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    The reward has grown to $12,000 for information about the young men believed to have shot dead an Iraqi man as he took photos of the falling snow last week, less than three weeks after he moved to Dallas from Iraq.

    Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, was with his wife and brother when he was fatally shot last week in an apparently random shooting in the parking lot of the Walnut Bend Apartments late Wednesday night.

    "I know someone in this community. Someone knows the identity of one or all four of those individuals, and they are going to come forward to us," said Dallas police Maj. Jeff Cotner.

    Alia Salem, executive director of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Monday that $7,000 has been raised to help in the investigation into the death of 36-year-old Ahmed Al-Jumaili.

    CrimeStoppers had previously announced a separate $5,000 reward, bringing the total to $12,000.

    "As North Texans, we cannot let this senseless violence go unanswered," said Salem.

    CAIR teamed up with the Murrell Foundation to raise the reward for information that leads to justice.

    "It is the responsibility of the citizens of this community to step forward and help stop violence in our community," said John Murrell.

    Tipsters can remain anonymous and should call 214-373-TIPS (8477) or Detective Montenegro with the Dallas Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 214-671-3624.

    Dallas police have released surveillance video that shows four people walking in the apartment complex where 36-year-old Ahmed Al-Jumaili was killed on March 5. Those four people could be involved in the killing, police said.

    Al-Jumaili and his wife and brother were taking pictures outside their apartment when police said a group of people began firing a gun at random, hitting Al-Jumaili in the chest.

    An ambulance brought Al-Jumaili to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he soon died.

    Al-Jumaili had moved to the United States just 20 days earlier to marry his wife, after working up to the move for more than a year, his father-in-law Mohammed Al Taae said.

    In Iraq, he had been a contractor for an Internet company in Baghdad and often worked with the U.S. Army and Air Force.

    Al Taae told NBC 5 he couldn't believe his new son-in-law had escaped ISIS and other dangers in Iraq, only to die in a random and senseless shooting in Dallas.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Dallas police say they hope surveillance video will help them find the people responsible for fatally shooting 36-year-old Iraqi immigrant Ahmed Al-Jumaili, who was taking pictures of his first snow. (March 9, 2015)Dallas police say they hope surveillance video will help them find the people responsible for fatally shooting 36-year-old Iraqi immigrant Ahmed Al-Jumaili, who was taking pictures of his first snow. (March 9, 2015)

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  • 03/09/15--17:07: Registrars Under Fire

  • Only in Connecticut will you find a registrar of voters nominated by each political party, in every city and town. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill believes this is part of the reason there have been problems in several recent elections and the system needs to change.

    On Monday, Merrill came to the state capital to ask legislators to move forward a bill calling for professionalizing all 169 registrars offices across the state.

    ”In the past few years election day problems court interventions long lines at the polls and numerous other breaches of the law have shocked the public, and rightly so," she said.

    Right now there are essentially two registrars in each of Connecticut’s169 municipalities. One gets nominated from each party. Some people have complained that these are patronage jobs and those who get them lack qualifications. What the Secretary of the State supports is that just one person gets appointed by leaders in each municipality and that they have certain qualifications, along with training they must take.

    Several dozen registrars disagree and took buses to the capital to make their case, including Republican Registrar of Voters Fred DeCaro of Greenwich.

    ”We have legislation that's been proposed that eliminates the balance that occurs in every town," he said. "And we think it's a real blow to the fairness of elections."

    This is a bit of a risky move for the secretary of the state, according to political insiders. Many of the registrars are powerful members of her own political party who could influence her nomination if she runs for reelection.


    FileFile

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    A man police say drunkenly drove the wrong way and crashed head-on into a Burleson woman's car Sunday, killing her and her two young sons and wounding her teen half-sister, has been arrested on murder charges.

    Ricardo Martinez, 53, of Fort Worth, had a blood alcohol content of .240, three times the legal limit, nearly three hours after the crash, Alvarado police say. He has two previous convictions for driving while intoxicated, one in Denton County and one in Tarrant County.

    Police said they obtained three arrest warrants for Martinez for the murders of Maranda Abshire, 22, and her sons Christopher Adrian Dominguez, 5, and Cruz Dominguez, 2. A fourth warrant was obtained for intoxication assault of Abshire's half-sister Lindsey Reynolds, 13, who survived the crash but was hurt.

    Martinez is in the hospital and in Alvarado police custody. Once he's discharged, he will be transferred to Johnson County Jail, police say.

    Wrong-Way Crash Kills Mother, Two Sons

    Maranda Abshire was driving along U.S. Highway 67 in Alvarado at about 1:30 a.m. with her two sons and her 13-year-old half-sister when a Toyota pickup traveling the wrong way on the highway hit their Ford Mustang head-on.

    Abshire and two sons were killed in the crash. Her family said Reynolds was treated at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth for injuries that were not life-threatening.

    Family members say Abshire worked at Chili's in Cleburne. She had just picked up her boys and her half-sister after work, and they planned to spend a few days of spring break at her Burleson home when the pickup truck slammed into their car.

    Alvarado police had already been alerted that there was a wrong-way driver on the road and were responding to that call when Abshire's car was hit.  Few details are available, but police say all four people in the Mustang were properly restrained with seat belts or car seats.

    Alcohol containers were found in Martinez's truck, police say.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Maranda Abshire, 22 and her sons, 2-year-old Cruz Dominguez and 5-year-old Christopher Adrian Dominguez, died in the crash according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.Maranda Abshire, 22 and her sons, 2-year-old Cruz Dominguez and 5-year-old Christopher Adrian Dominguez, died in the crash according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

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    A Shelton family is still looking for answers nearly a year after a 16-year-old was shot to death.

    Kristjan Ndoj would have been 16 this past September, and he and his family would have been looking forward to everything most 16-year-old boys do.

    “He would have been a junior in high school, he probably would have been starting his college search,” said Michael Boynton, the attorney for the Ndoj family.

    Instead, Boynton says the college letters that come into the Ndoj family's Shelton home are just a painful reminder of what they lost. On March 15, 2014, Kristjan Ndoj was shot while in the driveway of a friend's house on Agawam Trail. He died a few days later.

    Nearly a year later, his family still doesn't know who's responsible.

    “As you can imagine, this is a very, very heavy burden for them to have carried for the past year,” said Boynton.

    At the time, police scoured the area., recreated the scene and spoke to neighbors. They answered some questions, but they still need more information.

    “The family understands that evidence that police have tells them what happened, but it doesn't tell them who did it. It's very likely the only way the police are going to find who did it, is if someone who knows something comes forward. They're absolutely pleading for the public, if they have any information at all, to go to the police,” said Boynton.

    As an incentive, in July, the State offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the homicide. However, the Ndoj family is still waiting for answers.

    “I think they're not going to be able to have closure until the police are able to make an arrest and that person is brought to justice,” said Boynton.

    State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor says an investigator with his office is also investigating the case, along with Shelton and State Police.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Connecticut State Police.


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    An elderly woman was punched in the head and her car was stolen at Enfield Square Mall in Enfield as she left Macy's on Monday afternoon, according to police.

    Police said the incident happened around 2:15 p.m.

    When the woman reached the car, a man reached into it, punched her in the head, pulled her from the vehicle, then jumped in and drove off, police said. 

    A witness called police and an officer nearby spotted a car matching the description, so he followed it along back roads into Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where the suspected carjacker lost control of the car and crashed into a snowbank, police said.

    Enfield police took the man into custody, but Longmeadow, Massachusetts police will arrest him as a fugitive from justice to be later extradited back to Connecticut.

    The woman who was struck was is no in a condition to go to the police department and identify the man, police said.

    No additional information was immediately available.

    Check back for updates.


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    One person was killed in a crash on Interstate 691 eastbound in Cheshire early Monday evening, closing the highway in that area.

    I-691 is closed in that direction between exits 3 and 4 due to the fatal crash, according to state police.

    State police have not released information on how many vehicles or people are involved, but they said earlier there are serious injuries.

    There is no word on how long the road will be closed.



    Photo Credit: Record Journal

    One person was killed in a crash on Interstate 691 eastbound in Cheshire early Monday evening, closing the highway in that area.One person was killed in a crash on Interstate 691 eastbound in Cheshire early Monday evening, closing the highway in that area.

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    The mother of two missing New Jersey boys publicly pleaded for help finding her young sons after police say the boys' father abducted them. 

    Sandye Dohm has not seen or held 8-year-old Parker and 7-year-old Jaxon in over a month. Police said they were abducted in Hopatcong by her ex-husband Kristopher Dohm, who had shared custody.

    "I don't know where they are, but I know I want them to be returned as soon as possible," said Sandye Dohm in an emotional news conference Monday. 

    Parker is asthmatic, and his 36-year-old father is diabetic and relies on insulin. Sussex County prosecutors say the medical conditions have them concerned for the health and safety of the two boys. 

    Authorities said Kristopher Dohm's gray Nissan Pathfinder was last spotted in Maryland with stolen plates. They believe he was headed to Nevada and may have shaved his head and the boys' heads to alter their appearances (see video). 

    Parishioners at the church Jaxon and Parker attended vacation Bible school are praying for the boys, and over the weekend they used Legos -- the boys' favorite toy -- to build a house of hope. 

    "To think they disappeared, not knowing where they are, I can imagine this mother is tormented every night," said Ledgewood Baptist Church Rev. David Holwick. 

    In a message to her boys Monday, Sandye Dohm said: "Parker and Jaxon, I want you to know that I love and miss you, and I will never, ever stop looking for you, no matter what." 

    Anyone with information on their whereabouts should call the Hopatcong Police Department at (973) 398-5000 or the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center at (609) 963-6900 ext. 1.
     


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    Icing is a problem across the state this morning and state police have been calling crews from the state Department of Transportation to treat the roads in several areas.

    One problem area this morning is on the Merritt Parkway, where there is a rollover crash northbound in Stamford near exit 33. The right lane is closed after a car went over a guardrail and down an embankment.

    Another car went down an embankment on the Wilbur Cross Parkway northbound in Orange near exit 58. The right lane is closed and EMS is responding because of possible injuries.

    There is also a minor crash near exit 59 southbound near the West Rock Tunnell in New Haven.

    A crash earlier on Interstate 95 North on the Gold Star Bridge in New London has cleared, but the Department of Transportation is responding to treat icy conditions.

    For updates on traffic conditions through the morning, follow Heidi Voight on Twitter.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

    A crash earlier on the Gold Star Bridge has cleared, but the Department of Transportation is responding to treat ice in several areas.A crash earlier on the Gold Star Bridge has cleared, but the Department of Transportation is responding to treat ice in several areas.

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    A 29-year-old man is in the hospital with serious injuries after jumping from a balcony to get away from bounty hunters in West Haven, police said.

    Bail enforcement agents were trying to apprehend Antonio Myrick, 29, at 21 Ridge Court East around 11 a.m. on Monday because he failed to appear in court on several charges, police said.

    In an attempt to get away, Myrick tried to jump from a third floor balcony and fell to the ground, police said. He was transported to an area hospital to be treated for serious injuries.

    West Haven Police Detectives are investigating because of the serious injuries Myrick suffered.
     


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    A 17-year-old Stamford boy is in critical condition after an alleged drunken driven hit him with a minivan, dragged him and fled on Monday evening, according to police.

    Police said the crash happened at 5:23 a.m. when a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan traveling south on Willowbrook Avenue hit the teen who was riding his skateboard south on Willowbrook Avenue.

    The driver dragged the skateboarder until he was thrown from the board and onto the sidewalk of Willowbrook Avenue. Then the driver drove off until hitting a stone wall, then a tree, police said.

    The driver, identified as Ramon Martinez-Urbina, 28, of Stamford, and the passenger, who was identified as Alejandro Estrada, 20, of Stamford both ran after crashing the car, but two witnesses kept an eye on them until police arrived and identified the men, who were taken into custody close to the crash scene, police said.

    An ambulance transported the skateboarder to Stamford Hospital, where he is in the critical care unit.

    Martinez-Urban was charged with assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle, operating under the influence, felony evading responsibility and operating with a suspended driver’s license.

    He is being held on $500,000 and will be arraigned at Stamford Superior Court today.

    Estrada was charged with interference with police and is being held on $25,000 bond. He will be arraigned at Stamford Superior Court today.

    Police are asking witnesses to call Officers Jeffrey Booth or Hugh Mullin at 203-977-4712.
     



    Photo Credit: Stamford Police

    Ramon Martinez-Urbina, left, and Alejandro Estrada, right, are accused of hitting a Stamford teen and dragging him.Ramon Martinez-Urbina, left, and Alejandro Estrada, right, are accused of hitting a Stamford teen and dragging him.

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    Two people were seriously hurt when a small bus veered off the road, smashed through a stone wall and careened down an embankment near the George Washington Bridge in New York City Tuesday morning, fire officials say.

    The bus was heading on a ramp connecting the Henry Hudson Parkway to the bridge on Manhattan's west side when it slid down the embankment north of Fort Washington Park, authorities say. 

    The FDNY says two people were hurt in the crash. Their injuries were considered serious, but were not believed to be life-threatening, the department said. Chopper 4 captured two people who appeared to be adults being secured on stretchers, and the FDNY said they were the only two aboard.

    Aerial footage showed the bus sitting upright in a small wooded area as about a dozen firefighters picked their way around the snow and branches. Above, yellow caution tape cordoned off a stone wall that appeared to be destroyed.  

    The entire front of the white bus was crumpled from some type of impact, though it wasn't clear if the damage was caused by the barrier or a tree. Brooklyn Transportation Corporation was written on the side of the vehicle; reached by phone, the company said it had no information at this time. 

    It's not clear what caused the crash. No other vehicles appeared to be involved.

    Traffic backed up to the Henry Hudson Bridge. 

    -Jen Maxfield contributed to this report



    Photo Credit: NYPD

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    A teacup chihuahua being nursed back to health after she was found abandoned at the Danbury Fair Mall on Saturday is available for adoption.

    The 3-pound dog, Pickles, as staff at New Fairfield-Sherman Animal Welfare has named her, was found shivering and starving in a box left outside the mall. Her body was broken and she has so much dental damage that it is difficult for staff to estimate her age.

    "I pulled out the blanket to see what she looked like, and she was a mess," Meg Rhodes, shelter manager, said. "...I just saw this poor little thing that was so hurt. We didn't know. She wasn't barking, she wasn't doing anything; she was very lethargic."

    In a couple days,  the teacup chihuahua has already captured the hearts of her caretakers.

    "She's just such a little precious thing. She's helpless as most animals are. They can't fend for themselves,"  Agi Pace, shelter president, said.

    Pickles has a long road of multiple surgeries ahead of her.

    "She needs to have dental surgery, she needs to have surgery on her front feet, she has a couple different fractures in her hind legs and fractures in her tail," Rhodes said. "Both of them might have to be amputated."

    But with the hope of help and an eventual home, this is one brave little underdog you don't want to bet against.

    "Thankfully we got one that we can really help, and she will be adoptable," Rhodes said.

    Whoever adopts her will probably have to wait a few months before she is healthy enough to hold, but you can visit the shelter's website, www.nfsaw.org,  for information on adopting Pickles.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A teacup chihuahua being nursed back to health after she was found abandoned at the Danbury Fair Mall Saturday is available for adoption.A teacup chihuahua being nursed back to health after she was found abandoned at the Danbury Fair Mall Saturday is available for adoption.

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    Burger King is no longer promoting soft drinks on its kids' meal menus.

    "We have removed fountain drinks from our kids' menu boards and they are no longer merchandised as part of kids' meals," the company said in an emailed statement to NBC.

    The company will instead suggest the meals be accompanied with 100% apple juice, fat-free milk, or low fat chocolate milk.

    The menu change does not completely prevent customers from getting sodas with the meals. Customers will still be able to request for a soft drink to accompany kids' meals, the company said.

    Advocacy groups like MomsRising.org had been pressuring Burger King and other food chains to make the change. 

    "Parents and families across the country are applauding as one by one, restaurants are listening to parents and public health experts and starting to do their part to help keep America’s kids healthy,” MomsRising.org director Monifa Bandale said in a statement.

    Competitors McDonald's and Wendy’s have announced similar menu changes. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 21:  A Burger King Whopper Jr. meal sits on a tray at a Burger King restaurant August 21, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Burger King, the second largest hamburger chain in the U.S., surprised Wall Street today with better than excected quarterly earnings. The company reported a surge in net income with earnings of $51 million, or 37 cents per share compared to $36 million, or 26 cents per share one year ago.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 21: A Burger King Whopper Jr. meal sits on a tray at a Burger King restaurant August 21, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Burger King, the second largest hamburger chain in the U.S., surprised Wall Street today with better than excected quarterly earnings. The company reported a surge in net income with earnings of $51 million, or 37 cents per share compared to $36 million, or 26 cents per share one year ago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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    Seven people got out of a burning home in Danbury this morning when a fire spread from a camper to the house on Hilltop Manor.

    The fire was reported at 1:03 a.m. and was contained to two rooms, but the residents will be out of the house for a couple days and the Red Cross is assisting the residents.

    Snow and ice slowed firefighters’ efforts for a bit.

    "The fire was moving quite quickly when we got here. A couple propane tanks exploded. We had one crew hitting the exterior fire where the camper was. Another crew went inside and contained the fire to one end of the house," Danbury Deputy Fire Chief Bernie Meehan said.


     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Several people were safely able to get out of a burning home in Danbury this morning.Several people were safely able to get out of a burning home in Danbury this morning.

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    A vintage airplane piloted by "Star Wars" actor Harrison Ford lost engine power after takeoff, leading to a forced landing last week on a Southern California golf course, according to a preliminary report issued Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

    The report confirms previous accounts of Thursday's crash landing at Penmar Golf Club that left the 72-year-old Ford hospitalized. Details regarding why the single-engine World War II vintage plane lost power after taking off from Santa Monica Municipal Airport were not included in the preliminary report.

    A final report could take months to complete.

    The pilot of the Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, registered to MG Aviation Inc., reported engine failure after takeoff and turned back toward the airport, according to the NTSB.

    "The airplane subsequently struck the top of a tall tree prior to impacting the ground in an open area of a golf course, about 800 feet southwest of the approach end of runway 3," the NTSB said in a statement Tuesday.

    Ford's injuries were non-life threatening, his publicist said.

    Ford received his pilot's license in the 1990s. In 2001, he rescued a missing Boy Scout with his helicopter. Nearly a year before, he rescued an ailing mountain climber in Jackson, Wyoming. In 2000 in Lincoln, Nebraska, a gust of wind sent a six-seat plane Ford was piloting off the runway. He and his passenger were not injured.



    Photo Credit: Toni Guinyard

    Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board on Friday, March 6, combed over the site where Harrison Ford crash-landed a small plane.Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board on Friday, March 6, combed over the site where Harrison Ford crash-landed a small plane.

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    Three people and two dogs escaped a burning Hamden home on their own this morning, thanks to working smoke detectors, according to the fire department.

    When firefighters responded to the home on Harrison Drive around 4 a.m., the residents and their pets were already out.

    Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca said the house has working smoke detectors, which alerted the residents, who made it out safely.

    "The detector did wake up the occupants, they did smell smoke. They did the right thing; they got out of the house," explained Berardesca.

    Fire quickly consumed the home, burning massive holes into the attic and walls. It took firefighters around half an hour to get the blaze under control.

    The fire started it the basement. While the investigation is underway, fire officials believe it started in the furnace.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the family.



    Photo Credit: Kevin Shields

    Fire broke out at a Hamden home this morning.Fire broke out at a Hamden home this morning.

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    The treasurer of the Stamford Historical Society admitted to police that while he planned on investing $20,100 he withdrew from organization accounts in an effort make the historical society more money, he actually spent the cash, police said.

    Donald Huppert, 72, of Stamford, turned himself into police on a warrant Monday and is accused of embezzling funds.

    The accountant preparing the historical society's 2014 tax statement noticed multiple suspicious withdrawals from the organization's checking account, police said. Huppert is the only person in the historical society who can distribute checks as treasurer, according to police.

    Once notified, the historical society's board of directors launched an internal investigation and found that $20,100 was withdrawn in cash from the account between August 2013 and December 2014, police said. Those transactions were unauthorized.

    When the board confronted Huppert about it, he said that he was planning on investing "the money in his personal financial accounts to get a better return on the money," police said in a news release. Huppert didn't have authorization to withdraw money for anything other than historical society bills and expenses, police said.

    Stamford Police Department's Property Crimes Division launched an investigation on Friday after the board reported the unauthorized withdrawals to authorities. Police seized Huppert's bank account.

    Huppert told police in a statement that he planned on investing the money he withdrew, but admitted that he instead spent the cash. Police didn't say what he spent the money on.

    Police charged Huppert on Monday with first-degree larceny and he was issued a written promise to appear in court on March 23.



    Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

    Donald Huppert, 72, of Stamford, turned himself into police on a warrant Monday and was arrested on a larceny charge. He's accused of embezzling from the Stamford Historical Society while treasurer.Donald Huppert, 72, of Stamford, turned himself into police on a warrant Monday and was arrested on a larceny charge. He's accused of embezzling from the Stamford Historical Society while treasurer.

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    Firefighters responded to Sprucewood Apartments in Rocky Hill after a carport collapsed.

    The apartments are located at 101-516 Meyers Drive.

    No injuries are reported. Firefighters have left the scene.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Firefighters responded to Sprucewood Apartments in Rocky Hill after a carport collapsed.Firefighters responded to Sprucewood Apartments in Rocky Hill after a carport collapsed.

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    Meriden police are investigating a burglary at the city's health department building.

    The Meriden Health and Human Services Department at 165 Miller Street was burglarized shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday, police said.

    Police remained on scene until about 1:30 p.m. that day.

    Meriden detectives are handling the investigation and the police department declined to comment further at this time.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police arrested a New Britain man Tuesday who is accused of sexually assaulting a pre-teen victim in a Vernon home.

    Heriberto Gomez, 30, who also goes by the name "Pupiro," is facing 10 counts of first-degree sexual assault and 10 counts of illegal sexual contact with a victim under 16. He is suspected of sexually abusing a child in a Vernon residence when the victim was about 11 or 12, police said.

    Connecticut's Department of Children and Families reported the sex abuse case to authorities, police said.

    Police arrested Gomez on a warrant procured at Rockville Superior Court following an investigation done with the assistance of New Britain police.

    Gomez was arraigned in Rockville Superior Court on Tuesday morning. The court set his bond at $100,000. 

    He is a convicted felon, who used to live in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Hartford, and remains in the custody of the Department of Corrections on several pending New Britain charges for other arrests in the city, police said.



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

    Vernon PoliceVernon Police

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