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    A storm in Grand Isle, Maine, on Wednesday night sent a powerful bolt of lightning through the St. Gerard-Mount Carmel Parish.

    The incredible sight was caught on camera by 16-year-old Carl Bouley.

    "The fact that I got it on camera makes everything a little more unrealistic in my eyes," said Bouley.

    He posted the video on his Facebook page, and received more than 80,000 views in a matter of hours.

    Bouley said he saw lightning strike the same church in 2007, so he was hoping to capture the moment on video this time around.

    According to the Grand Isle fire chief, the same church was hit by lightning in 2007, WCSH reported. This time, some shingles were knocked off the church and there is some electrical damage to the wiring inside.

    A couple of homes near the church also received some electrical damage.

    More storms are expected in parts of New England on Thursday.

    John Jensenius, a lightning expert with the National Weather Service, offers simple advice.

    "When thunder roars, go indoors," he said.

    Jensenius said a lightning bolt going through a cross may seem like a bad omen, but it actually happens relatively regularly. The NWS reports about 200 churches nationwide are struck by lightning each year.

    The National Weather Service in Gray recorded nearly 2,000 lightning strikes in Maine Wednesday.



    Photo Credit: Carl Bouley
    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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    The Federal Drug Administration is allowing a team of Bay Area psychotherapists to experiment with ecstasy to treat patients.

    Dr. Phil Wolfson, who has offices in San Francisco and Marin County, is in charge of the 15-month experiment approved the FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Wolfson said he knows firsthand that ecstasy, or MDMA, is effective in easing extreme anxiety because he used it to get through the worst time of his life when his son way dying from leukemia.

    "It tends to bring on a mood change," Wolfson said. "It gives you a feeling of loving and caring. You're more accepting of your own failure and difficulties and being able to own them better."

    Ecstasy, also known as Molly, is a drug commonly used at raves. The drug is currently considered by the federal government to have no therapeutic value.

    Wolfson, however, received the government's blessing to conduct a clinical trial of 18 patients using the drug in conjunction with a number of intense therapeutic sessions.

    "If a drug works for a disabling condition and can be labeled to be used in a safe way in that population, then we think we have an obligation to evaluate the data and do what the data support, such as allow a trial to proceed," an FDA spokeswoman said.

    If the current trial goes as Wolfson believes it will, MDMA will then be used to treat large numbers of people over a two-year period.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    File image. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs/Newsmakers)File image. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs/Newsmakers)

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    Crews responded to Rein’s Deli in Vernon to investigate a possible gas leak, but found no leak.

    Police responded to 435 Hartford Turnpike and there were no evacuation.



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

    Crews are investigating a possible gas leak at Rein’s Deli in Vernon, according to police.Crews are investigating a possible gas leak at Rein’s Deli in Vernon, according to police.

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    Police are investigating a robbery early Thursday morning at an Xtra Mart convenience store in Seymour and they are looking for the man responsible.

    A man slipped a note to the clerk at the Xtra Mart at 44 New Haven Road early Thursday morning and left on foot after getting cash, police said.

    He did not show a weapon and was wearing a red hoodie, blue jeans and white sneakers.

    Investigators are checking surveillance video and the store was expected to open after police left the scene.

    As of 4 a.m., the scene was clearing.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are investigating a robbery early Thursday morning at an Xtra Mart convenience store in Seymour and they are looking for the man responsible.Police are investigating a robbery early Thursday morning at an Xtra Mart convenience store in Seymour and they are looking for the man responsible.

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    Police are investigating after a parent hit a cyclist while dropping a child off at Hamden Hall Country Day School on Thursday morning.

    A Hamden police officer who responded to the scene at 1108 Whitney Ave. said the parent was turning into the school's driveway from Whitney Avenue at 8:05 a.m. and hit a cyclist who was riding on the sidewalk.

    The cyclist was thrown from the bike and sustained “very minor injuries,” according to police.

    Traffic was backed up along Whitney Avenue and the cyclist moved to the sidewalk to get out of the congestion, according to police.

    Investigators said it does not appear that the parent was speeding. The investigation is continuing.


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    A new strain of canine influenza is causing concern among some pet owners, but veterinarians said it shouldn’t be a cause for panic on the East Coast.

    The H3N2 strain of dog flu is mostly impacting dogs in the Midwest.

    However, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture put out a notice with important information about the flu for pet owners who are worried their pet could get sick.

    Dr. Leyenda Harley, medical director at the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine in Hamden, said the new strain has a lot in common with the flu people get, including coughing, sneezing, runny nose and fever.

    Animals in areas heavily populated by pets, such as shelters and dog parks, would theoretically be most at risk for catching the flu.

    Even though it sounds scary, they said, for right now, pet owners shouldn’t be too alarmed.

    “I definitely wouldn’t be in a frenzy about it. It’s not a high mortality or fatality rate,” she said.

    In the event this strain of dog flu does come to Connecticut and your pet gets it, your pet likely will not develop life-threatening symptoms if it is otherwise healthy, veterinarians said.

    “They should either be able to get rid of it on their own or get rid of it with some supportive care. But I wouldn’t be worried about a major epidemic,” Harley said.

    However, if your pet does show symptoms that are similar to the flu, don’t ignore them. Take the animal to your veterinarian right away to have them checked out.

    More information on canine influenza is available from the Centers for Disease Control. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Mr BigMr Big

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    A student who was pushed in front of a commuter train in New York was reunited with the officers who rescued her at her college graduation Wednesday.

    Maya Leggat, 22, hugged the MTA police officers who saved her as she received special recognition during her graduation from Hunter College.

    Leggat became emotional during the touching reunion, saying she never considered the possibility of not living to see her graduation day.

    “I never thought that I wouldn’t be able to do what I wanted to do, that there wasn’t a positive outcome at the end,” Leggat said.

    Leggat was shoved from behind by a homeless man as a Metro-North train entered the White Plains station in September 2013.

    The force of the train flung her under platform instead of crushing her, so officers Ted Uzzle and Victor Pastrana were able to pull her out and administer life-saving aid immediately, the New York Post reported. Leggat suffered a broken back, a severed finger, other broken bones and cuts.

    The man who pushed her, Howard Mickens, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He had previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder. 


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    A 50-year-old Ellington woman is at Hartford Hospital with critical injuries after falling 25 feet from an observation tower at Shenipsit State Forest in Somers on Thursday afternoon.

    A hiker found the woman at the base of the observation tower on Soapstone Mountain and alerted state police, who then notified EnCon police because the incident happened on Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, according to DEEP officials. 

    An ambulance brought the woman to Johnson Memorial Medical Center in Stafford, then LifeStar brought her to Hartford Hospital. 


    Lifestar has responded to Shenipsit State Forest in Stafford Springs after a woman fell from an observation tower.Lifestar has responded to Shenipsit State Forest in Stafford Springs after a woman fell from an observation tower.

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    State police have arrested a man who is accused of sending a card to Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy with a threat to kill kill him if the governor did not support mental heath.

    Police said Ronald Harger, 61, a resident of a group home for people with special needs sent the governor a Christmas card with a threat in April.

    The suspicious letter arrived at the governor's office on April 29 and state police were called to investigate.

    The Christmas card was torn and had the message "Of the order of Satan SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH OR I WILL KILL YOU to Foolish Crimminal Governor ...," according to state police. 

    A latent fingerprint over the "e" in mental health led police to identiy Harger, who is committed to the State Department of Mental Heath, as a suspect. 

    When police interviewed Harger, he agreed it was wrong to send a letter threatening to harm or kill anyone, according to court documents.    

    Harger told police he has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder.

    He has been charged with first-degree harassment and breach of peace.

    He was not able to post bond and was transported to the lockup facility at Hartford Superior Court at 9:08 a.m., according to state police.

    He appeared in court on Thursday.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    State police arrested Ronald Harger, who is accused of threatening the governor.State police arrested Ronald Harger, who is accused of threatening the governor.

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     Emergency crews are dealing with a sinkhole problem on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford.

    At 9 a.m., the Metropolitan District and West Hartford Public Works crews responded to Farmington Avenue, near LaSalle Road, for the sinkhole issue.

    A statement from town officials said the work will require lane closures, but the road will remain open.

    A police officer who was on patrol on Nov. 25, 2014 noticed the sinkhole and 25-foot wide distress cracks near the crosswalk on LaSalle Road and the Metropolitan District, the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District, the Department of Public Works and Town Engineer were alerted.

    The hole was patched and a more permanent correction was slated for this spring.

    The MDC has determined that major road reconstruction is required to fix the problem, which is scheduled the work in June 2015.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Milford police have arrested a man who they said exposed himself to a jogger in Milford earlier this month.

    A woman contacted police on Sunday, May 17 to report that a man approached her as she was jogging and he exposed his genitals to her.

    Working together, police from Milford and Stratford identified David S. Lynch, 23, of Bridgeport, as the suspect and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

    He was arrested on Wednesday night and charged with breach of peace and public indecency, according to police.

    No phone number is listed for Lynch and the case is not yet listed on the online court docket, so it’s not clear if he has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A 24-year-old Windsor man accused of hiring a hit man to kill his pregnant girlfriend when she decided not to have an abortion was found guilty on Thursday. 

    Carlton "CJ" Bryan, appeared in court on Thursday on charges, including accessory to murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and was found guilty on all counts. 

    The victim, Shamari Jenkins, 20,  was shot in the back of the shoulder when she pulled her Honda sedan over at Magnolia and Mather streets on April 29, 2013 and was rushed to Saint Francis Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

    During the trial, the prosecutor said the shooting was over Jenkin's decision not to have an abortion.

    Matthew Allen Hall-Davis, 28, of Vernon, was also arrested in connection with the case and charged with murder. Police said Hall-Davis used Bryan's gun  to kill Jenkins. 

    He was found guilty and sentenced on May 1, according to online court records. 

    Bryan was a passenger in the car at the time of the shooting, officials said, and investigators said they believed he was involved in planning Jenkin's murder.


    Matthew Allen Hall-Davis (left) and Carlton Matthew Allen Hall-Davis (left) and Carlton "CJ" Bryan (right)

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    Police are continuing to search for two men who robbed an off-track betting facility in Milford as it closed for the day on the evening of Thursday, April 30.

    According to police, two men walked into Winners Milford at 89 Roses Mill Road around 5:50 p.m.that day and walked into the bathroom. 

    After the business closed, they left the bathroom holding handguns and stole an undisclosed amount of money from the facility.

    One man was wearing a black coat and gray pants. The other was clad in a gray hooded sweatshirt, white shirt and light-colored pants. Both were wearing black hats and black shoes, police said.

    Police are asking anyone with information to call Det. Michael Moreno at 203-783-4729 or email mmoreno@ci.milford.ct.us. You can also submit an anonymous tip online.



    Photo Credit: Milford Police Department

    Milford police are searching for the men who robbed an off-track betting facility Thursday.Milford police are searching for the men who robbed an off-track betting facility Thursday.

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    Police have arrested a suspect in a 2011 murder in New Haven.

    Albert C. Jenkins was found outside Poor John’s Pub at Middletown Avenue and Cranston Street early on the morning of May 2, 2011. He’d been shot in the face and chest and was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died a short time later, according to police.

    After a four-year investigation, police secured an arrest warrant charging a convicted felon, Robert L. “Desperado” Gallishaw, 33, with murder, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.

    He has several prior convictions for narcotics and assault crimes and was convicted on a federal firearms charge stemming from an ATF investigation, police said.

    New Haven Police and members of the US Marshals Task Force took Gallishaw into custody on Wednesday and he is being held on a $1 million bond.

    Police will hold a news conference on Monday, June 1 about the arrest.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A state police dog has died after being hit by a car on Wednesday night, according to state police.

    An off-duty state police K9 handler was exercising the dog, Gunnar, when a driver accidentally hit the animal, according to state police.

    The K9 team had worked together for around two years.

    “Gunnar was a valuable asset to Troop K as well as the entire department. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Trooper and her family,” a statement from state police says.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Gunnar died after being hit by a car.Gunnar died after being hit by a car.

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    A fatal shooting in Chula Vista, south of downtown San Diego, led to a nearly 10-hour SWAT standoff at an apartment complex Thursday after the suspect barricaded himself inside a unit with his family while armed with a rifle.

    The standoff ended when SWAT officers discovered the man had taken his own life.

    The initial shooting happened around 7:40 a.m. (10:40 a.m. ET) at 160 E. Street near 2nd Avenue, near the Mission Gardens apartment complex. More than a dozen police officers plus SWAT teams were called to the scene. Three armored SWAT vehicles also surrounded the area.

    Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) Capt. Lon Turner said police received multiple calls reporting gunfire in the area. A neighbor told NBC 7 she heard gunshots and looked out the window. She said she saw the suspect, whom she called Mike, with an "automatic weapon" walk a couple of steps and start firing, hitting another man who lived nearby. 

    Mike and the man had problems, stemming from an incident about a year ago, the witness said. She told NBC 7 Mike was always angry and even threatened to shoot her adult son one day.

    When police arrived, they found a critically wounded man down between cars near the apartment complex. The victim, a father of two children, later died.

    Capt. Turner said the shooting suspect barricaded himself inside an apartment with his family — two children, both under 10 years old, and the suspect's wife, referred to as Laura by police. It is unknown if the children are the suspect's biological kids.

    By 3:35 p.m. -- eight hours into the standoff — the woman and kids were released from the apartment unit, police said. The suspect did not exit with them. Capt. Turner said the woman and children were safe and were being evaluated by medics on scene.

    The suspect remained holed up inside the apartment, and about an hour later, three shots rang out. Lt. Reber said the first came from a police test canon shot. The second was inside the apartment and did not come from officers. The third was a flash bang grenade that shattered a window so the SWAT team could send in two robots and check on the suspect.

    One robot spotted a man down in an upstairs room, and a SWAT team soon followed to confirm. They found the suspect dead inside.

    "Biggest thing that I'm happy about being able to report is that the wife and kids are out of there. Fortunately, they didn't lose their life in this incident. Clearly it's a tragedy when there's any loss of life," said Capt. Turner at a 5:30 p.m. briefing.

    Capt. Turner said the scene will now switch from a tactical one to a crime scene investigation. Investigators have gotten reports from other family that there may be additional weapons inside the home, so officers obtained a search warrant to look for them.

    The captain said Mike had been talking about surrendering but had backed out of doing so several times during the long standoff.

    Throughout the day, the suspect had been speaking with crisis negotiators and, at one point, sounded suicidal, according to police. They asked him to surrender without hurting anyone or himself.

    At a 1 p.m. news briefing, Capt. Turner said police had a very specific message for him.

    “If he is watching on television right now: Michael, we need to talk to you. We are calling your cellphone. So, either you or Laura need to pick up the phone. We want this to happen peacefully,” said Turner, staring into news cameras.

    “We understand that there are two sides to every story. Let’s not make any rash decisions as it stands right now. Just pick up the phone so that we can communicate with you,” he continued.

    Capt. Turner said officials would continue to call the man's phone but if he doesn't answer, police may initiate other ways of contacting him. Again, the captain stressed the importance of bringing the standoff to a peaceful end.

    At a 2 p.m. news briefing Capt. Turner confirmed that crisis negotiation teams were back in contact with the suspect and were able to speak with him on the phone.

    “We’ve been talking with Mike,” said Capt. Turner. “We’ve asked him again to surrender peacefully. We’re concerned about the safety of him and his family.”

    Police said the couple have been married for one year. The suspect was not making any sort of demands, officials said.

    The standoff prompted officials to shut down traffic in parts of the surrounding downtown Chula Vista area and evacuate some residents from the apartment complex.

    The CVPD confirmed the 200 block of E Street had been shut down due to the heavy police activity. At 10:30 a.m, police closed additional roadways due to the standoff including Third and First avenues, and F and D streets. Only residents were allowed in the area.

    Hilltop Middle School is near the complex, but Capt. Turner said no lockdown had been ordered at the campus. He said parents should keep abreast on road closures as they file in to pick up their students later in the day.

    Meanwhile, police urged residents to stay indoors and shelter-in-place, and all others to stay away from the area.

    A police captain said members of the shooting victim’s family had been escorted out of the complex safely and were with police just before 11 a.m. At that point, police said they had not ordered residents of the complex to evacuate, but officers were prepared to lead evacuations if necessary.

    Police said they would utilize city resources to evacuate residents to the nearby Norman Park Senior Center at 270 F St., where residents would be given food and shelter while the standoff played out. Police said one resident, a 93-year-old man, had been safely evacuated from the complex due to medical issues earlier in the day.

    At 11:35 a.m., an MTS bus arrived at the complex. By 11:45 a.m., it was confirmed that residents were being evacuated. About 10 residents exited several buildings at the complex, walking toward the bus alongside officers.

    Police said the apartment complex is made up of four different sectors and officials were evacuating the property in an orderly fashion, sector by sector.

    By 2 p.m., Capt. Turner said their evacuation of all residents at the complex had been completed. In all, he said 56 residents had been evacuated safely from the complex, including approximately 15 children. He said no forced evacuations had been necessary, as residents cooperated with the evacuation plan.

    Some evacuees went to the senior center while others were picked up by family members.

    “We have made sure we know who has come in and who has come out of this location,” said Capt. Turner, adding that officials planned to work their way from the “inside out” during the evacuation process.

    The captain said officials found two to three rounds fired from the suspect’s weapon at the scene that indicated the suspect was armed with a long rifle, posing a major threat to the complex, thus prompting the evacuation.

    “Rifled ammunition has much more significant range than a handgun. It goes a lot further and it goes through a lot more things than a handgun,” said Capt. Turner. “[This] poses a greater threat to the public and our officers.”

    Investigators said the shooting may have stemmed from a dispute that escalated between neighbors. The motive is under investigation.

    Investigators are currently seeking a search warrant and researching the suspect’s background. Police said they will continue to hold news briefings throughout the day offering the latest updates on this case.

    Officials said they hope to bring the standoff to a peaceful resolution without further injuries.

    The shooting, standoff and very heavy law enforcement response came as a shock to residents at the apartment complex.

    One resident who has lived there for 10 years told NBC 7 he heard a loud blast but thought it was related to nearby construction and didn’t think much of it.

    He took one of his three children to school and when he returned, police cars had the street outside his home blocked off.

    “I thought it was a gas explosion, seriously I didn’t think it was a gun,” the man said.

    The resident told NBC 7 he didn’t hear screaming or fighting before the blast.

    The resident said he's been talking his mother who is in the apartment with his other children. He said they are safe and staying inside.

    Another resident told NBC 7 he heard at least six back-to-back gunshots erupt as he was leaving for work. Seconds later, he heard one final shot.

    Another man said he was outside when shots rang out. He said he could almost feel the ricochet as the bullets erupted.

    The American Red Cross is at the evacuation site providing residents and police officers with food and beverages amid the standoff. There were approximately 15 evacuees using the center as of 1:20 p.m.

    One evacuee told NBC 7 something just “wasn’t right” with the suspect. She said he lives at the apartment complex.

    Another evacuee — a little boy — told NBC 7 he was very scared when officers began escorting his family out of their home. He thanked officials for keeping him safe.


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    Hartford police said the shooting of a pastor in Hartford and another shooting 14 minutes later over Memorial Day weekend appear to be connected.

    Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy, 54, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, was shot in front of the First Church of Nazarene, at Capitol Avenue and Newton Street, just before 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 24, according to police. 

    Sealy, who was shot twice in the right leg and once in the left shoulder area, was transported to Saint Francis Hospital to be treated.

    At 6:41 a.m. on Sunday, Hartford Police officers responded to another shooting. This one was reported at 402 Garden St., and they found a man who’d been shot at least six times.

    An ambulance brought him to the emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital, where he was later listed in serious, but stable condition.

    Police said the motive for both crimes is unclear. Investigators said earlier this week that they are looking into whether the shooting might have been a hate crime.

    "I can tell you we do hear from residents that the church is very accepting and open to the LGBT community," Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley said during a media briefing Tuesday afternoon. "So there were some statements made at the scene that certainly keep the idea of it being a hate crime open to our investigators."

    Detectives have evidence to directly connect these two shootings, police said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon and they have released surveillance video of a person of interest, who they said is possibly the shooter.

    https://youtu.be/c7K8phlLzfo

    Police said the vehicle in the video is a black Nissan Maxima. The man they are looking for was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses.

    Police are asking for the public’s help to identify the person and find the car.

    Anyone who sees the person should not approach because the man appears to have violent tendencies, according to police.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Dennis Dematteo at (860) 757-4261 or tips can be submitted anonymously online.



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

    Hartford police are searching for a person of interest in the shooting of a pastor and another man over a short span of time on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.Hartford police are searching for a person of interest in the shooting of a pastor and another man over a short span of time on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

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    A labor union representing flight attendants is backing one of their own amid a controversy involving a photo of the airline employee posing inside a plane’s engine.

    The Spirit Airlines flight attendant, who has been identified as Ericka Paige Diehl, took the photo shortly before the aircraft's take off at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, according to reports. A passenger contacted a local TV station with concerns.

    The airline said in a statement after the photo was brought to their attention that the "activity portrayed absolutely goes against Spirit policy," adding that it, "will be investigating further and take appropriate action."

    However, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said that many airline employees have taken similar photos since "the dawn of the jet age" and there was no security risk for travelers.

    "Flight attendants and pilots have been photographed with the engine as a celebration of the might of aviation," AFA president Sara Nelson said in a statement. "These images are iconic and common. The photos have become a rite of passage for crews. The only security risk here is for the flight attendant herself, whose name, age, and city have been broadcast in the media across the country."

    Other flight attendants across the U.S. also backed Diehl, posting photos on Twitter of themselves inside of plane engines (as seen below) under the hashtag ‪#FLYwithERIKA‬.

    Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said in a statement that the practice is not prohibited under its regulations, though the agency “discourages individuals without proper training or supervision from climbing onto any part of an aircraft.”

    “As part of normal maintenance and inspection procedures, certified mechanics sometimes climb into these engines, which are designed to be structurally robust,” Cory added. “The FAA has been in contact with the airline that employs the flight attendant. The airline inspected the aircraft in question and found no damage.”

    Diehl couldn't be reached for comment.



    Photo Credit: "TODAY"
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    Many would imagine that being taken as a hostage would be scary and nerve-wracking.

    But Jagdish Bhalla, 75, who was one of two hostages held against his will inside an Arco gas station in Bay Area for hours on Wednesday, described the ordeal differently.

    "I'm feeling great," the Antioch gas station owner said Thursday. "He was nice to me. He never misbehaved, did not use filthy language. He treated me very respectful."

    In turn, Bhalla offered the 35-year-old suspect, Horacio Gutierrez  – who was arrested after surrendering peacefully to police Wednesday afternoon – Brisk tea so that he wouldn't "have a hard attitude toward me."

    Both he and the other hostage, a gas station employee, were eventually allowed to leave the station in the 2600 block of Contra Loma Boulevard. They had been kept in a back room during the standoff. Bhalla said the Gutierrez, who authorities said lives in Newark, never pointed a gun at them, although he had one at his side.

    He was never bound, and was allowed to make a phone call to his family. At one point, Gutierrez dozed off, Bhalla said, which is when he and the employee were thinking of making a run for it. But just then, the man woke up and forbid them to do so, Bhalla said.

    Authorities said the suspect had been armed and carjacked several vehicles about 11 a.m. while driving through Antioch, Concord, Pittsburgh and back to Antioch. The California Highway Patrol lay down a strike strip, puncturing his car's tires, and the suspect eventually ran into the gas station, taking both the station's owner and the employee as hostages.

    Police told the Contra Costa Times Gutierrez had an "extensive rap sheet" that included arrests for drug violations, burglary and vehicle thefts.

    Asked if he wanted to say anything to the man who held him for four hours? Bhalla said it was the "best day of my life," because he survived the harrowing ordeal.

    "I say, 'Thank you,'" Bhalla said. "And God bless him in his life."

    NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.



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

    Arco gas station owner Jagdish Bhalla, 75, describes being taken as a hostage in Antioch. May 28, 2015Arco gas station owner Jagdish Bhalla, 75, describes being taken as a hostage in Antioch. May 28, 2015

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    A gas leak at a construction site closed Hartford Road in New Britain on Thursday afternoon.

    A crew hit a gas line at the site of the Costco construction site near Target, according to New Britain fire officials. The road was shut down by Brittany Farms Road.  It reopened Thursday evening.

    Utility workers from Connecticut Natural Gas were called to the scene to help cap the leak.

    No one was injured, officials said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    A gas leak at the Costco construction site on Hartford Road, closed a portion of the road in New Britain on Thursday.A gas leak at the Costco construction site on Hartford Road, closed a portion of the road in New Britain on Thursday.

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