanowicz was set to play on the high school team as a freshman.

    "She always played the game with a fun loving attitude and absolutely loved the game," McGroarty said.

    Police said the death did not appear to be suspicious and believe was caused by a medical condition. The investigation is ongoing.

    Lemanowicz was being remembered by friends as an "angel" in social media posts. A tweet from the Eastern Girls Soccer team said she "went to sleep with a smile and among friends."

    Lemanowicz's teammates plan to hold an 8 p.m. candlelight vigil at Giangiulio Field in Voorhees Township.

    Photo Credit: NBC10

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    Plainfield police are asking for the public’s help to find a driver that struck a man in a wheelchair and drove away Saturday afternoon.

    Police say around 3:30 p.m. Todd Butler, 55, of Plainfield was driving in his motorized wheel chair south on Norwich Road near Old Norwich Road when a white Ford Mustang struck him. The Mustang fled the scene going south on Norwich Road.

    Butler was transported to Backus Hospital with minor injuries to his left arm. Anyone who may have witnessed the accident or have information on the car should call police at (860) 564 0804.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Two men were transported to the hospital after a stabbing in Willimantic Saturday night, according to police.

    Cpl. Stanley Parizo Jr. says crews responded around 7:30 p.m. for reports of a stabbing on Cameo Drive. Both victims were transported to Windham Hospital, and one of them was later flown to Hartford Hospital with serious injuries. As of 10:30 p.m. both victims were listed in stable condition and expected to survive, according to police.

    The Village Heights apartment complex on Cameo Drive was on lockdown for about two hours while police investigated. No one is in custody at this time and police are looking for multiple suspects.

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

    Photo Credit:

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    A tweet may be a tip for authorities searching for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the drug lord who escaped from a high-security prison in Mexico in July via a sophisticated tunnel. 

    A Twitter account, unconfirmed by NBC News, belongs to an Alfredo Guzman — the same name as one of the kingpin's sons. On Aug. 31, a tweeted photo shows the young man sitting with two older men at an outdoor restaurant, both faces totally obscured with cartoon emojis. One man's mustache is showing, resembling that of Guzman.

    [[324828711, C]]

    Twitter's location identifier indicated that the photo was taken in Costa Rica, though that is not confirmed.

    While the mustachioed man in the photo may look like Guzman, experts said they would be shocked if Guzman's son actually tweeted a photo of the most wanted man in the world with the location function on.

    Photo Credit: AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquin In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City. Mexico's security commission says top drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has escaped from a maximum security prison for the second time.

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