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Man Shot in Back in West Haven


A young man is recovering after being shot in the back in West Haven and Washington Avenue is closed as police investigate.

Police said the shooting happened on a porch in the area of 667 Washington Avenue. West Haven police have cordoned off the front yard of the home and the street in the area.

They said the man appears to have been outside talking to a couple of people and then was hit shortly after.

It's not clear what led to the gun fire.

"It's crazy, kind of," Alexandra Skiffington, of West Haven, said. "It's upsetting but usually there's nothing like that here. It's kind of shocking."

Police said the investigation is in the preliminary stages and that they'll release more information as it becomes available.

West Haven police don't have a suspect identified at this time. The extent of the young man's injuries are unknown at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

I-84 East Closed After Waterbury Crash Near Construction Site


Interstate 84 east is closed in Waterbury after a crash near construction on the highway.

The accident doesn't appear to be severe, but it's close to construction and there isn't much room to maneuver, so state police had to close the highway as they wait for a wrecker to arrive.

I-84 east is closed between exits 25 and 25A. The crash was reported to the state Department of Transportation at about 10:54 p.m.

it's expected to take four hours or less to clear the crash.

Surprise Inspections Close Hartford Bars Cited With Violations


A surprise inspection by local authorities at some Hartford bars led to some closures this morning.

Hartford and West Harford police, along with the Department of Labor and Liquor Control Division , inspected several nightclubs and bars in the North District to make sure they were in compliance with city and state regulations.

10 businesses were inspected.

Investigators found the Blue Print Bar and Grill, Sunset Cafe, West Indian Social Club Pastry Dynamics were cited and closed for Labor Violations. DOL officials tell NBC Connecticut they were paying employees cash under the table and not offering them worker's comp.

The West Indian Social Club will pay a $1,000 fine per day to remain open after the violations.

United Banquet Hall and Kabbalah House were cited for liquor violations.

No violations were found at Vibz Uptown, La La's Bar, and Angry Bull Saloon.

Investigators also attempted to inspect Epiphany Restaurant and Lounge and Sportsman Athletic Club, but neither business was open at the time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cable Failure Sparks Stratford Attic Fire


A cable failure sparked a fire that significantly damaged an attic at a home on McGrath Court in Stratford on Thursday night.

Firefighters responded to 201 McGrath Ct. after the town's 911 dispatch center received a call reporting a fire at about 7:40 p.m.

Crews contained the fire to the attic for one half of the duplex. There was minimal damage to the living space below the attic, according to the fire department.

The Stratford fire marshal responded to investigate and discovered a BX cable failure in the attic charred the structure and damaged storage space.

Bridgeport and Milford firefighters covered the Stratford stateion while crews from town worked on the fire.

Complaints Arise About West Haven High-Rise Near Beach


A West Haven high-rise just a block from the beach has become a tower of terror for tenants.

Yesterday, officials from the housing authority and the city government went to Surfside to hear what's wrong with the place and they were still talking a day later about bedbugs, roaches, disgusting hallways, and more.

"There was five or six of us in the elevator, the one that's working," said Ann Zupe, "and it went up and it went boomp and the door opened and all you could see was a big brown door. There was no way to get off it is so a man played with the button and the elevator closed and went up."

Maggie Petruzziello's 92-year-old father lives at Surfside. "I should not have to worry that my father's gonna get stuck on the ninth floor so I want an answer today - what's gonna happen with these elevators?

We contacted the West Haven Housing Authority but did not hear back from the executive director. One of his predecessors, Michael Siwak, pled guilty last year to taking more than a million dollars in bribes from contractors.

"God forbid an emergency - I don't know what to do," said Natisha Pantojas, who lives on the top floor. She's disabled and her mother checks on her all the time.

"And I'm scared that if anything happens to her on the twelfth floor," said Anilda Pantojas, "anything happens to my daughter, they're gonna be in trouble, because she's still my baby."

Life Vests Found Off Ga. Coast


A Sarasota flight school has discovered a pair of orange life jackets off the coast of Georgia, a possible breakthrough in the ongoing search for two teens who went missing off the Florida coast in July.

Heli Aviation on Tuesday shared a video on their Facebook page of volunteers retrieving the orange life vests from a sandbar near Savannah. It is unclear whether those life vests are connected to missing boaters Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos.

Search dogs have been sent to Georgia to sniff the life vests for any scent of the boys.  The dogs will also help volunteers sift through the coastline near where the jackets were found in hopes to find more clues.

"It stuck out from the other debris that was around because it was newer and it didn't have as much fade as the other items," said Rachel Trimpe, a volunteer with the flight school.

Cohen and Stephanos, both 14, disappeared while fishing in the Jupiter Inlet on July 24. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its efforts to find the boys Friday, one week after they went missing. 

Despite the USCG's suspension, the families have continued their search for the boys with the assistance of volunteer crews. 

They have also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through a GoFundMe Campaign, but stopped accepting donations once reaching their financing goal.

The search for the teens has spanned from Jupiter to Wilmington, North Carolina.

Photo Credit: Heli Aviation

Robbers Stole Man's Phone, Money


Bridgeport police are asking for the public's help in finding three people involved in a robbery near the intersection of Main and Hillview streets in the city Tuesday night.

Police responded to the area at 10:23 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving a call about a robbery.

The victim told police that three people cornered him while he was walking home from a bus stop on Main Street.

Two of the three robbers brandished apparent black guns and demanded the victim's wallet and phone. One of them tried to pistol-whip the victim, but he defended himself. During the attack, he noticed the gun wasn't real.

However, the three robbers fled with the victim's iPhone, wallet and $250.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Manchester Police Seek Purse Snatcher Suspect


Manchester police hope someone will recognize a woman caught on supermarket surveillance video, who they say stole the purse belonging to a retiree on July 26th.

"[The suspect] saw a moment of opportunity when the victim turned their back, and she removed the purse from the car and she took it. She abandoned her own cart and she just left the store," explained Manchester Police Captain Christopher Davis.

Mary Sblendorio had just returned from vacation and was shopping at the Shop-Rite on Spencer Street in Manchester. She and her husband were stocking up, while someone was stalking them.

"She just stole [my purse] right out of my basket," Mary told NBC Connecticut Thursday, pointing out that the thief wasted no time using her credit cards.

"She knew she had an hour, so she spent $3000 in under an hour."

Police are hopeful and confident someone recognizes the suspect, very clearly depicted by the video.

"This is a despicable act by somebody that's going to try to prey upon elderly victims," Cpt. Davis added. "This person was probably at the store for this very purpose, and in all likelihood has engaged in this sort of behavior beforehand."

Photo Credit: Manchester Police Department

Two Shot at Norwalk Public Housing Complex


Two people were shot at a public housing complex in Norwalk late Thursday evening.

Norwalk police received several 911 calls reporting a shooting at the Washington Village Housing Complex at 9:35 p.m. in South Norwalk on Thursday.

One person had been shot in the arm and another was shot in the abdomen and leg, police said.

Officers who responded to the housing complex on the Raymond Street side, provided medical aid. 

EMS crews treated both victims at the scene, then transported them to Norwalk Hospital, where they are listed in stable condition.

Norwalk detectives are overseeing the investigation and continued to search the area overnight.

Police ask anyone with information to call the department's detective bureau at 203-854-3011.

Anyone with information can also call the Norwalk police tip line at 203-854-3111, leave an anonymous internet tip on the Norwalk police website or text an anonymous tip to CRIMES (274637 by typing NPD into the text field along with a message.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspected Tornado Tears Through Wal-Mart in Alabama


A suspected tornado tore through a Wal-Mart and a neighboring sports outlet in Troy, Alabama, flipping trucks and tractor-trailers in the parking lot and injuring at least five people late Thursday, NBC News reported.

"We heard a loud noise," Walmart employee Sarah Brookins told the Troy Messenger. "All of a sudden the wind was blowing in the store. We saw dust blowing through the door."

Two of those injured were inside the store when the storm struck while a third was in a truck that was overturned, Mayor Jason Reeves said. A total of three people were taken to a local hospital, Reeves added.

Photo Credit: Jared Lott

Building Demolished After Fire


Crews spent Thursday night demolishing a building that was home to several families and businesses after a fast-moving fire that afternoon that hospitalized a 22-year-old man and had officials worried the structure would collapse.

It took Hartford firefighters about 40 minutes to control the fire at 310 Franklin Ave on Thursday afternoon. There were four apartments on the second and third floors. Lucy's Fashion and One Direction Market are located on the ground level. Several people are displaced and the businesses in the building lost their stores.

One person had to go to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Hartford Licenses and Inspectors condemned the building shortly after fire crews extinguished the blaze. They said they were concerned about an "imminent risk of collapse."

The building was torn down on Thursday night. 

“It hurts. This is like a nice neighborhood,” one woman said. 

The flames erupted from the three story building around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. Hartford firefighters raced inside to make sure everyone was out and extinguished the blaze. Firefighters said the smoke and heat were both intense inside.

“They attempted an aggressive attack inside. Were not able to make the third floor at that time the roof started coming down on them," Deputy Chief Dave Serpliss, of Hartford Fire Department's District 1 station, said. "All companies were asked to evacuate the building.”

He ordered them off the third floor when he saw the fire spreading to the stairwells.

A second alarm was raised, bringing about 50 firefighters to the scene for additional help. The fire was very aggressive when they arrived, burning through and collapsing part of the roof and "compromising the extrerior brick walls of the upper floors," according to Hartford fire officials. Then all firefighters were commanded to leave the building and instead tackled the fire from the outside.

Crews began taking the building apart piece by piece as a safety precaution and it will be destroyed soon.

The flames were visible moments earlier from sky cameras along Interstate 91 in Hartford.

While investigators haven't yet provided a cause of the fire or where they believe it may have started, witnesses who watched across the street had their own takes.

“It started in the right-hand corner and there was a third apartment on my right," said Eddie Walker, who was at the bank down the street when he saw the blaze.

He entered the building in an effort to get everyone out who may have been inside.

“All you could hear is crackling. The heat and the smoke came down. I just banged as hard as I could [telling people to] get out and then the windows started blowing out," he said.

He couldn't get into the third floor apartment, where he first saw fire and smoke billowing out.

“There was a black lab and another animal," Walker said. "I tried to get them out. The lab went back in. He wouldn’t come to me. I tried to kick it open. One of the doors. I just couldn’t force it open.”

Hartford Fire Department officials said no one needed to be rescued from the three-story building. One man, 22, was taken to Hartford Hospital after he escaped.

No firefighters were injured.

Alfredo Ossa owns Lucy's Fashions and said he couldn't believe what he saw when he arrived at the scene.

“My wife called me. I come in and I tried to do anything," Ossa said.

He said it's to early to even comprehend life without his business.

"I can't understand what happened and I can't understand why," he said.

Neighbors were saddened for the families and businesses impacted.

“It’s a shame the building is going down," David Handley, of Hartford, said. "I used to go to get my mom’s cigarettes, bread, butter, milk.”

One man recently moved out of the building, but his friends still called this home. He told NBC Connecticut through an interpreter that they lost everything.

"Heart broke, they in the street. They don't know what to say," his interpreters said, translating his words.

Firefighters have not said what may have started the fire. It remains under investigation.

NBC Connecticut reporter Max Reiss was at the scene earlier on Thursday. You can see his video on Periscope.

Hartford Fire Department Special Services responded to help the tenants. At least two families will have to relocate and two of the apartments may have been vacant.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Cop Who Pulled Gun on Man on Leave


A Northern California police officer who was caught on video drawing his gun on a man who was not accused of a crime has been placed on temporary paid administrative leave, Rohnert Park city officials said Thursday.

"The city truly believes in community-oriented policing and deeply values the relationship between law enforcement and our community. The incident portrayed on the video is not a typical interaction between our public safety officers and the public," Assistant City Manager Don Schwartz said in a statement.

In a Facebook post dated July 29, Rohnert Park resident Don McComas said he was in his driveway securing his boat to the back of his SUV when a police officer drove slowly past his house, stopped, then circled around and returned.

At that point, McComas pulled out his cellphone and began recording.

In the video, the unidentified officer’s vehicle is seen driving towards McComas before stopping in front of his house. The officer then sits inside his SUV for nearly two minutes, and at one point, appears to be taking a picture of McComas with his own camera.

As McComas approaches the patrol car to record the license place number, the officer exits the vehicle and tells him to take his hands out of his pockets.

“No, sir. I’ve done nothing. I’ve done absolutely nothing. No,” McComas responds.

That is when the police officer unholsters his firearm and points it at McComas, who asks him to "put the gun down." The video shows McComas backing away while repeatedly saying "do not touch me" and asserting he did nothing wrong and did not have a weapon.

Schwartz said the city is bringing in an independent outside investigator to conduct a full review of the incident.

"In evaluating any complaint against an officer we need to be sure proper procedures are followed and the investigator will assist us in this regard," Schwartz said.

In addition to the independent investigation, the city also is conducting an internal investigation on the incident.

A previously planned meeting the city organized to help people and police build relationships was canceled because the city received threats after the controversial video was posted online.

"We canceled that event because we received some indication some folks from outside the community might use it as an opportunity to create a disturbance," Schwartz said.

Sources previously told NBC Bay Area the officer was in the area because police received a complaint about parking.

McComas has declined to comment on the incident and has hired an attorney, Daniel Beck.

The attorney on Thursday said he plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the city and its police department.

"What we have here is a situation where an individual was in his driveway hitching his boat, not doing anything and minding his own business," Beck said. "What we're saying is no more. No more guns used unnecessarily."

Photo Credit: Don McComas
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'Sparks' in Cabin Trigger Emergency Landing


A United Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles declared a "midair emergency" and made an emergency landing at London's Heathrow Airport on Friday after "sparks" were noticed in the first class cabin. 

Flight UA935 landed at Heathrow Airport at 12:33 p.m. local time (7:33 a.m. ET).

"The captain announced that there were some sparks coming from two of the first-class seats," Ralph McLaughlin, who was aboard the Boeing 777 when it turned back while flying over Scotland, told NBC News. "I didn't see it because I'm in economy, but now the plane has landed I can smell some electrical smoke."

United spokesman Kevin Johnston said the plane returned "shortly after take-off because of a mechanical issue."

Photo Credit: NBCSanDiego

Service Dog Calls 911, Saves Blind Woman's Life During Fire


A service dog is being hailed a hero after she jumped into action and saved her blind owner’s life by alerting authorities to a house fire in Philadelphia Thursday morning.

The fire started inside a home on the 4300 block of Oakmont Street in the city’s Holmesburg section. Fire officials say the homeowner, a woman in her 60’s who is blind, was inside at the time. The woman’s service dog Yolanda immediately dialed 911 on a specialized phone.

Firefighters responded to the scene and controlled the blaze. The woman was taken to Nazareth Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

It wasn’t the first time Yolanda saved her owner’s life. Jen Leary, the founder of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, told NBC10 Yolanda also called 911 last year when her owner fell down inside her home and lost consciousness.

Yolanda and her owner were both displaced by the blaze and are being assisted by the Red Paw and the Red Cross.

Photo Credit: Red Paw Relief

Bridgeport Police Chief Jumps in to Help Marshal


Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett assisted a state marshal in making an impromptu arrest in Bridgeport on Thursday afternoon.

Chief Gaudett was walking down the street after the Greater Bridgeport NAACP luncheon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the federal Voting Rights Act as state marshal Ron Kadar was in the middle of making an arrest on Main Street, so he stepped in to help.

“I was trying to get the handcuffs on him and he wasn’t cooperating and I was looking around for someone to help me and who should come over but Police Chief Joseph Gaudett,” Kadar said, according to a news release from police. “I didn’t even have to say anything. The chief just stepped up and helped me take the guy into custody.”

A warrant was out for the suspect for failing to fulfill family support obligations, was taken into custody.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

MH370 Families Vent Anger Over 'Conspiracy'


Grieving relatives of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 passengers scuffled with police, cried and crawled along the sidewalk Friday during an angry protest outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, NBC News reported. 

The anger stems from mixed messages from Malaysia and French officials over whether debris a wing part found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion last month belonged to MH370. While Malaysia has said they confirmed the part were indeed from Flight MH370 that disappeared in March 8 of 2014, France could only "strongly presume" a connection. 

"I can't trust them," Wang Wing Lei, whose parents were aboard the jetliner, told NBC News. "This is not the first time they get the wrong news … Why? You tell me why?" 

Dai Shuqin, another protester whose sister was on board the flight, refused to believe the find was connected to MH370.

"These findings are fake," Dai said. "This is a conspiracy. Everything is fake."

Vandals Cause Damage at East Windsor Middle School: Cops


East Windsor police have arrested a teen accused of breaking into East Windsor Middle School early Friday morning and causing damage and they are looking for two other people seen fleeing from the school.

Police responded to a burglary alarm at East Windsor Middle School at 1:20 a.m. and heard voices and footsteps coming from inside the school.

Soon after, police two males running and one on a bicycle, heading west toward the woods, so they chased after them and apprehending one person.

Connecticut State Police also responded and brought a K9 in an attempt to track the other two people, but they did not catch up with them.

Police said the three people had climbed onto the school roof and threw 27 metal drain covers off of it, onto the ground, and damaged them. Then they got into the school and damaged equipment, police said.

Police identified Caleb Newburry, 18, of Windsor, as one of the suspects, arrested him and charged him with third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and third-degree criminal trespass.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 18.

Police ask anyone with any information about the burglary and vandalism to 860-292-8240 or send them a private message on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/EastWindsorPolice?fref=nf

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police

Police Activity Delays Metro-North Service


There are delays Metro-North because of police activity near Cos Cob.

There are 15-to-20-minute delays on the New Canaan branch, 10-to15-minute delays on the New Haven line and 15 to 20 minute delays on the Waterbury branch.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Shot in East Hartford Commuter Lot


A 26-year-old Windsor man was shot several times in a state-owned commuter lot off Route 15 in East Hartford on Thursday night, according to state police.

East Hartford police said they received a call at 9:21 p.m. reporting a shooting in the area of 500 Main Street and found Gregory Clark, 26, of Windsor, in a car at the intersection of Main Street and Silver Lane. He'd been shot several times and was rushed to Hartford Hospital.

As they investigated, local police discovered that Clark was shot in the state-owned commuter parking lot off Route 15 northbound, at exit 90, so they called state troopers from Troop H in Hartford.

The state troopers then searched the area for other possible victims, but did not find any. They also searched for the shooter and witnesses.

In addition to the troopers, the Central District Major Crime unit also responded and is overseeing the investigation.

On Thursday night, police were investigating at several scenes in East Hartford -- 500 Main Street, near the commuter lot; near Mr. Sparkle at Main and Lilac streets; and at a white car marked with crime scene tape at Main Street and Silver Lane. It's unclear whether they're all connected.

Clark's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening and state police said there is no threat to the public.

The incident remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Delays on I-91 North in Wallingford After Truck Fire


Interstate 91 North is congested in Wallingford after a tractor-trailer caught fire this morning.

The highway was closed at exit 14, but the far left lane is now getting by.

There are heavy delays.

Use the Wilbur Cross or Route 5 if you are heading north from New Haven or Hamden.

Photo Credit: Steve Bernardini and NBCConnecticut.com
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