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    Family and the UConn community are mourning the deaths of two sophomores after a tractor-trailer and passenger car collided late Friday afternoon on Route 66 in Columbia, killing two teenagers and injuring two others.

    Alana Ferrante, 19, of South Windsor, and Ryan Meegan, 19, of Ridgefield, both UConn sophomores, died in the fatal accident. Ferrante was a pre-kinesiology major who had just transferred from Central Connecticut State University and Meegan was a pre-teaching major. He mentored through UConn's First Year Experience program and competed in soccer and rugby on campus.

    UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said that they both "epitomized the very best of UConn."

    "Our deepest sympathies go out to their friends and families," Reitz said in a written statement. "We hope they receive a measure of comfort in knowing Ryan and Alana were held in the highest regard by all who knew them here on campus."

    Police said the crash happened around 4:11 p.m. Friday on Route 66 at the intersection of West Street in Columbia near the Hebron town line. The tractor trailer, driven by 48-year-old Adolfo Lopez, of Hartford, was traveling east on Route 66 while a Toyota Camry, driven by 19-year-old Hannah Schmidt of Hebron, was traveling south on West Street. The tractor trailer collided with the right side of the Camry as the car entered the intersection. Both vehicles continued across the road and crashed into a utility pole on the right eastbound shoulder of Route 66.

    Two passengers in the Camry, identified as Ferrante and Meegan, died at the scene. Schmidt was transported to Windham hospital by Columbia Fire/EMS, and was later transferred to Hartford Hospital via LifeStar helicopter for treatment of serious injuries. Lopez was transported to Windham Hospital with minor injuries.

    Ferrante's brother, Justin Ferrante launched a www.funeralfund.com campaign to raise money to give his sister a proper funeral and burial.

    "I lost the most influential and important person in my life. I was less than 3 years old when I first met my sister. I was obsessed and spent all my time around her," her brother wrote on the fundraising page. "Both of our lives were etched and fueled by one another.... I know I was a large influence in emotional and spiritual guidance as I was always the one to go against the current but she was the one that excelled with it. She would sing and hum tunes everyday, then express herself in the most upbeat and enthusiastic way (this sometimes meant screaming that she was going to be late and can’t find what she was looking for.).... But she was always looking out for me and motivating me to take on new hobbies and ideas. She’s the one that I look to for an opinion above all others. Whenever I had to get a new haircut or needed a new wardrobe she was the only one I trusted with the final say. I asked her opinion on almost everything that crossed my mind as if it was the only way to know for sure."

    Her brother wrote about how he got on a hiking kick and Alana wanted to share his passion together. She came up with the idea to go on a big hiking trip together and they did so two months ago, her brother said, calling it "the best trip I have ever been on." They planned to set aside a week annually to do something fun like that together.

    "We grew even closer in the past few months than we had a good while and I am so grateful of that that words can’t not express how feel right now," her brother wrote on the fundraising page. "I have no idea what this means for my future as she was always part of my main focus towards life. I didn’t care what I meant to the rest of the world, all that mattered was that I could share it with her. She was my twin in spirit."

    The goal is to fundraise $10,000 and people have collectively already donated $5,025.

    "I simply cannot fathom giving my sister, Alana anything but the best burial and ceremony that we can manage to pull off so that her memory can forever be remembered and accessible," her brother said. ".... She was my only Sister and My Father and Mother’s only daughter."

    The UConn men's rugby team wrote on Facebook, "It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our teammate and brother, Ryan Meegan. A bright, talented, and hardworking young man who could make anyone smile. It's hard to believe you were taken from us this soon, you will be missed. #RIP Ryan."

    Ferrante was also involved in the CT Volleyball Academy.

    "The CTVA family is devastated and grief stricken," the volleyball academy posted on Facebook. "Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to the Ferrante family. You will be so missed!"

    Another UConn student, whose name the university didn't release, was one of the two others injured in the crash.

    "We also extend our support and concern for a third UConn student who was injured in the same collision," Reitz said. "While we cannot discuss specifics of the individual's condition out of respect for the student's privacy, the University is united in its hope for a swift and full recovery."

    UConn is offering counseling services for those who knew Ferrante and Meegan and need support.

    "As in all such cases, UConn immediately reached out to friends and others on campus who knew Alana and Ryan, and encourage anyone who needs assistance to contact Counseling and Mental Health Services for confidential help in dealing with this difficult news," Reitz said. "A team of professionals from throughout the University are discussing ways to help our students, faculty and staff, and others in whatever ways may be necessary."

    Footage from the scene showed the entire back wall of the tractor-trailer was sheared off. Route 66 was closed between West Street in Columbia and Loveland Road in Hebron while police investigated.

    Crews from Windham, Columbia, and Hebron all responded to the scene, along with Connecticut State Police and the Department of Transportation. Crews from Eversource and Frontier also responded to clear power lines that came down during the crash.

    State police are investigating and another with information is asked to contact TFC Marsh at Troop K at (860) 465-5400.


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    The Route 34 bridge over Stevenson Dam has reopened after closing briefly from Oxford to Monroe due to a crash.

    Two cars collided in the area, prompting the bridge closure.

    It has since reopened.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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    Whitney Avenue in Hamden is closed in an area where a box truck pulled down some electrical wires from a utility pole in a crash early Monday morning.

    A box truck struck a pole in the area of 1400 Whitney Avenue.

    Police closed the road and are detouring traffic around it as they wait for the power company to repair the wires and pole.

    United Illuminating has been called to the scene.



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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    A pastor and members of his congregation have been hailed as "heroes" for disarming an alleged gunman who police say attempted to kill his girlfriend and infant son inside an Alabama church, NBC News reported. 

    Pastor Earl Carswell was shot and injured while subduing 26-year-old suspect James Junior Minter, who allegedly opened fire Sunday at the Oasis Tabernacle Church in Selma. Minter — whose girlfriend and 1-month-old son also were injured — fled the church but was later arrested.

    "There were several heroes in there," Lt. Curtis Muhannad, of the Selma Police Department, told reporters. "It takes a lot when you have someone with a firearm that's actually firing upon a person in a closed-quarters area, and you do whatever you can with regards to your own life to protect someone else's life."

    Minter's girlfriend, 24, was shot in the shoulder and jaw and the couple's 1-month-old son was shot in the hand, police said. Carswell, 61, was shot in the leg, police added.



    Photo Credit: Selma Police Department
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    James Junior Minter, 26, was charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting his girlfriend, their infant son and a pastor during a church service.James Junior Minter, 26, was charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting his girlfriend, their infant son and a pastor during a church service.

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    A person suspected of breaking into an East Hartford home, sexually assaulting a woman and stealing a gun from the house early Saturday morning is in custody on unrelated charges.

    East Hartford police said they responded to a home Collimore Road around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday to investigate a break-in, sex assault and theft and found the victim, who had been sexually assaulted. 

    She was rushed to St. Francis Hospital and has since been released.

    Meanwhile, police began searching for the intruder, described as 13 to 20 years old, with dark hair, brown shorts and a maroon shirt.

    On Monday morning, police said they apprehended the suspect on unrelated charges and found the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson that was stolen during the home invasion.

    The suspect remains in custody and police continue to investigate. It's unclear if the woman knew the suspect or how he got into the home.

    Anyone with information on the incident or the suspect to call the department at 860-528-4401.


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    A blow-up doll sold as a gag gift is causing a stir at West Chester University near Philadelphia after the campus bookstore began selling the item.

    Packaging on the doll boasts "perfect female specimen," "non-talking," and "no headaches."

    Lisa Ruchti, director of Women's and Gender Studies at West Chester, said she was teaching a class on Thursday when a student brought the doll in as an example of sexism. The student was extremely offended, she said, and spread the word of the doll being sold in the campus bookstore.

    News of the doll traveled quickly, reaching students from varying groups and majors. One student is gathering all of the people who had negative reactions and planning a protest.

    The bookstore removed the doll from shelves and apologized on Twitter, writing, "We apologize for any offense this may have caused. We have removed the 6in 'inflate-a-date' from the sales floor." But, Ruchti said, that won’t stop the students from protesting.

    "They want some kind of promise that something like this won’t happen again," she said.

    Lauren Conwell, a student, said the doll made some students feel unsafe.

    "It literally says you can punch it and manhandle it, and then says it's the perfect female," she said. "If that's the perfect female companion, then what does that mean for us?"

    A representative from the university could not be reached for comment on Sunday.



    Photo Credit: Lisa Ruchti

    An inflatable doll being sold on West Chester University's campus is stoking protests.An inflatable doll being sold on West Chester University's campus is stoking protests.

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    With Pope Francis set to begin his first-ever U.S. visit Tuesday, a document obtained by NBC News shows law enforcement is worried terrorists may impersonate police officers, firefighters and EMTs to launch deadly attacks inside the U.S.

    A memo distributed by the Pennsylvania State Police's Criminal Intelligence Center to law enforcement warns that imposters pretending to be first responders could use false identification to enter secure areas and wreak havoc before slipping away undetected.

    "The impersonators' main goals are to further their attack plan and do harm to unsuspecting citizens as well as members of the emergency services community," said the bulletin, titled "First Responder Impersonators: The New Terrorist Threat."

    The document — which does not mention the papal visit but was issued just days before the event — cited instances at home and abroad where suspects donned or were in possession of police uniforms in a bid to carry out an attack. It was based in part on Homeland Security and FBI reports.



    Photo Credit: ap

    Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass in Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass in Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

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    Grief counseling will be offered at the UConn campus on Monday as classes resume and the university community comes together to cope with the deaths of two students who were killed in a car crash in Columbia.

    Alana Ferrante, 19, of South Windsor, and Ryan Meegan, 19, of Ridgefield, who are both UConn sophomores, were killed when a tractor-trailer hit the Toyota Camry they were in late Friday afternoon on Route 66 in Columbia.

    Ferrante was a pre-kinesiology major who had just transferred from Central Connecticut State University. She also played volleyball.

    Meegan was studying to be a teacher, mentored through UConn's First Year Experience program and competed in soccer and rugby on campus.

    "On Friday our rugby team didn't just lose a player but a brother. It's hard to talk about Ryan without bringing up his sense of humor and his upbeat personality," the UConn rugby team said in a statement. "No matter the situation he always managed to find a way to smile and that smile was contagious. Whether we had a long fitness session or a tough loss he always knew how to lift the team's spirit. He was a hardworking, eager, and committed player and a great friend. He was coaches' and players' ideal teammate … qualities not found too often nowadays. This was an incredibly tragic accident but our team will always remember Ryan and honor his memory. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ryan's friends and family in this difficult time."

    Hannah Schmidt, 18, of Hebron, was driving the Camry, according to state police, and her injuries are believed to be serious. UConn officials said she is also a student at the university.

    "We also extend our support and concern for a third UConn student who was injured in the same collision," Reitz said. "While we cannot discuss specifics of the individual's condition out of respect for the student's privacy, the University is united in its hope for a swift and full recovery."

    The Ferrante and Meegan families are now planning funerals for the two college students.

    "Losing a child is crazy, so I can't imagine what they're going through," Hellen Iannitti, a UConn freshman, said.

    Ferrante's brother has launched an online fundraiser on www.funeralfund.com, seeking donations to help give his sister a proper funeral and burial. In just a few days, more than $12,000 has been raised.

    He said in a post on the fund-raising page that he "lost the most influential and important person" in his life, calling Alana his confidante and support network. The two went on a hiking trip this summer and had planned on making it annual tradition to do something fun like that together. He called it "the best trip I had ever been on" and said it helped them grow even closer in the past few months.

    "I have no idea what this means for my future as she was always part of my main focus towards life," he wrote on the fund raising page. "I didn’t care what I meant to the rest of the world, all that mattered was that I could share it with her. She was my twin in spirit."

    UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said that Ferrante and Meegan both "epitomized the very best of UConn."

    "Our deepest sympathies go out to their friends and families," Reitz said in a written statement.

    "We hope they receive a measure of comfort in knowing Ryan and Alana were held in the highest regard by all who knew them here on campus."

    Ferrante was also involved in the CT Volleyball Academy.

    "The CTVA family is devastated and grief stricken," the volleyball academy posted on Facebook. "Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to the Ferrante family. You will be so missed!"

    UConn is offering counseling services for those who need support.

    "As in all such cases, UConn immediately reached out to friends and others on campus who knew Alana and Ryan, and encourage anyone who needs assistance to contact Counseling and Mental Health Services for confidential help in dealing with this difficult news," Reitz said. "A team of professionals from throughout the University are discussing ways to help our students, faculty and staff, and others in whatever ways may be necessary."

    Police said the crash happened around 4:10 p.m. on Friday on Route 66 at the intersection of West Street in Columbia near the Hebron town line.

    The tractor trailer, driven by 48-year-old Adolfo Lopez, of Hartford, was traveling east on Route 66 and hit the right side of the Toyota Camry, driven by 18-year-old Hannah Schmidt of Hebron, who was traveling south on West Street, and both vehicles hit a utility pole. Schmidt's injuries are suspected to be serious, according to a news release from state police.

    Ferrante and Meegan, died at the scene. Schmidt was transported to Windham Hospital and LifeStar later transferred her to Hartford Hospital. Lopez was transported to Windham Hospital with minor injuries.

    State police are investigating and another with information is asked to contact Trooper First Class Marsh at Troop K at 860-465-5400.


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    A 17-year-old girl was hit by a car in Waterbury on Monday morning and has been transported to the hospital.

    The girl was struck on Meriden Road around 7:30 a.m. and was injured, but alert and conscious when emergency officials arrived.

    An ambulance transported her to St. Mary's Hospital.

    The scene on the road is now clear and no additional information was immediately available.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are investigating after a car hit a teen in Waterbury on Monday morning.Police are investigating after a car hit a teen in Waterbury on Monday morning.

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    The biological father of Baby Bella says he was "very concerned" for the 2-year-old girl he'd never met, who was allegedly killed by her mother's boyfriend in Massachusetts in June.

    Joe Amoroso, Bella's biological father, spoke to reporters after Michael McCarthy was arraigned on murder charges in the slaying. He said he never saw billboards showing a computer-generated image of "Baby Doe" and didn't make the connection between her and Bella Bond.

    "I would never have imagined anything like this happening to my baby girl," Amoroso said.

    The mother of Bella Bond, the child who was dubbed as Baby Doe for almost three months after her remains were found, was ordered to be held on $1 million cash bond Monday, while the mother's boyfriend was denied bail.

    Rachelle Bond appeared in court with Michael McCarthy Monday. McCarthy is charged with killing the Bella, whose body was found by a dog walker on Deer Island in Massachusetts in June. Rachelle Bond is charged as an accessory after the fact.

    Authorities have said that Bella was identified thanks to a tip to the Boston Police Department's Homicide Unit.

    Though he'd never met Bella, Amoroso said he loved her and was hoping to be a father to her when he went looking for her.

    He said that after finding Rachelle Bond, she told him the "horrific details of what happened" to Bella, but he told reporters he did not want to discuss specifics. 

    Amoroso believes that Bond didn't speak out about her daughter's death because McCarthy was holding her captive, and that he would have killed Rachelle next, to eliminate witnesses to Bella's killing.
    "It took for me to knock on the door looking for my daughter to open up a can of worms and maybe if I would have waited another day or a few more days or another month, Rachelle would have been next," Amoroso said.

    A composite image of the girl with deep brown eyes had been viewed by millions as authorities tried to identify her. The big break came last week when Boston police received a tip and a search warrant was executed Thursday at her mother's apartment.

    Bond told a friend that Bella was dead, and the friend alerted a relative to the image of Baby Doe, who contacted police, according to the office of the district attorney prosecuting the case. Massachusetts state police detectives then spoke to the friend, then Bond, before making the arrest. 

    Bella's godmother also spoke to reporters after the arraignment, saying Rachelle Bond seemed to be a "good mother" and that she "can't fathom what's going on."

    He said he and his mother had called the Department of Children and Families about Bella, but that the cases were closed.

    "So, with my family and on my side, we were very concerned about Bella," he said. "We knew that she wasn't in a good situation. I was just trying to get back here to Boston as soon as possible to go get my daughter."



    Photo Credit: necn

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    A man suspected of burglarizing a Glastonbury home a year ago has been arrested after the victim saw an old mug shot and recognized the sweatshirt on the suspect, according to police.

    Glastonbury police investigated a home burglary reported in July 2014, but suspended the case when they did not develop any leads.

    A year later, they had a lead – thanks to a mug shot they released of a suspect in another crime.

    The victim of the 2014 burglary contacted police in July after seeing a mug shot of Derek A. Benson, 30, of Glastonbury, from last October that had been re-posted on social media, police said.

    In that mug shot, Benson was wearing a gray CoCo Libre sweatshirt with green writing that matched one of the items stolen in the burglary, according to police.

    Police investigated and said they linked Benson to the burglary.

    He was arrested on Sept. 16 and charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny, third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal mischief.

    Bond was set at $125,000 and Benson remains in custody, according to online court records.

    NBC Connecticut left a message with the attorney’s office representing Benson.

    Glastonbury police have named Benson as a suspect in playing a role in the thefts of high-end golf clubs from home in Glastonbury. His name appears on court dockets several times and he has entered not guilty pleas.

    Benson is due back in court next month.


     



    Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

    Derek Benson is accused of playing a role in the theft of high-end golf clubs from several homes in Glastonbury.Derek Benson is accused of playing a role in the theft of high-end golf clubs from several homes in Glastonbury.

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    To Pope Francis, the 18th-century priest Junipero Serra was one of the United States’ founding fathers, a missionary who brought the Gospel to the New World.

    To Valentin Lopez, the chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of the Costanoan/Ohlone Indians, Serra was the architect of a brutal mission system that enslaved and terrorized Lopez’s ancestors in California.

    Now, even as the fierce controversy over Serra continues unabated, one of Francis’ first acts during his visit to the United States will be to make the Franciscan friar from Spain a saint.

    “We’re disappointed but we’re not surprised,” said Lopez, who plans to cut his hair as a sign of mourning. “The church has ignored indigenous people for over 500 years.”

    Serra will be canonized at a Mass to be celebrated on Wednesday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Vice President Biden is expected to attend.

    Francis has praised Serra’s willingness to leave his native Spain for hardships in the New World, asking in a homily in May, “I wonder if today we are able to respond with the same generosity and courage to the call of God.”

    The pope said that Serra defended Native Americans against abuses by colonizers and that his writings showed respect for indigenous people and their ways.

    Teresa Berger, a professor of Catholic theology at Yale University’s Divinity School said that a number of factors could have drawn Francis’ attention to Serra, among them Francis’ knowledge of the missionary work in the Americas and his devotion to St. Francis.

    “There are some things that one can praise in Junipero Serra,” she said. “And those are the things that I think Pope Francis has in his mind. And there are also things that are deeply troubling. And that of course is what particularly Native American communities have in mind because they still suffer the consequences of that.”

    Francis has been accused of hypocrisy for planning to canonize Serra after apologizing in June during a tour of South America for the “grave sins of colonialism,” a charge leveled by some Native Americans.

    Berger disagreed.

    “No, they are just seeing different parts of a complicated legacy,” she said.

    Harvard Divinity School Professor Francis X. Clooney said that any choice for sainthood would likely be criticized.

    “Rarely, in modern times, do you find historical figures about whom there would not be some controversy,” he said. “Even recently with Pope John Paul II — many people were delighted that he was made a saint, but many people had problems with his papacy and questions about it and wished he hadn’t been made a saint.”

    Lopez and other Native American leaders said that ceremony would signal that the Roman Catholic Church still treated Native Americans as pagans and savages. Little has changed since official papal documents or bulls of the 15th century considered indigenous people to be pagans, savages and heathens, he said.

    In defending the beating of Native Americans, Serra wrote in 1780: "That spiritual fathers should punish their sons, the Indians, with blows appears to be as old as the conquest of the Americas; so general in fact that the saints do not seem to be any exception to the rule."

    Lopez wrote this month in a letter to Francis that Indians were never told that once baptized they were be confined involuntarily at the missions and forced to labor for clergy and soldiers. They were captured violently, enslaved, tortured and raped; their unhealthy diet and squalid living quarters resulted in the deaths of an estimated 150,000 California Indians at the missions.

    “How the Catholic Church and you, Holy Father, can consider Serra’s actions to be holy, sacred or saintly is incomprehensible to our Tribe,” he wrote.

    The first saint to be canonized in the United States, Miguel Jose Serra was born in 1713 on the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain. He was influenced at an early age by St. Francis, and when he decided to enter the priesthood choose the name Junipero after one of St. Francis' companions.

    Serra set sail from Majorca in 1749 and after almost two months at sea, he and other missionaries arrived in Puerto Rico. He traveled on to Veracruz, Mexico, walked 250 miles to Mexico City and eventually made his way to San Diego.

    He founded nine missions in California before dying in Carmel in 1784. He is buried under the sanctuary floor of the mission church, Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.

    In California, many streets, highways, trails, schools and monuments bear his name. His statue is one of two representing California in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall along with one of former president and California Gov. Ronald Reagan. Its presence has come under debate as well. Some Californians want to replace him with astronaut Sally Ride, a proposal postponed until after the pope's visit.

    Clooney said that the process to sainthood was typically a long one with multiple stages. A religious figure is usually identified by a local church, and when support grows, messages begin to be relayed to the Vatican.

    “You don’t go from nothing to being a saint,” Clooney said. “What it’s supposed to be is that the pope and his advisors in Rome are recognizing a groundswell of the local church.”

    Because the path to sainthood is complicated, Clooney said that the decision to canonize Serra probably preceded Francis’s papacy.

    “The pope didn’t decide ‘Oh I have a trip coming up to the United States – who can we canonize while I’m there?’” said Clooney. “He probably was not the instigator of this in the first place, but allowed the process to be completed.”

    But Berger said she thought it was Francis’ decision to move forward with the canonization during this trip. Serra was made “blessed” — the stage before sainthood — in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, and could have remained at that stage indefinitely.

    The Vatican has recognized only one miracle performed by Serra, another controversial decision: A nun in St. Louis was cured of lupus after praying to him.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Junipero SerraJunipero Serra

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    State police are looking for a man who robbed a Cumberland Farms in Ashford at knifepoint earlier this month.

    Police said the man held a clerk at knifepoint at the gas station store at 33 Pompey Hollow Road around 11:10 p.m. Sept. 13.

    The employee suffered "a very minor superficial injury from contact with the knife," according to police, who said the robber got away with cash and cigarettes.

    He was last seen driving eastbound on Route 44 in an older-model silver four-door sedan, according to police.

    State police ask anyone with information to call Troop C in Tolland at 860-896-3200 and reference case No. 15-00548249.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

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    A New Haven police cruiser was damaged while swerving to avoid another car that drove through a stop sign on Sunday, according to police.

    Police said Shaquana Toad, 31, of New Haven, "wasn't paying attention" and rolled through a stop sign at the intersection of Blatchley Avenue and Peck Street.

    An officer driving near the intersection swerved to avoid being hit and drove up the curb. Police said the cruiser suffered a broken axle and deflated tires.

    Toad was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, misuse of marker plates and failure to stop at a stop sign.

    She was also served outstanding arrest warrants for failure to appear, third-degree unlawful restraint, risk of injury to a minor, according to police.

    It's not clear if she has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The homeless man accused of sexually assaulting a woman for hours in a Plainfield forest faced a judge in court Monday.

    Keith T. Coolidge, 33, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree unlawful restraint and first-degree assault.

    He appeared in Danielson Superior Court on Monday, where a judge raised his bond from $250,000 to $500,000.

    Police began investigating the morning of Aug. 18 after the victim arrived at a local hospital.

    Authorities said Coolidge sexually assaulted her for hours overnight Aug. 17 into Aug. 18 in different locations in the forests off Snake Meadow Hill Road in the Moosup village of Plainfield.

    Police said Coolidge often lives in the forests in Moosup. His last known address was on Snake Meadow Road in Moosup.

    Coolidge is due back in court Oct. 16. It's not clear if he has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: Plainfield Police

    Keith T. Coolidge is accused of sexually assaulting a woman for hours in the woods of Plainfield.Keith T. Coolidge is accused of sexually assaulting a woman for hours in the woods of Plainfield.

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    A pedestrian was struck by a car in New Haven after the driver was pulled from the vehicle and assaulted Sunday afternoon, according to police.

    Police said the pedestrian, a man, suffered a non-life threatening leg injury and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

    Witnesses told them someone grabbed and assaulted the driver, who may have been intoxicated. Cellphone video shows the alleged assault but police said it's not clear enough for them to identify the attacker.

    The driver was also hospitalized for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Police said they're investigating to determine whether the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

    No charges have been filed.


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    New Haven police are investigating a crash that killed one person and injured eight others, including a 12-year-old boy, and said they expect to file charges.

    Three cars collided at the intersection of Howard Avenue and South Frontage Road around 9:50 p.m. Friday, according to police. The front passenger of a Honda CRV, identified as Manuel Portillo, 65, died at the scene.

    A toddler and two children, including a 12-year-old boy, were also passengers in the Honda, which was carrying a total of six people. Police said the 12-year-old was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital in critical condition. His condition has since been upgraded to stable.

    Police said a 42-year-old woman was driving the Honda, a 53-year-old man was driving a Volkswagen and a 37-year-old man was driving a Mercedes Benz. 

    Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage. Police said they expect to file charges.

    Police ask any witnesses to call New Haven Police Department's crash team at 203-946-6304 or the department's non-emergency number at 203-946-6316.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Vice President Joe Biden said he's still considering a 2016 presidential bid, but that he "may not get there in time to mount a feasible run."

    Biden spoke with Catholic organization American Media and mentioned concerns over whether he feels "comfortable that this will be good for the family."

    "We're just not - it's not quite there yet and it may not get there in time to make it feasible to be able to run and succeed because there are certain windows that will close," he said. "But if that's it, that's it. But it's not like I could rush it."

    In considering a 2016 run, Biden has maintained that his priority is his family's well being. His son, Beau Biden died earlier this year.

    However, according to NBC's Chuck Todd, Biden's wife, Jill, is not an obstacle to a presidential run. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this file photo Vice President Joe Biden waves to the audience before speaking at an It's On Us event on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 17, 2015.In this file photo Vice President Joe Biden waves to the audience before speaking at an It's On Us event on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 17, 2015.

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    A Willimantic man arrested twice in one day told officers he was going to buy a handgun and "gonna have to start shooting people," according to police.

    Michael Muzykowski, 35, was arrested twice on breach of peace charges, just hour apart,

    Police said he was first charged around 4:30 p.m. Sunday after cursing at family members and officers at his home on South Park Street.

    Muzykowski was released from custody. Police said he told them he wouldn't let them into his home anymore and would need to buy a handgun, saying, "I'm gonna have to start shooting people."

    Hours later, around 11:30 p.m., police responded again to Muzykowski's property after neighbors complained of loud noises coming from his home. Police said Muzykowski was again "defiant when being placed under arrest."

    He was charged again with breach of peace and held on $1,500 bond ahead of a court appearance Monday. Muzykowski is due in court again Sept. 29 on the original breach of peace charge.

    It's not clear if he has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A 2-year-old boy is recovering in the hospital after suffering burns on nearly half his body, according to police.

    The child, who lives in New London, received first- and second-degree burns Sunday morning at a home on Bristol Street, according to police.

    Authorities are still investigating but said they believe the burns were accidental.

    Police said the toddler was rushed to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, then airlifted to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, where he was listed in critical condition. His condition has improved to stable, police said Monday.

    The child's parents are cooperating with police and the Department of Children and Families. No charges have bene filed.

    Anyone with information is asked to call New London police.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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