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    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said in a Tuesday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that a controversial bill he signed into law last week is not a "license to discriminate."

    "I abhor discrimination," he wrote. "I believe in the Golden Rule that you should ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore."

    "As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it," he continued.

    His published remarks are an attempt to quell the firestorm that's brewed since he affixed his signature to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act last Thursday. The measure prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

    Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws, and critics of the law maintain it could allow some businesses to refuse providing service or selling goods to some people based on religious grounds.

    That's sparked outrage from many in Indiana's business community and others with ties -- established and planned -- to the Hoosier state. The public-employee union known as AFSCME announced Monday it was canceling a planned women's conference in Indianapolis this year because of the law. The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an open letter to Indiana corporations saying Virginia is a business-friendly state that does "not discriminate against our friends and neighbors," while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to more than a dozen Indiana businesses, urging them to relocate to a "welcoming place to people of all races, faiths and countries of origin."

    Republican legislative leaders said they are working on adding language to the law to make it clear it does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

    In a separate editorial with a clear message, Indiana's largest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, stressed urgency: "Fix this now."



    Photo Credit: AP

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 26, 2015.Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 26, 2015.

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    Indiana’s new religious freedom law provoked fierce reaction from both sides — critics who believe it provides a poorly disguised excuse to discriminate against gays and lesbians and supporters who say it protects religious beliefs.

    Gov. Mike Pence signed the law last week and but the backlash was so widespread that on Tuesday he called for additional legislation this week to clarify that the law was not a license to discriminate.  He continued to insist that the bill had been mischaracterized and did not permit the denial of services to anyone, including gays and lesbians.

    "Heavens no," he said, when he asked whether he expected the reaction.

    The federal government and 20 other states have similar religious protection laws but some legal experts say the Indiana law broadened who could claim a religious burden and under what circumstances. Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws.

    Here’s a look at who has been speaking out about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Those Speaking Out Against the Law

    The head of the NCAA told NBC News on Monday that he was "deeply concerned" about the Indiana law. Indianapolis hosts the Final Four in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's men's basketball tournament on Saturday.

    The chief executives of nine major Indiana-based companies wrote to Pence on Monday saying they were worried about their own employees and the reputation of Indiana. Among the companies: Angie’s List, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Eli Lilly and Co. and Roche Diagnostics.

    Salesforce, the cloud computing company, said it was canceling all company travel to Indiana and in a Washington Post op-ed, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is gay, called the new wave of legislation dangerous.

    The Indiana Chamber of Commerce called the law unnecessary.

    AFSCME, the country’s largest public-employee union, said it would move a planned women's conference out of Indianapolis this year because of the law.

    Among politicians, Hillary Clinton, widely expected to run for the Democratic 2016 presidential nomination, tweeted: "Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today."

    Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut signed an executive order banning state-backed travel to Indiana, and called the law “disturbing, disgraceful, and outright discriminatory.” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the mayors of San Francisco and Seattle also restricted government-sponsored travel to the state.

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, told Fusion that Pence was on the wrong side of history.

    Entertainers also took stands against the law.

    The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance.

    "Parks and Recreation" star Nick Offerman canceled a comedy show in Indianapolis in May, citing the new law. But he said he would go forward with a show Wednesday at Indiana University and donate the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign.

    Supporting Indiana's Law

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said Pence was protecting religious liberty. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is weighing a run for the Republican nomination for the presidency, said on Fox News that he thought people should be allowed to live out their religious faith.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another likely Republican candidate, said the law would allow people of faith to express their beliefs. Speaking on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, he said that once the facts were established, he thought people would see that the law was not discriminatory.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act caused a sharp divide between those who say the bill protects religious freedoms and those who say the legislation authorizes discrimination against gays and lesbians.Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act caused a sharp divide between those who say the bill protects religious freedoms and those who say the legislation authorizes discrimination against gays and lesbians.

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    Family and friends will gather on Tuesday to honor and mourn Jose Araujo, who was killed at a construction site last week.

    Last week, 33-year-old Gregory Weathers asked for a job at a construction site where Araujo was working. According to police, Weathers left when the foreman directed him to the company office, then came back shooting.

    Bridgeport residents gathered on Monday, with candles brightening a small corner of Pond Street and Chopsey Hill Road.

    Today, calling hours will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Parente-Lauro Funeral Home in Bridgeport at 559 Washington Avenue in Bridgeport and the funeral will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Augustine Cathedral at 359 Washington Avenue.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for funeral costs and help Araujo's 5-year-old son.


    Community members gathered to remember Jose Araujo, 30, who was gunned down last week while working at a Bridgeport construction site.Community members gathered to remember Jose Araujo, 30, who was gunned down last week while working at a Bridgeport construction site.

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    If you think your commute is bad, there are statistics to back up what you already know.

    Hartford is one of the most congested cities in the United States, according to a new survey, and the amount of time you spend stuck in traffic each year amounts to more than two full days.

    The company TomTom conducted the study and Hartford came in 38th.

    In 2014, traffic congestion in Hartford increased 2 percent. The most congested day in 2014 was Jan. 2 and the best weekly commute during peak period is on Friday morning and Monday evening, The worst weekly commute during peak period is on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and on Friday evening.

    The delay per year with a 30-minute commute is 59 hours.

    The worst five U.S. cities for traffic are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, New York and Seattle.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

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    Amid March Madness and a day after banning state-funded and sponsored travel to Indiana, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is calling for the NCAA to either move out of Indiana or for the state of Indiana to change its new controversial religious freedom law, which is under fire for its potential discrimination against gay individuals and other groups.

    "This law is going to have to be changed in Indiana or the NCAA is going to have to leave Indiana. Period," Malloy told NBC Connecticut. "You cannot be the epicenter of collegiate sports where we all know that gay men and gay women are participating alongside straight men and straight women. You cannot be the epicenter of that and be in a state that will discriminate against those individuals."

    The NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Malloy made the comment on Tuesday when asked if he had a stance on whether UConn men's coach Kevin Ollie should go to Indianapolis for a coaching convention this week in light of the ban on state funding for travel to Indiana.

    The Indiana measure, which Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed last week, prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

    Ollie is slated to make a decision on Tuesday about whether or not he will go to the coaching convention in Indianapolis.

    "Well, hopefully they're not using state dollars," Malloy said when asked if Ollie should go given the ban. "....Listen, he's a great coach and he's got to do what he needs to do to do that. It's probably at least currently covered under an exclusion that we put in the order. He may be contractually bound, we're contractually bound to the NCAA. The NCAA's going to have to move out of Indiana if Indiana doesn't right this."

    The UConn women are heading to the Final Four in Tampa, Florida, but next year's women's tournament will be in Indiana and the men's Final Four is in Indianapolis this weekend. Malloy and UConn Athletic Director Warde Manuel both said they hope the NCAA moves the tournament next year.

    Malloy's executive order directs all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions, UConn and the Board of Regents to immediately review all requests for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to states that "create the grounds for such discrimination." Such travel would be barred unless it's necessary to enforce state law, meet contractual obligations or protect public health. In signing the order, Malloy is standing against any discrimination against Connecticut citizens in or out of state. The order doesn't ban travel to Indiana period, but bars using taxpayer dollars to pay for the travel there.

    "I think everybody knows how I feel. I don't want to be governor in a country where other states can discriminate against our citizens," Malloy said."We recognize the rights of people to be married, we have many laws in our state that say you cannot discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation. I want to make sure that those individuals' rights from Connecticut are being protected in every state. All 50 states."

    Gov. Pence on Tuesday said the bill has been "grossly mischaracterized" and subjected to "shoddy reporting," but he and legislators have been working around the clock to draft new legislation to clarify its intent.

    However, Malloy said he'd prefer the legislation be repealed.

    As for the Huskies, Malloy said, "they make us proud" and that he may go to the NCAA finals.

    "And they make us proud even as members of the NCAA, which is currently housed in Indiana and either Indiana rights this or the NCAA should move out," Malloy said.

    Socially conservative groups accused Malloy of not understanding that Connecticut also has a freedom of religion statute, similar to what was enacted in Indiana. But Malloy stressed that Connecticut law does not allow religion to be an excuse for discrimination.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Connecticut's governor is blasting the governor of Indiana for signing the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, calling it discriminatory against the gay community and asking for its repeal.

    The Indiana measure, which Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed last week, prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

    Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday that the law is covering "outright bigotry" in Indiana.

    "The reality is, the governor is not a stupid man, but he’s done stupid things. And signing this law and, quite frankly, promoting this law, knowing exactly what it was going to do, was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do," Malloy told MSNBC. "But even there, if you get the picture from who was around him when he signed this bill, there were three homophobic men standing alongside the governor. One of them who equated being gay with bestiality. That’s who he invited to the signing ceremony. He knew exactly what he was doing, and when you see a bigot you have to call him on it."

    "When it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it is a duck. And they knew what they were doing. What they were doing was making it legal for people who were deciding they weren’t going to serve gay men and women," he added.

    Socially conservative groups accused Malloy of not understanding that Connecticut also has a freedom of religion statute, similar to what was enacted in Indiana. But Malloy stressed that Connecticut law does not allow religion to be a basis for discrimination.

    When pressed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday about other states like Connecticut with similar laws based off a 1993 federal law, Malloy countered that they are very different. Connecticut has "outlawed" discrimination based on someone's sexual orientation since 1991 despite the 1993 law and the state also frowns upon any discrimination against individuals in the transgender community, Malloy told MSNBC.

    "The law that you would reference in Connecticut was passed in 1993. It does not give an individual a right. It does not say to a company that you can discriminate, that you can refuse to serve someone, that you can refuse to allow them into your business," Malloy told MSNBC. "This law in Indiana was promoted to do just that."

    As the Final Four approaches in the NCAA basketball tournament, Malloy is also calling for the NCAA, headquartered in Indianapolis, to move out unless the legislation is changed. He also said Indiana is a base for many fraternities in the country and urged those organizations to move out of state if the law remains, he told MSNBC.

    He further added that Indiana has an Army base.

    “A member of the army could be gay, and they go into a coffee shop under this law and someone says because you’re gay, even though you’re wearing the uniform of the United States, I am not going to serve you," Malloy told MSNBC. "That was the intent of the law, they knew what they were doing, and someone has to call them on it.”

    Pence on during a news conference on Tuesday that the bill he signed into law week has been "grossly mischaracterized" and subjected to "shoddy reporting," but said he and legislators have been working around the clock to draft new legislation to clarify its intent.

    “If Indiana wants to make this right with the rest of the world, they need to pass laws in that state that say you cannot discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation," Malloy told MSNBC.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Connecticut's governor is blasting the governor of Indiana for the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act and calling for its repeal.Connecticut's governor is blasting the governor of Indiana for the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act and calling for its repeal.

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     Police have searched a Monroe home and seized computer equipment, as well as bank account statements, as they investigate the possible embezzlement of more than $10,000 from a parent teacher organization.

    Authorities started investigating on March 18 when they received a complaint from administrators in the Monroe School District and members of the Stepney Elementary School PTO who reported discrepancies in the PTO bank accounts.

    The bank statements school officials and PTO members turned over to Monroe Police detectives indicated personal and non-PTO withdrawals, police said.

    Police said they have identified a “responsible person,” but have not released the person’s name.

    Armed with a search and seizure warrant, police went to a home in Monroe and seized personal computer equipment and banking statements related to the PTO accounts, police said.

    More search and seizure warrants were served at a bank for bank records and an audit will be conducted.

    PTO members are questioning more than $10,000 in expenditures, but police have not determined how much might have been misappropriated.

    Monroe Police Detectives said they are investigating “suspicious transactions” to determine whether there was embezzlement or whether the transactions were legitimate PTO business. The forensic audit is expected to take several months to complete.


    Police have searched a Monroe home and seized computer equipment, as well as bank account statements, as they investigate the possible embezzlement of more than $10,000 from a parent teacher organization.Police have searched a Monroe home and seized computer equipment, as well as bank account statements, as they investigate the possible embezzlement of more than $10,000 from a parent teacher organization.

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    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday said a bill he signed into law week has been "grossly mischaracterized" and subjected to "shoddy reporting," but said he and legislators have been working around the clock to draft new legislation to clarify its intent.

    "We've got a perception problem here ... and we intend to correct that," Pence told reporters during a morning press conference from Indianapolis.

    The Republican reiterated earlier comments that the intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was not to discriminate but to protect religious freedom. The measure prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

    Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws, and critics of the law alleged it could provide some businesses the opportunity to refuse providing services or selling goods to some people based on religious grounds.

    Pence said he found that claim "offensive," and called upon the state's General Assembly to address the issue.

    "This law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone," he said. "The intent of the law was to give the courts in our state the highest level of scrutiny in cases where people feel that their religious liberty is being infringed upon by government action."

    His comments Tuesday were a follow-up to an op-ed piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal that the law was not a "license to discriminate."

    "I abhor discrimination," he wrote. "I believe in the Golden Rule that you should ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    The law sparked outrage from many in Indiana's business community and others with ties -- established and planned -- to the Hoosier state. The public-employee union known as AFSCME announced Monday it was canceling a planned women's conference in Indianapolis this year because of the law. The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an open letter to Indiana corporations saying Virginia is a business-friendly state that does "not discriminate against our friends and neighbors," while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to more than a dozen Indiana businesses, urging them to relocate to a "welcoming place to people of all races, faiths and countries of origin."

    In a separate editorial with a clear message, Indiana's largest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, stressed urgency: "Fix this now."


    Photo Credit: Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) holds a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats.Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) holds a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats.

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     Three people suspected of being involved in a high-profile gang running a major drug cartel in the Springfield, Massachusetts area were apprehended at a Windsor Locks motel over the weekend.

    Police made the arrests around 11 p.m. on Saturday after obtaining information that three people on a fugitive task force most wanted list were in Windsor Locks and planning to flee to New York or Florida to avoid arrest, police said.

    The three suspects, Lemanuel Delvalle-Encarnacion, 25, Eduardo Delvalle-Encarnacion, 23, and Edwin Cirino, 35, all of Springfield, Massachusetts, are part of a high-profile gang running a major drug cartel responsible for distributing cocaine and heroin in Springfield and throughout the region, police said.

    Police found them at the Econo-Lodge on Old Country Road, Windsor Locks and apprehended them.

    Delvalle-Encarnacion, Delvalle-Encarnacion and Cirino were held at Windsor Locks headquarters on $900,000 bond.

    They will be arraigned at Enfield Superior Court, GA-13, where they will face fugitive from justice charges and awaiting extradition to Massachusetts.



    Photo Credit: Windsor Locks Police

    Three fugitives wanted in Massachusetts were taken into custody at a Connecticut motel.Three fugitives wanted in Massachusetts were taken into custody at a Connecticut motel.

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    Three people are facing charges in connection with a rash of burglaries during which police say they stole construction materials and tools from homes and cars in Norwalk.

    Wilmer Arias, 37, of Norwalk was arrested Monday. His alleged accomplices, Elvin Natalio Ramos-Telles and Alberto Silva-Garcia, were arrested March 20 and March 19, respectively, online court records show.

    Police said the trio is accused of breaking into cars around the city and homes under construction in January and February and stealing tools and equipment. 

    Investigators recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen power tools and returned the items to their respective owners, according to police.

    All three have been charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit both, court records show.



    Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

    Norwalk police recovered thousands of dollars in stolen power tools.Norwalk police recovered thousands of dollars in stolen power tools.

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    Interstate 95 northbound was shut down briefly in the area of exit 34 in Milford, but traffic is now getting by, according to the state Department of Transportation.

    Authorities are responding to a crash on the highway. Footage from the scene shows a fire truck and other emergency vehicles pulled over on to the left shoulder.

    There has been no word on injuries.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

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    A man is dead and three others are hospitalized after a fiery crash on Garden Street near the Mather Street intersection.

    Police said a Hyundai and a Dodge collided on Mather Street around 5 a.m. and one or both hit a utility box, which might have contributed to the fire that burned both vehicles.

    Robin Jackson, of Hartford, said he witnessed the crash and tried to save as many people as he could by pulling several people from one car as flames spread.

    Police believe three people were in one car and one was in the other. One person who was inside the Dodge was pronounced dead at the scene.

    "The victim was trapped inside and pronounced dead on scene," Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said. 

    Another passenger was transported to Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford in critical condition. Two others were also taken to Saint Francis Hospital.

    Police have not identified the person who died or the other three hospitalized, but said that the person pronounced dead on scene was an adult male.

    The road was closed from Mather Street to Albany Avenue through most of the day, but it has since reopened.

    An accident reconstruction team and major crimes division investigators responded to the scene and are using video gathered nearby to determine what happened.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are investigating after a crash in Hartford this morning.Police are investigating after a crash in Hartford this morning.

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    Already sharpening No. 2 pencils and flipping through those flashcards in anticipation of Advanced Placement exam season? You're not alone.

    More than 1.4 million public school students took AP exams last year, a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year, according to figured released by the College Board. While the figures for public school population for 11th and 12th graders was not readily available, the College Board reports that roughly 3 million students graduated in 2013.

    With the increase in participation came an uptick in students passing the exams, which cover subjects like physics, foreign languages and U.S. history. The success of the nation’s 11th and 12th grade public school students has doubled in the past decade, from 7.6 percent in 2004 to 13.2 percent in 2014, according to the College Board.

    About 400,000 minority students took the exams last year, a 7 percent increase for a group that was historically underrepresented in the demographic breakdown of text-takers. Hispanic students are now participating in the AP program at almost the same rate as the nation overall — 19.1 percent of Hispanic students took an AP Exam in 2014, compared to a nationwide figure of 21.9 percent. 

    Despite those gains, gaps are still evident for other minority groups. Only 12.9 percent of African American and 12 percent of Native American 11th and 12th grade public high school students took an AP test in May 2014, according to the College Board.

    College Board also reported a rise in participation among low-income students. About 350,000 low-income students took an AP exam last year, a 7.3 percent rise. The number of students that use fee reductions in order to take AP exams has climbed as well, doubling from 2004 from 11.8 to 24 percent.

    For 2014, Washington D.C. topped the charts for participation with 38.6 percent of students who took the AP exam. North Dakota came in last with only 8.1 percent. However, when it came to actually passing the exam, Maryland was the winner with 22 percent of their students gaining the college credit, while Mississippi was at the bottom of the list with only 3.2 percent of students passing. Overall, 15 states exceeded the national average of 13.2 percent.

    A lot rides on a passing grade on an AP exam. A student who receives a passing grade may not have to take the same class in college, which can save money as college tuitions continue to rise.

    On average, a student who passes two AP exams saves $1,779 at a public college and more than $6,000 at a private school, according to the 2013 College Board report “Trends in College pricing.” In order to pass an AP exam, a student has to score at least a 3 out of 5.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    Chicago resident Tony Marengo says he is used to seeing vehicles get towed out of the Walgreen’s parking lot across from his River North apartment at Clark and Ontario – but never with a driver still behind the wheel of the car.

    Marengo said he was at home around 8:30 p.m. Sunday when he heard loud yelling from outside. When he went to the window, he saw a tow truck traveling with a white jeep on the back.

    Seems normal, but soon he noticed the yelling was coming from inside of the car being towed – the driver was still inside.

    “We could hear the guy in the driver’s seat of the car yelling out of the window,” Marengo said.

    “He was like, ‘Hey! Hey! Hey, buddy!’” he said of the frantic driver trying to get the tow truck operator’s attention.

    Marengo says it was then that the tow truck finally pulled over to the side of the road. And once he did, he was the one in for the surprise – as the man behind the Jeep put his car in drive and sped off.

    “It was crazy,” said Marengo, who is CEO and President of Chicago-based Company The MacTutor, Inc. “Then he was just sitting there, I imagine calling a supervisor or something.”

    Marengo captured the whole ordeal on his phone and uploaded the video to his YouTube account. It has garnered nearly 10,000 views in less than 24 hours.


    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

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    A California man accused of using a razor blade to carve his name onto his girlfriend's chest was arraigned Monday on kidnapping and domestic battery charges, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

    Sergio Joaquin Mendoza, 25, was arrested after allegedly abusing the woman on numerous occasions between March 17 and 20, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

    The DA's office had first reported Mendoza was 39 years old but corrected his age to 25.

    The Santa Ana man was charged with a felony count of kidnapping, a felony count of criminal threats, two felony counts of domestic battery with corporal injury, and a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a deadly weapon, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.

    Mendoza allegedly got into multiple verbal fights with the victim and punched her on several occasions, prosecutors said. He is also accused of making her sit in his car while he was at work under the threat of violence.

    On March 22, he allegedly tried to stop her from leaving a relative's house where he was staying, only allowing it on the condition she let him carve his name on her body, the DA's office said. Mendoza then used a razor blade to cut his first name on onto her chest, according to prosecutors. 

    That evening he allegedly forced her into his vehicle, then drove around Santa Ana while threatening to hurt her if she tried to leave, according to the district attorney's office. The next day, he allegedly punched her on the head, attempted to strangle her and head-butted her in the face, prosecutors claim.

    Eventually, she managed to escape, with an employee calling police after she ran into a local business. Mendoza was arrested March 26, prosecutors said.

    Mendoza is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on April 8. He faces a maximum sentence of 11 years and eight months in state prison if convicted.

    It was not immediately clear whether he obtained an attorney.


    Sergio Joaquin Mendoza, 25, was arrested March 26, 2015, for allegedly abusing his girlfriend, prosecutors said.Sergio Joaquin Mendoza, 25, was arrested March 26, 2015, for allegedly abusing his girlfriend, prosecutors said.

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    Thirteen women are facing prostitution charges and another was charged with possession of narcotics after a city-wide undercover sting operation.

    An undercover detective would pretend to be a "John" in order to nab prostitution suspects, police said. The investigation stems from multiple complaints from citizens about street-level prostitution in the capitol city.

    Police arrested Gianna Rames, 28, Tina Pratt, 27, Lissette Leon, 39, Patricia Nelson, 31, Keelin Erickson, 52, Sharon Maddox, 48, Linda Coleman, 51, Heather Clark, 28, Nelly Sanchez, 35, Deborah Smith, 52, Zenaida Falcon, 46, Carmen Cruz, 44, and Darlene Coarts, 49, all from Hartford, on prostitution charges on Monday.

    Another woman was charged with possession of narcotics. Police did not release her name.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police are investigating after someone stripped four tires from a car parked at a high-end car dealership in East Winsdor the same day a loaded gun was found on the property.

    Police said a car for sale at North Bay Imports at 81C South Main Street had its tires taken off and stolen Saturday. Later that day, a fully loaded 9mm Kel-Tec gun turned up toward the back of the property in a plastic shopping bag.

    Authorities are investigating to determine whether the incidents are connected.

    "With the warmer weather arriving soon we tend to see a rise in thefts such as these as well as thefts from unlocked vehicles," the East Windsor Police Department posted on Facebook. "Please be aware of your surroundings and call the police department to report suspicious activity."



    Photo Credit: East Windsor Police Department

    Police are investigating after a loaded handgun was found on the property of an East Windsor car dealership the same day someone stole tires off a car for sale.Police are investigating after a loaded handgun was found on the property of an East Windsor car dealership the same day someone stole tires off a car for sale.

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    East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc is calling on state officials to extend the new CTfastrak busway east of the river.

    Leclerc proposed "Fastrak East" after joining the governor and other state leaders for the busway's inaugural ride on Friday, the day before it opened to public.

    The extension would bring CTfastrak service to East Hartford, Manchester and, ultimately, the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs, according to a news release from Leclerc's office.

    "Fastrak East would bolster job access not only for our residents, but also for those students and workers who reside and work east of the river," Leclerc said in a statement Tuesday. "With a modest investment of $100 million, the next phase can be completed and extend the program to tens of thousands of employees that work in this region."

    Although the current busway was specially built for bus traffic only, Fastrak East would use pre-existing HOV lanes. Leclerc said the service would benefit 40,000 employees east of the Connecticut River, including those at Pratt & Whitney and Goodwin College.

    "Connecting those two portions of the region, from New Britain to Manchester, reflects unity and solidifies the connection of our citizens to businesses that are the backbone of our economy," Leclerc stated. "Not only will Fastrak East provide easier access to tens of thousands of jobs in the area, but it will provide East Hartford with a rapid transportation system that will spur economic growth for the future."

    The mayor's office said Fastrak East is included in Malloy's five-year transportation plan, but no date has been set for the start of construction.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The NYPD says the Civilian Complaint Review Board has taken over the investigation into a video that appears to show a police officer verbally abusing an Uber driver in an at-times xenophobic roadside tirade in the West Village Monday.

    Police confirmed late Tuesday afternoon that the plain-clothed man seen screaming in the now viral video is a member of the NYPD, but they did not identify him. A spokesman said the department is "aware of the incident and video and it is under review."

    The NYPD later said that the CCRB, an independent city agency with subpoena power, has taken over the investigation. 

    The video was posted to YouTube by Sanjay Seth, one of the passengers in the Uber car. According to Seth's YouTube post, his Uber driver honked his car horn at the officer later seen screaming in the video because the officer was trying to park on a Sixth Precinct street in the middle of the afternoon without using any blinkers or hazard lights, and the Uber driver's path to a green light was blocked.

    The officer, seen wearing a green tie and blue shirt at points in the passenger video, got out of his unmarked car, which had flashing blue and red lights on the dashboard, and flagged down the Uber driver.

    The three-minute video begins as the officer approaches the Uber driver's window and starts yelling at the driver, raising his voice over the Uber driver's muted apologies and efforts to interject.

    "Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, 'For what, sir,'" the officer is heard saying in the video as he curses. "Stop it with that ... and realize the three vehicle and traffic law violations you committed."

    "You understand me? I don't know what [epithet] planet you think you're on right now," the officer yells, making fun of the Uber driver's accent.

    The officer then slams the hood of the Uber car and walks away; the Uber driver tries to apologize to his passengers, who tell him it was not his fault and inform him a video of the exchange was recorded. One of the passengers said it appeared the officer was on a "power trip;" the other called the man's behavior "really inappropriate."

    The officer returns to the Uber car about 90 seconds after slamming the hood and storming off, the video shows, and continues to curse at and belittle the driver. The driver keeps trying to dissolve the situation with respectful apologies. Then the officer goes off on him. 

    "I don't know where you're coming from or where you think you're appropriate in doing that," the man yells, apparently in reference to the car honk from earlier. "That's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?"

    "Almost how long? Two years?" the officer yells after the driver whispers a response. "I got news for you and use this lesson: Don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do."

    "That's the only reason that's not happening, because this isn't important enough to me, you're not important enough," he says.

    The officer turns toward the passengers in the back seat, asks if they are fares and says something about the Uber driver wasting their days, too. The officer hands the driver some kind of piece of paper that looks like a ticket and leaves as the passenger cellphone video pans to the flashing lights on the dashboard of his vehicle, parked behind the Uber car. 

    Seth posted video of the exchange on multiple social media accounts. On his Facebook page, he wrote, "Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York. The rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough -- but the officer's remarks at the end really took it to another level."

    Seth wrote on Facebook that he reported the exchange to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. According to his profile, Seth works at a nonprofit in the city and used to work for the parks department.

    Asked about the exchange by NBC 4 New York, Seth wrote, "This very unfortunate incident is between the driver, Uber, the officer, and the relevant authorities."

    Uber called the behavior in the video "wrong" and "unacceptable," and said it appreciated the NYPD investigating.

    "We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs," Matthew Wing, a spokesman for the ride share company, said. 

    The CCRB handles complaints about four kinds of alleged police misconduct: force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language. 



    Photo Credit: Sanjay Seth

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    One person was killed and seven others were injured Tuesday after a driver crashed a truck into a store in Fort Worth while fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run crash, police say.

    Officials investigating the crash said the driver, identified as 19-year-old Isaac Adams, was first involved in a minor crash at Riverside Drive and U.S. Highway 287.

    “Yeah, he did stop,” said Bobby Washington, the driver into whom Adams reportedly first crashed. “At the time it seemed like they were on something, you know? It seemed they wasn’t in their right mind.”

    After informing Adams he intended to call police, Washington said Adams and his passenger ran back to their truck and sped away.

    As Washington called 911 and followed in an attempt to track the man down, Adams raced away on Riverside Drive at speeds of up to 100 mph, officials said.

    Adams then lost control of his truck and crashed into the Star Food Mart near the intersection of Riverside Drive and East Lancaster Avenue, trapping several people.

    Fort Worth firefighters arrived and began working to free the trapped victims while also stabilizing the building. At one point, firefighters used a fire truck to pull the pickup from the building, freeing a woman who was trapped.

    Employees at neighboring businesses rushed to the scene to help the victims and worked to remove some of the debris. Nearby construction workers were able to quickly shut off the electricity to the building since electrical wires were exposed.

    One of the eight injured was a woman trapped by the truck who had to be extricated by firefighters.

    She has been identified as 24-year-old Sylvia Zazueta. She was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth in critical condition, but did not survive her injuries.

    Zazueta was married with three children.

    Don Jones, a cook who was working in the back of the store preparing hot food, was able to walk away with barely a scratch.

    “Just a big boom and glass shattering,” Jones said. “Then all I saw was dust and a truck sitting in the store.”

    “I thought, ‘My God, what happened?’” Jones said.

    Seven other patients were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries; three were transported to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth and four to JPS. One of the injured was a passenger in the truck, the other was the driver who was transported to JPS for treatment.

    Fort Worth police confirmed to NBC 5 they believe Adams was under the influence of a narcotic. He now faces several charges, including intoxication manslaughter.

    Family of Victim Pulls Together

    The mother of Sylvia Zazueta said Tuesday she’s devastated by the loss and what it means to her grandchildren.

    Laticia Galdiano said she was with her daughter and two of her grandchildren inside the family’s car at the Star Food Mart, while Zazueta went inside to buy a drink for her son and pay for gas.

    Galdiano said her daughter stayed home with the children — ages 8, 4 and 8 months — while her husband worked two jobs.

    Zazueta’s daughter, 8-year-old Analisa, asked to speak to NBC 5 about her mother.

    “She didn't leave us. Where ever she would go, she would take us,” said Analisa.

    Zazueta’s grandfather, Elizardo Quinones, said she brought joy to the world.

    With time, he says, he may forgive the driver responsible for the crash.

    “We are all human beings. We make mistakes, and with time, I might forgive him. But now, I can't,” said Quinones.

    NBC 5's Holley Ford, Chris Van Horne, Jocelyn Lockwood, Ben Russell and Bianca Castro contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Fort Worth Fire Dept. and Facebook
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    Fort Worth police said Sylvia Zazueta (inset) was killed and eight others were injured Tuesday when a truck crashed into a convenience store in East Fort Worth, March 31, 2015.Fort Worth police said Sylvia Zazueta (inset) was killed and eight others were injured Tuesday when a truck crashed into a convenience store in East Fort Worth, March 31, 2015.

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