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    A fatal shooting on the 15 Freeway in the Corona area reportedly involving two rival motorcycle gangs prompted an hours-long shut down of the roadway near El Cerrito Road.

    Gunfire broke out on the freeway at Cajalco Road just south of the 91 Freeway, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said. The incident was reported about 6:30 p.m. on the CHP's traffic incident information website.

    Responding officers found two males suffering from gunshot wounds. Both were taken to a hospital where one was pronounced dead and another was admitted for his injuries, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

    A third person was treated for similar injuries and released.

    According to the CHP traffic incident information website, the shooting involved two rival motorcycle gangs. Those reports have not been confirmed by authorities.

    Traffic was backed up for miles on the freeway and surrounding streets as drivers were diverted at Ontario Avenue. Southbound lanes of the freeway were reopened before 7 a.m. Sunday. The El Cerrito onramp and offramp were still closed Sunday morning.

    Refresh this page for updates on this developing story.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: Kate Larsen (@KateNBCLA via Twitter)

    Traffic on the 15 Freeway in the Corona area was at a standstill after a shooting on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.Traffic on the 15 Freeway in the Corona area was at a standstill after a shooting on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.

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    Police are looking for three Afghanistan National Army soldiers who went missing on Cape Cod, Massachusetts National Guard confirms.

    Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar were last seen Saturday night. They were last seen at Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis. State police and local officials are searching.

    According to officials, the soldiers have been at Joint Base Cape Cod since Sept. 11. They are not considered a threat.

    Gov. Deval Patrick told NECN on Monday that he learned of the situation about an hour after the military authorities were notified.

    "There's been a lot of speculation... including that they may be trying to defect," Patrick said.

    Col. Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told NBC News there is "no reason to think they have nefarious intent." 

    U.S. military officials said the three officers were "thoroughly vetted" by the State Department, the American embassy in Kabul and U.S. military forces.

    The soldiers are in Massachusetts for Regional Cooperation, a training exercise designed to promote cooperation between regional and foreign forces around the world. Training exercises like this have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation among forces. 

    Eleven other Afghan soldiers were among the 200 participants from six nations including the U.S. The session wraps up Wednesday.

    U.S. military officials told NBC News the training was a "command post exercise" that did not involve any weapons or actual maneuvers. The three soldiers were not armed with weapons at the time they disappeared.

    Military escorts reportedly accompanied the 14 Afghan soldiers on a "cultural exercise" to the Cape Cod shopping mall on Saturday night when three of the soldiers managed to slip away unnoticed.

    Pentagon officials said local and state law enforcement have taken the lead in the search for the missing soldiers.

    Officials also pointed out that there have been numerous similar incidents over the years involving Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis and other foreign military who came to the U.S. for training and slipped away in an effort to remain in the country.


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    A turtle weighing a whopping 70 pounds was found wandering streets near a Southern California country club, officials said Sunday.

    Sheriff’s deputies found the common snapping turtle Thursday on the corner of Angeles Crest Highway and Starlight Crest Drive near the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club (map), where it had apparently stopped to rest several feet from a pond.

    It was taken to Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Phelan.

    “The turtle appears healthy – maybe too healthy, quite obese, and it’s probably eaten everything that’s been in the pond with it,” said Joel Almquist of Forever Wild.

    The turtle’s appetite can be a danger, as common snapping turtles are known to eat anything and everything in sight.

    “They’re very detrimental to the native wildlife here,” Almquist said. “They eat everything that they can fit in their mouths, and apparently by the size of this one, it has.”

    “If he grabbed onto a finger, you would be one digit less,” he added.

    It is unclear where the turtle came from, since it is not native to the area. Almquist said it may be someone’s lost pet.

    Forever Wild will likely build a special pond where the hulking turtle will be housed, Almquist said.


    A 70-pound turtle was found wandering the streets of La Cañada Flintridge on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.A 70-pound turtle was found wandering the streets of La Cañada Flintridge on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.

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    A man was transported to Backus Hospital in Plainfield Sunday after crashing into a telephone pole and police cited him with several traffic violations.

    Plainfield police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel responded to the 376 Starkweather Road area after receiving a report about a one-car crash at 9:43 a.m. on Sunday.

    Daniel Carpenter, 48, of Oneco, was outside of his car when police arrived and told officers that he injured his head.

    He was transported to the hospital for treatment and released.

    Police issued him a misdemeanor summons on charges of operating a motor vehicle under suspension, operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance requirements, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, traveling too fast for conditions and misuse of a registration plate.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3) and Yale-New Haven Hospital medical staff are holding an informational meeting about the Enterovirus Monday morning for school nurses after a confirmed case of the virus in the state and several other reports of possible cases.

    The Enterovirus has been confirmed in 22 states, including Connecticut. A 6-year-old Connecticut girl was treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital with a confirmed case of the Enterovirus and released more than a week ago.

    With the school year underway, officials want to keep school nurses as informed as possible about the illness.

    There are five hospitals in the state waiting for test results to confirm whether there were more cases of the Enterovirus.

    The meeting will be held at the Mauro Sheridan Magnet School in New Haven late morning.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Yale-New Haven Hospital is merging with the Hospital of Saint Raphael.Yale-New Haven Hospital is merging with the Hospital of Saint Raphael.

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    An ambulance has been called to the scene of a multiple-vehicle crash at the Walnut Street and Chestnut Street intersection in Hartford Monday morning.

    The intersection, which was closed earlier along with several side roads, has reopened.

    More information will be provided when it becomes available.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    A woman lured a man to an apartment in New London where another man was waiting to rob him, according to police.

    Police arrested Nathaniel Moore III, 26, of Norwich, on multiple charges including robbery and Briana Drayton, 20, of New London, on charges of conspiring with Moore in the robbery and prostitution.

    Police received a 911 call Sunday from the victim reporting that another man, Moore, tried to steal his phone and money at knife point at an 83 Mansfield Road apartment and took his car keys so he could look for other valuables in his vehicle. The incident happened at about 6:45 p.m.

    That was after a woman, Drayton, invited him back to the apartment as her guest, police said. She actually lives elsewhere in New London, according to police.

    Police searched the apartment complex after the victim gave officers a description of the male robber and saw a man running into Apartment 304. Officers set up a perimeter around that apartment and made contact with Moore and Drayton, police said.

    While the suspects initially refused the officers' requests to open the door, police were eventually able to positively identify both suspects and took them into custody "without incident," according to police.

    Police charged Moore with unlawful restraint, first-degree robbery, possession of a dangerous weapon, second-degree threatening, third-degree criminal mischief and sixth-degree larceny. Drayton faces charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and prostitution.

    Police have not released information on how the prostitution charge is connected to the incident. It's not clear what the suspects' connection is to the building where the robbery occurred.



    Photo Credit: New London Police Department

    Police arrested Nathaniel Moore III, 26, of Norwich, on multiple charges including robbery and Briana Drayton, 20, of New London, on charges of conspiring with Moore in the robbery and prostitution.Police arrested Nathaniel Moore III, 26, of Norwich, on multiple charges including robbery and Briana Drayton, 20, of New London, on charges of conspiring with Moore in the robbery and prostitution.

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    The three missing Afghanistan National Army soldiers who went missing on Cape Cod have been found trying to cross into Canada at the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, a top Massachusetts law enforcement source tells NBC News.

    Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar had managed to slip away unnoticed while on a "cultural exercise" to the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis on Saturday night. 

    The three soldiers were trying to enter Canada when they were stopped by border officials.

    Massachusetts State Police released a statement Monday afternoon, reminding the public that they had been assisting authorities with the investigation as a "missing persons case."

    "MSP has no information that suggests the three men committed any crimes, and thus we would not have had any cause to detain them ourselves," explained spokesperson Dave Procopio in a statement.

    Procopio added that the investigation is primarily under federal jurisdiction.

    According to officials, the soldiers had been at Joint Base Cape Cod since Sept. 11. They were unarmed and were not considered a threat. It's not clear yet whether they will be returned to Cape Cod.

    Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday that there was speculation that the soldiers may have been trying to defect.

    U.S. military officials said the three officers were "thoroughly vetted" by the State Department, the American embassy in Kabul and U.S. military forces.

    The soldiers were in Massachusetts for Regional Cooperation, a training exercise designed to promote cooperation between regional and foreign forces around the world. Training exercises like this have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation among forces. Eleven other Afghan soldiers were among the 200 participants from six nations including the U.S. The session wraps up Wednesday.

    U.S. military officials told NBC News the training was a "command post exercise" that did not involve any weapons or actual maneuvers. The three soldiers were not armed with weapons at the time they disappeared.

    Military officials said there have been numerous similar incidents over the years involving Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis and other foreign military who came to the U.S. for training and slipped away in an effort to remain in the country.



    Photo Credit: NECN

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    Police arrested a Glastonbury Public Schools employee tied to Apple iPad and laptop computer thefts.

    Geoffrey A. Sypher, 32, of Essex, who was recently hired in the district, is facing a larceny charge in connection to the stolen technology.

    The school district called police on Sept. 15 to report that iPad devices and a laptop were stolen from a technical department at one of the schools in Glastonbury, police said.

    Police determined in an investigation that Sypher was responsible for the thefts and arrested him on Friday, Sept. 19.

    It is not clear at this time what Sypher's role was in the district and which school(s) were subject to the thefts.

    Sypher was charged with first-degree larceny.

    More information will be provided when it becomes available.


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    The 59-year-old Connecticut woman who was critically injured after she was hit by a bicyclist in Central Park last week has died, officials say.

    Jill Tarlov, of Fairfield, died some time after she was hit by a bicyclist on West Drive and 63rd Street inside the park Thursday afternoon, according to a statement for CBS Television Stations, where her husband is a senior vice president.

    Tarlov, who previously worked at CBS-owned radio station 1010 WINS, fell to the ground after being hit and suffered head trauma, police said. She was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she died.

    "We are heartsick over the passing of our dear friend and former 1010 WINS Radio colleague Jill Tarlov," CBS said.

    Police say the 31-year-old cyclist, who stayed at the scene, had minor shoulder and hand injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.

    A preliminary investigation indicated that the cyclist was riding in the park's bike lane and hit the woman while swerving to avoid other pedestrians, according to the NYPD.

    "We are committed to doing what we can to bring greater public awareness of the perils of unsafe and distracted driving by motorists and cyclists that endangers pedestrians," the company said. "Far too many people have been killed or seriously injured on our streets."

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut


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    A 22-year-old Greenwich man is facing charges after getting into a fight with party-goers at an apartment above his and threatening them with a knife, Taser and golf club, according to police.

    Police were called to the complex at 307 Hamilton Avenue in Greenwich around midnight Saturday after a fight broke out. Police said 22-year-old Waiyat Hamdani, who lives in a first-floor apartment there, began arguing with the tenants upstairs over noise from a party they were hosting.

    During the fight, Hamdani broke a window in the second-floor apartment and threatened party guests with a knife, a taser and a golf club, according to police.

    He was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and second-degree threatening.

    Hamdani was released after posting $200 bond and is due in court Sept. 29.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A fatal attack at a Bally's Total Fitness last week may have been motivated by a boyfriend's jealousy, prosecutors said Monday, as a 46-year-old plumber was charged with murder and possessing metal knuckles.

    Kenneth Osako is accused of killing Diego Galindo, 43, of San Bruno with an 18-inch steel bar from the gym around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, two nights after Galindo asked Osako's girlfriend if she wanted a ride on his motorcycle, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told NBC Bay Area on Monday.

    The girlfriend, who was not named, said she declined Galindo's offer, and the next evening, she told Osako about the invitation, according to investigators.

    "That is being investigated as a potential motive," Wagstaffe said. Osako's arraignment was set for 1:30 p.m. Monday, and early in the day, he had no defense attorney listed with the court. He was being held without bail, and declined a jail house interview last week.

    And the following evening Galindo was attacked at the gym, located at 180 El Camino Real in South San Francisco. Galindo died Thursday morning at San Francisco General Hospital.

    His co-workers at Carneceria Tepa meat market have started collecting money for his funeral, and several described him as a friendly guy who liked cars and motorcycles.

    Wagstaffe said it is unclear at this point if Galindo knew that the woman had been dating Osako when he asked her out.

    Osako has no criminal history in San Mateo County, records show.

    Osako's father, Kenneth Osako Sr., told NBC Bay Area in an interview Friday that he hoped his son "gives us a call and let us know what happened."

    Kenneth Osako Sr. said he would not necessarily support his son either way. "No. If he's guilty, he's guilty. I don't support anybody that's wrong," he said.

    Osako turned himself in on Thursday at a plumbing job site in San Francisco on Kansas Street. When he surrendered, Wagstaffe said they found metal knuckles in his car, which are illegal to possess.

    NBC Bay Area's Derek Shore and Christie Smith contributed to this report.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: South San Francisco Police Department

    Kenneth OsakoKenneth Osako

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    A 58-year-old man is facing charges after police say he robbed a bank in Meriden and told employees he had a gun.

    According to police, Michael Maslar took a taxi to the TD Bank North at 733 East Main Street in Meriden around 9 a.m. Monday.

    He entered the bank wearing a mask and demanded money, then warned employees that he had a gun. Police said Maslar did not display a weapon.

    A witness saw the suspect running toward a nearby Boston Market. Officers chased him behind the store and onto Wilson Avenue, toward a waiting taxi, where he was taken into custody, according to police.

    Police said they found him with a money pouch filled with cash, a mask and gloves.

    Maslar was charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree larceny and interfering with an officer.

    He was held on $250,000 bond and is due in court Oct. 6.



    Photo Credit: Meriden Police Department

    Michael Masler, 58, is accused of robbing a bank in Meriden.Michael Masler, 58, is accused of robbing a bank in Meriden.

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    Although Enterovirus D68 has not been reported in the New Haven school district, the state's one confirmed case is just down the street at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the school system wants to make sure parents are aware of the threat.

    School officials held an information meeting on the virus to educate parents and community members Monday morning.

    “I really want to emphasize that Enterovirus D68 is really similar to all respiratory viruses that we see, mostly causes the common cold," said Dr. Paul Aronson of Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. "The vast majority of teenagers, children will see symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sneezing, muscle aches, and should be treated by their parents as they would normally for the common cold.”

    Those with more severe respiratory symptoms should see a doctor or go to the hospital and stay away from school.

    “For all school children, if they are ill, they have to be kept at home until they are without symptoms for 24 hours,” said Ann Somsel, New Haven Public Schools' director of nursing.

    Health care experts say that's especially true this time of year when we start to see other respiratory viruses, like the common cold and the flu.

    New Haven Public Schools are making sure all the schools are disinfected to prevent the spread of any viruses.

    “That our custodial crews are going through and cleaning all these surfaces that do have many hands on them, whether that's the lunchroom or in the variety of classrooms,” said New Haven Supt. Garth Harries.

    Doctors say the best way to keep you and your child healthy is good hygiene.

    “Good hand hygiene is the most important way to limit the spread. Soap and water for 20 seconds is the best way to wash your hands, disinfecting common areas of contact,” said Aronson.


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    A fight among customers over their place in line at a busy Apple store in New Haven boiled over into a brawl involving more than a dozen people Monday, three days after the iPhone 6's much-anticipated release.

    Three people were arrested at the store at 65 Broadway in New Haven, and one of those three was briefly hospitalized for a small cut on his forehead, police said. Other people suffered bumps and bruises.

    Police have been called to the same store repeatedly over complaints from store managers of unruly behavior since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit stores Friday.

    "There seem to be two groups, rival groups, mainly of Chinese people who are coming in from New York on a daily basis and trying to buy as many of the phones as the store will allow to sell toany one person," explained New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman.

    Police said the buyers aim to resell the new iPhones in China at a huge mark-up from their retail price — often for $3,000 to $4,000.

    "These rival groups have been challenging each other over their places in line. At times, these challenges have resulted in violence," Hartman said.

    The New Haven store is selling the phones without contracts for $1,000, according to police.

    The phones are in high demand and scarce in China right now, where the phones have not gone on sale yet due to regulatory issues, Dow Jones reported, citing Chinese state media.

    That has prompted phone smuggling attempts in the country, including some tussles in Hong Kong near stores selling the iPhone 6. Scalpers have been able to resell the phones for as much as double the retail price, according to Dow Jones.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police took two people into custody after a fight broke out at the Apple Store on Broadway in New Haven while the customers waited in line.Police took two people into custody after a fight broke out at the Apple Store on Broadway in New Haven while the customers waited in line.

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    The boyfriend of a Meriden woman accused of threatening to shoot police and neighbors, then blow up the building after a fight over a parking space escalated last week said she was drunk at the time and "wasn't in her right character."

    Regine Rivers, 48, who lives in the condo complex at 775 West Main Street in Meriden, faced a judge Monday on felony charges of first- and second-degree breach of peace, second-degree reckless endangerment, carrying a dangerous weapon, first-degree threatening and interfering with police.

    Police and a SWAT team rushed to Rivers' condo Friday afternoon after she allegedly pulled a knife on her neighbor. Rivers engaged authorities in a two-and-a-half-hour standoff before she was taken into custody.

    It all started over a parking dispute. Emma Guzman-Valentin, a neighbor who identified herself as Rivers' target, said Rivers parked on an angle, leaving no room for Guzman-Valentin's car.

    Guzman-Valentin left a note on Rivers' car Thursday, asking her to park properly, and Rivers confronted her with a kitchen knife Friday.

    Guzman-Valentin said Rivers was also holding a glass of wine and may have been drunk, a claim Rivers' live-in boyfriend corroborated outside court on Monday.

    "She was drunk. Come on. She wasn't in her right character," said Rivers' boyfriend, who covered his face and declined to give his name. "She's not a bad person. There's nothing wrong with her. She takes care of her grand babies. She takes care of her kids. She's always worked."

    Rivers' defense attorney agreed.

    "Alcohol probably had a lot to do with it," he said in court.

    Authorities said Rivers turned up the volume on her stereo while hostage negotiators attempted to reason with her Friday afternoon, and Connecticut Light & Power cut the electricity to the complex so police could communicate with her.

    Police said Rivers began slipping knives under the apartment door in and threatened to shoot authorities and residents with a 9mm handgun. She also threatened to blow up the building.

    "It just got crazy. It got really out of hand," said Guzman-Valentin.

    Rivers eventually opened the door and was taken into custody. Authorities brought her to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

    "I'm stunned, because in all my years, never have we witnessed anything like this," Guzman-Valentin said. "This same lady approached me last week in a loving, nice manner, and then for her all of a sudden to threaten me in this fashion – it blew me away. It blew me away and it scared all of us."

    Rivers is being held on $75,000 bond and is due back in court next month.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Regine Rivers is facing charges after getting into a dispute over a parking space with her neighbor in Meriden, then threatening violence and engaging police in an hours-long standoff, authorities say.Regine Rivers is facing charges after getting into a dispute over a parking space with her neighbor in Meriden, then threatening violence and engaging police in an hours-long standoff, authorities say.

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    Wesleyan University's administration has decided to require all-male residential fraternities to become co-educational and allow women to become members.

    The change is intended to make Wesleyan all-inclusive for all students, according to Kate Carlisle, a university spokesperson. The decision will affect Delta Kappa Epsilon and Psi Upsilon, the two all-male fraternities at Wesleyan.

    "With equity and inclusion in mind, we have decised that residential fraternities must become fully co-educational over the next three years," Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth and Board of Trustees Chairman Joshua Boger, both university alumni, notified the school community in an email Monday morning. "If the organizations are to continue to be recognized as offering housing and social spaces for Wesleyan students, women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization."

    The decision comes weeks after Wesleyan University closed the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house after a sophomore fell from a third-story window during a party at the Middletown fraternity. She was airlifted by Life Star to the hospital in critical condition and was most recently upgraded to stable condition. The fraternity's status was already listed as suspended before the incident.

    But the administration's overhaul of Greek Life on campus has been a ongoing conversation for several years, according to Wesleyan leadership.

    "As you may know, we have been considering the future role of Greek life at Wesleyan, and over the summer a great many Wesleyan alumni, students and faculty offered their views. Some have urged that we preserve the status quo; others have argued for the elimination of all exclusive social societies," the email from Roth and Boger states, as published on the blog. "The trustees and administration recognize that residential fraternities have contributed greatly to Wesleyan over a long period of time, but we also believe they must change to continue to benefit their members and the larger campus community."

    The administration states in the email that the university "looks forward to receiving plans" on transitioning the all-male residential fraternities to a co-ed model and said that school officials will collaborate with the fraternities to provide assistance with the changes.

    The mandate will not apply to non-residential fraternities.

    "Although this change does not effect nonresidential organizations, we are hopeful that groups across the University will continue to work together to create a more inclusive, equitable and safer campus," Roth and Boger said in the email.

    The university is confident that the frats will adapt without much trouble.


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    Three women are facing prostitution charges after officers went undercover at a Southington motel and caught them soliciting sex while posing as potential clients, according to police.

    Brandy Milone, 24, of Waterbury; Lori Jo Gineo, 29, of Hartford; and Darlene Martino, 51, of Wolcott are accused of listing their sevices on backpage.com and meeting men at motels in Southington.

    An undercover officer arranged to meet them in motel rooms on Friday, Sept. 19, where they talked about exchanging money for sexual activities, according to police.

    In addition to prostitution, Gineo is charged with interfering with an officer and Martino is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.



    Photo Credit: Southington Police Department

    Brandy Milone, Lori Jo Gineo and Darlene Martino (left to right) are accused of engaging in prostitution at Southington motels and listing their services on backpage.com.Brandy Milone, Lori Jo Gineo and Darlene Martino (left to right) are accused of engaging in prostitution at Southington motels and listing their services on backpage.com.

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    The East Hartford man caught kidnapping and robbing a victim while impersonating a police detective has a criminal record, and police believe he may be responsible for five other recent incidents in Hartford.

    John O'Connor, 48, of East Hartford, was caught while robbing and kidnapping a victim in Hartford on Saturday morning. O'Connor told police he was glad he had been caught and admitted to impersonating an officer to support his drug habits, according to the incident report.

    According to the report, the victim was walking to work on Franklin Avenue in Hartford when O'Connor drove up to him, stopped him and asked for his identification. O'Connor then ordered the victim to get into his car and said he would drive him to his workplace.

    O'Connor was driving on Jefferson Street when officers pulled him over. "You got me; you got me," he said while being handcuffed, the report says. The victim was still in his car, but O'Connor did not have any police memborabilia with him.

    Police believe O'Connor may be connected to five other incidents in Hartford over the past week during which he approached people and identified himself as a detective.

    Court records show O'Connor has a lengthy record of impersonating an officer in other cities, including Meriden, New Haven and Bridgeport.

    "John O'Connor is not a police officer. He's been impersonating a cop for a long time. We're glad to have him off the street," said Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley. "We have reason to believe he may have been targeting immigrants who would fear coming forward to the police."

    According to police, O'Connor would take the victims' wallets while asking them to show their identification.

    During one incident, O'Connor allegedly kidnapped a 63-year-old who spoke only Spanish, then brought the victim to an ATM to withdraw money. In each case, O'Connor displayed a police badge hanging around his neck, according to police. 

    O'Connor is charged with second-degree kidnapping, third-degree robbery and impersonating a police officer in connection with Saturday's incident. He's being held on $250,000 bond.

    Police said O'Connor is a convicted felon wanted for probation and parole violations. Officers are investigating the previous incidents and said they expect to file additional charges.

    Police said he may be  unreported incidents in the area. Victims are urged to contact police.

    O'Connor is described as a white man in his 40s with short, dark hair. Police said he is clean-shaven and does not have an accent or any tattoos.

    Police ask anyone with information to contact Hartford police Sgt. Brandon O'Brien at 860-757-4089.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Corrections

    John O'Connor, 48, is accused of impersonating a police officer, then kidnapping and robbing a victim in Hartford. Police believe he may be responsible for five other similar incidents.John O'Connor, 48, is accused of impersonating a police officer, then kidnapping and robbing a victim in Hartford. Police believe he may be responsible for five other similar incidents.

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    A Middletown couple is facing animal cruelty charges after Animal Control officers found “severely malnourished” dogs at their home on Washington Street, according to police.

    Animal Control officers first received a report of animal abuse at the home on April 15, when a witness told authorities three dogs had been neglected and sent over a picture of a white pit bull with protruding bones, according to police.

    The next day, they received the report of a white pit bull roaming around the neighborhood. Investigators learned that Christopher James, 45, and Lori James, 44, owned the pit bull – named Ghost – and had turned it loose earlier that day.

    The couple also owned two other dogs: a teacup pit bull named Coco and shepherd-pit bull mix named Jade, according to police.

    Ghost’s original owner fell ill unexpectedly and could no longer care for the pit bull, who is deaf. When the owner was hospitalized, Ghost, who had previously gone by the name “Capone,” changed hands several times and ultimately ended up with the Jameses.

    Capone is now back with his original owner and is doing well, police said. Authorities have also found new homes for Coco and Jade.

    Police said none of the dogs have additional medical problems and have regained their strength since receiving proper meals.

    The Jameses were arrested Monday.

    Christopher James was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of failure to have current rabies vaccination and three counts of possessing an unlicensed dog.

    Lori James was charged with three counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of failure to vaccinate and three counts of failure to license.

    Both are due in court Oct. 1.

    Anyone who sees signs of animal neglect in Middletown is urged to call Animal Control at 860-638-4030.



    Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

    Christopher James and Lori James, of Middletown, are facing charges after neglecting three dogs at their home on Washington Street, according to police.Christopher James and Lori James, of Middletown, are facing charges after neglecting three dogs at their home on Washington Street, according to police.

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