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Victim Kidnapped, Taken to Bank and Robbed


A victim was kidnapped in Bridgeport, taken to a bank in Fairfield, and robbed of valuables stored in a safe deposit box.

Fairfield police responded to the TD Bank at 1715 Black Rock Turnpike at 2 p.m. on Monday after someone reported a man with a gun at the bank. A bank employee told another witness that there was a man with a gun in the safe deposit area of the bank.

According to police, it appears the gunman kidnapped a person known to him in Bridgeport and forced that person to go to the bank in Fairfield in an attempt to rob the valuables in the victim's safe deposit box.

Two officers working a private duty construction job near the bank responded and arrested on person involved in the incident. They were also able to rescue the victim, police said.

Other arriving officers escorted bank employees to safety and then entered the bank searching for the man with the gun. The bank was empty. The man had left the scene just before officers arrived, according to police.

The gunman was driving a light blue or teal colored Mercedes Benz CLS500 with four doors. Two other perpetrators may have been in the car as well.

Police have not released the identity of the suspect under arrest.

Anthony Weiner Back on Twitter


Anthony Weiner, the congressman who resigned his New York seat in 2011 after he accidentally tweeted a photo of his groin, unraveling a hidden life of online exploits, has returned to Twitter as he considers whether to run for mayor of New York City.
The Democrat tweeted a link Monday to a campaign-style plan that he has been touting, called "Keys to the City." The account is all new, using the handle @anthonyweiner, instead of the doomed @repweiner that led to his demise. It had more than 1,000 followers Monday afternoon, compared to his more than 67,000 from the previous account.
"It seemed like a fresh start was in order, especially in light of all the new ideas around which I am hoping to drive conversation and debate," Weiner told NBC 4 New York in an email.
Weiner, who still has more than $4 million in funds he raised for a potential citywide campaign before he quit Congress, has said he is considering whether to run for mayor this year.
An NBC 4 New York/Marist College poll last week found that he would get 15 percent among registered Democrats, coming in second to front-runner Christine Quinn, the New York City Council speaker.
In a New York Times magazine story posted online earlier this month, Weiner said that what drove his inappropriate relationships online was "a world and a profession that had me wanting people's approval."
"By definition, when you are a politician, you want people to like you, you want people to respond to what you’re doing, you want to learn what they want to hear so you can say it to them," he said.
But then he'd be searching for that kind of feedback late at night online, and it would take a turn.
"So somewhere in there it got to a place where I was trying to engage people in nothing about being a politician," he said. "Or sometimes it would start out about politics and then, ‘You’re a great guy.’ ‘Oh, thanks, you’re great, too.’ ‘I think you’re handsome.’"
Weiner told the Times he thinks many people would be surprised to know the answer to the question: "what was he thinking?"
“I wasn’t really thinking. What does this mean that I’m doing this? Is this risky behavior? Is this smart behavior? To me, it was just another way to feed this notion that I want to be liked and admired.”
--Andrew Siff contributed to this story

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man Accused of Threatening Malloy Faces Judge, More Charges


The man accused of posting a threat against Gov. Malloy on a TV station's website faced a judge this afternoon who told him the "combination of threatening behavior, inciting injury to persons, with weapons seized, an illegal assault rifle" dictated a bail of $200,000.

John Montysko, whose public defender said his client was "terrified", told a detective Montysko admitted posting the comment, "I think we should douse Malloy and light him up".

He also said it was a "sarcastic quote," according to the arrest warrant application, "and didn't mean anything by it."

Judge Hilary Strackbein entered a not guilty plea for the 59-year-old Montysko, who has not been arrested before.  She ordered mental health treatment in jail for him.

When police searched his house he showed them his weapons and ammunition, including an AK-47 police say was illegal.  He told them he found it at his father-in-law's home after his father-in-law died.

Possession of an assault weapon is a Class D felony, the most serious charge Montysko faces.  He is due in court Tuesday in Bantam on that charge.


Man Caught Stealing 102 Bottles of Nail Polish: Cops


A Middletown man was arrested Thursday night after trying to steal more than 100 bottles of nail polish from a local CVS, police said.

According to police, Marco Gonzalez, 42, entered the store Thursday night and stuffed 102 bottles of nail polish into his sweatshirt and pants. Middletown police confronted him around 9 p.m. at the CVS on Washington Street in Middletown.

The nail polish bottles, made by Essie and Sally Hansen, cost $8.49 each. Altogether the nail polish totaled $865.98.

Gonzalez admitted that he was not planning to pay for the nail polish, police said.

Gonzalez was transported to police headquarters, where he was charged with 5th-degree larceny. He was released on $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court May 1.

A CVS senior loss prevention officer said the store plans to press charges.

Gas Leak at Wethersfield School Repaired


For the third time in recent months, firefighters were called to Emerson-Williams Elementary School in Wethersfield for a gas leak.

The latest happened around 8 a.m. Monday.

Emergency vehicles set up outside the school at 461 Wells Road. Students and staff were kept out of the school as a precaution, according to Wethersfield fire officials.

Connecticut Natural Gas crews were able to determine the cause of the leak and repaired it around 8:45 a.m.

Monday's leak was the third at the school in the past four months, fire officials said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bridgeport Police Investigate Double Shooting


Two people were shot while sitting in a car in Bridgeport Sunday night.

Kenneth Ebanks and Ashley Llyons, both 22, were in a car on Hurd Avenue when another car pulled up along side them and opened fire around 8 p.m., according to police.

By the time officers arrived at the scene, the victims had been transported to St. Vincent's Hospital by private vehicles.

Ebanks suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and arm, police said. Llyons was struck by a bullet in the hip. Both victims were sitting in the back seat of the car when they were shot, according to police.

They were listed in serious condition at St. Vincent's Hospital Monday morning.

Women Mistakenly Shot at During Ex-LAPD Officer Manhunt to Get $4.2M


The city of Los Angeles will pay $4.2 million to the two women injured when police mistakenly opened fire on their truck during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, a disgruntled ex-LAPD police officer who killed four people in a rampage that kept Southern California on heightened alert for days.

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich confirmed Tuesday to NBC 4 Southern California that a deal has been reached with Margie Carranza and her mother, Emma Hernandez.

"The deal is relatively a very simple, very clean deal. It's a win-win for both parties," Trutanich said. "It closes this chapter in Los Angeles and LAPD history on all issues."

The $4.2 million will be split between the two women "any way they want," Trutanich said.

The shooting happened Feb. 7 about 5 a.m. local time as the pair was delivering newspapers in their Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in Torrance, Calif.

Earlier in the day, two Riverside, Calif. officers were ambushed in their police car, and authorities were on the hunt for Dorner and his Nissan Titan.

Hernandez, 71, was shot twice in the back, and Carranza, 47, was injured by broken glass.

The search for Dorner ended Feb. 12 with a shootout and standoff in the Big Bear ski resort area of Southern California's San Bernardino Mountains.

Dorner was holed up in a cabin surrounded by authorities when a police tear gas canister shot into the residence started a fire. Dorner then shot and killed himself, according to deputies.

Man Sentenced in Fatal Hit-and-Run


A Hartford man is headed to prison for killing a toddler in a hit and run crash.

Christian Bordelies appeared in Hartford Superior Court Tuesday afternoon for his sentencing hearing.

Bordelies was unlicensed when he hit  3-year-old Joseph Ortiz Resto in May 2011 near the entrance to Pope Park in Hartford, according to prosecutors. Instead of helping the boy, he ran away from the scene.

It happened after the boy darted out in front of Bordelies' car, prosecutors said.

"This is the moment that I was really waiting for.  For justice to be served," said Iris Resto, the victim's mother.

During the hearing, Bordelies pleaded guilty to three other crimes he committed while out on bond, including a charge of carrying a pistol without a permit, and was sentenced for them.

"I just want to say I'm sorry to the victim's family from the bottom of my heart," Bordelies said in court.

He received eight years in prison and five years of probation for all of the crimes.

"I'm good with it. I'm fine with it. I'm proud of me and my son and I'm going to be proud for me and my son and my other kids," Resto said.

Sisters of Marathon Bombing Suspects: We Don't Have Answers


The sisters of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects say the family is "absolutely devastated" and doesn't have any answers.

Through their attorneys, Bella Tsarnaev and Ailina Tsarnaev, who lives in West New York, N.J., issued a statement Tuesday, eight days after the bombing killed three people and injured more than 180 at the finish line of the marathon.

One brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed after a gunfight with police in Massachusetts last week, and their other brother — his accused accomplice, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — is charged with carrying out the attack with him.

The statement said:

"Our heart goes out the victims of last week’s bombing. It saddens us to see so many innocent people hurt after such a callous act. As a family, we are absolutely devastated by the sense of loss and sorrow this has caused. We don’t have any answers but we look forward to a thorough investigation and hope to learn more."

Ailina Tsarnaev spoke briefly early Friday through a barely open door to several news outlets. 

She said she was sorry for the families that lost loved ones. She also said she wasn't sure what had gotten into her two brothers, but also that she didn't know what was true.

"I'm not OK, just like everybody else is not OK," she said. "No one is OK. It's very shocking."

Ailina Tsarnaev said she had not seen her brothers in years. Her husband said he never met the two men in the year and a half he has been with her. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Two Men Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography


Two men are behind bars after the CT State Police Computer Crimes Unit arrested them on charges of possession of child pornography.
Timothy Nagle, 43 of Manchester, was arrested and charged with First Degree Illegal Possession  of Child Porn, Promoting a Minor in an Obscene Performance and  obscenity.
Nagel was arrested after a near four-year long investigation by state police  that started in Sept. 2009. Nagle is due in court on May 7.
State Police also arrested Matthew Gallant, 26 of Simsbury. Gallant was charged with Third Degree Illegal Possession of Child Porn and Promoting a minor  in an Obscene Performance.
In October 2009, State police executed a search warrant at Gallant’s residence and seized  a number of items . They discovered a number of files  of suspected child pornography that were in Gallant’s possession.
Gallant turned himself in after learning there was an active arrest warrant out for him. He  was released on $25,000 bond and is due in court on May 7.
According to State Police, the arrests are not connected in any way.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Thieves Steal From Dozens of Storage Units


On Tuesday, Naugatuck Police were searching for some brazen burglars who broke into dozens of storage units and ripped off some pricey possessions.

When Richard Tabaka opened his storage unit, he wasn’t sure if his Harley Davidson would be there. Luckily, his was spared.

“I’m very thankful,” Tabaka said. He rushed over to Bethany-Naugatuck Self Storage when he learned crooks broke the locks on at least 30 garages Sunday afternoon and ripped off the renters.

“It's unbelievable, unbelievable,” he added.

Police said the thieves cut through the security gate to get in and rummaged through the units.

“Sick people, there’s a lot of sick people out there now,” Tabaka explained.

Investigators say the property was empty when the crimes happened. They said a neighbor saw two men break in then they drove off in a black pickup truck with tools and heavy equipment.

“In the end it’s going to be nearly impossible to account for every piece of item,” admitted Jay Pugliese with Naugatuck Police.

Detectives didn’t know exactly what the suspects got away with. They needed to find all the victims to get that answer, but it wasn’t easy.

“The problem is these people rent these storage units, and they rent them for a long period of time so a lot of times their information can change their contact info,” Pugliese explained.

Police wanted everyone with a unit at Bethany-Naugatuck Self Storage to come forward and tell them what was missing. This could help them track down the suspects and make sure they didn’t come back and possibly get away with Tabaka’s prized possession.

“If this thing is taken away from me, I don't know what I would do I really don’t,” Tabaka said.

Naugatuck Police said if you’re a victim, they needed a detailed list of missing items.

According to witnesses, the suspects drove off in a small black pickup truck, either a Chevrolet, or GMC, with newer style New York plates.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Woman Injured in Boston Bombings Reunited with Rescuer


Before Victoria McGrath was even wheeled into the room to meet the man who carried her to safety after the Boston Marathon bombings, tears started streaming from the 20-year-old’s face.

McGrath, whose legs were badly injured by the explosions last Monday, was carried to safety by Boston firefighter Jimmy Plourde, who cradled McGrath in his arms and raced her to the nearest ambulance.

Both had expressed a desire to meet again and that tear-filled meeting took place on Tuesday night in the hospital where McGrath is being treated and is expected to make a full recovery.

Plourde, who is with the fire house in Jamaica Plain, was standing on Boylston Street, about 50 feet away from the blast, and had to get past a barrier to get to victims.

“People began ripping the fence and the crosses and the bleachers apart. I tried to give it a couple pulls. I knew it would take a couple of minutes, so I crawled through the bleachers to get at the scene to see what I could do first,” Plourde said.

That’s when Plourde found McGrath, a 20-year-old Northeastern University student. At the time, Plourde was surrounded by people in pain, but his focus was on Victoria.

“I didn't have a big bag of fancy tricks that I could do, all sorts of fancy medical tricks. I just had myself, a set of gloves and some bandages. And I knew right there, use whatever we had around us, which was a rag of some kind to control the bleeding and get this young girl out,” Plourde said.

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He made a tourniquet and picked Victoria up.

“She looked me right in the eye and she said, ‘I'm scared, I need help.’ I said, ‘I'll do my best. Let's get you out of here,” he said.

A photographer captured a photo of Plourde rescuing Victoria and that photo became one of the most iconic taken on that tragic day.

That led to a lot of attention for Plourde, who maintains that he is no hero.

“No, absolutely not. I feel like my training kicked in as a firefighter,” Plourde said. “I thought before this, almost nine years of experience, I've seen some things, I can handle this, not a big deal. All out the window, start from day one, it was that bad.”

At first, Plourde couldn’t recall McGrath’s name, but someone recognized the two in the photo and reached out to him on Facebook.

Meanwhile, McGrath told Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick that she would eventually like to thank Plourde personally when she gets out of the hospital.

McGrath got her wish a little sooner than that. 

Photo Credit: AP/MetroWest Daily News, Ken McGagh

Meteorite Lands on Home in Wolcott


A Yale expert confirmed Tuesday that an object that crashed through a house in Wolcott Friday night was a meteorite.

Larry Beck, of Williams Court in Wolcott, called police at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday and said a rock crashed through the roof of his house on Friday night and damaged the roof and copper piping, and cracked the ceiling in his kitchen.

"All the sheet rock had broken apart and it was on the floor," Beck said.

That was around the time that people from several towns along the shoreline called police and reported a loud boom that rattled windows.

Beck told police that he’d heard a loud crash and thought that a joist or rafter had broken.

When he checked the attic on Saturday morning, he found a hole in his roof, damage to the pipes and rock broke in half in the attic, police said.

"As I'm crawling across, I say 'honey, I can see some daylight coming through the roof," Beck said.

At first, police thought the rock was a broken piece of airport runway concrete that had dropped from a plane when landing gear was being lowered, because Beck said that there is a lot of overhead airline traffic at all and Bradley Airport and Oxford Airports are nearby, police said.

Officials contacted the New England Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration and arrangements were made to have someone from the FAA view the rock.

Beck also contacted a local meteorolgist about the rock that crashed through his roof. John Bagioni, who owns Fax-Alert Weather Service, LLC in Burlington, immediately thought the rock might be a meteorite. The description of the rock, coupled with reports of a loud boom across the state around the time the rock struck the home, lead Bagioni to his conclusion.

Bagioni contacted NBC Connecticut meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan Monday afternoon about the discovery in Wolcott. 

On Monday, NBC Connecticut contacted police about the possibility of it being a meteorite and police said they were made aware that a meteor shower had taken place on Friday night.

Bagioni said he was called in to help check out the specimen and his opinion is that this appears to be a Chondrite meteorite.

After examining the object on Tuesday, Stefan Nicolescu, the collections manager for the Mineralogy Division at the Yale Peabody Museum confirmed it was in fact a meteorite.

We are toward the end of the Lyrids meteor shower, which happens every year between April 16 and April 26, when Earth crosses the orbit of comet Thatcher, according to Nicolescu.

The first recorded meteroite in the New World fell in Weston, Connecticut in 1807, according to the Peabocy Museum Web site.

There were reports of loud explosions from more than 40 miles away and fragments of stone fell in at least six places.

Hundreds of meteorites fall to earth each year, but only five to 10 were immediately recovered, according to the Peabody's Web site on Meteorites and Planetary Science.

Two meteorites also fell in Wethersfield, hitting two houses a mile and a half apart over an 11-year span.

Meteor vs. Meterorite, according to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History:

  • A piece of rock (smaller than an asteroid) floating in interplanetary space is called a meteoroid.
  • If a meteoroid makes it through the atmosphere and hits the ground, it is called meteorite.
  • A meteor is a streak of light left by a small (pebble sized or smaller) particle as it enters the atmosphere = “shooting star”; being so small, the particle is completely “digested “ in the atmosphere; meteor showers occur when Earth crosses the orbit of a comet. .



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fired Anchor: "Gut-wrenching" to Watch Cursing Clip


The rookie anchor fired after using profanity on his debut newscast said Wednesday that watching the viral clip for the first time was “gut-wrenching.”

A.J. Clemente lost his job as anchor for North Dakota NBC affiliate KFYR after he was heard mumbling two curse words under his breath at the top of his first evening news broadcast on Sunday.

Clemente said in an appearance on “Today” Wednesday that he had been looking at a script for an upcoming segment on the London Marathon and was frustrated because he did not know how to pronounce three names.

The camera's red, on-air light came on about 30 seconds early and since he was missing an earpiece he “had no clue” he was live when he unleashed the “fireball shot” from his mouth.

“It’s inexcusable, first, to even say those words,” he said.

Clemente added that he fully expected to be fired over the gaffe and he has no animosity with the station over its decision.

“You got to have a tough skin in this business,” Clemente said on “Today.”

He said that he’s now "moving forward" and looking for a new job.

Host Matt Lauer pointed out that some reports saying Clemente had used the word "gay" were untrue. He had been trying to pronounce the name of London Marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede.

At the end of his “Today” appearance, Clemente showed off his on-air skills by teasing a pair of upcoming segments.

Check out a clip of the original disastrous broadcast below: 

Editor's Note: The video contains profanity.

Connecticut Police Attend MIT Officer’s Memorial


As many as 10,000 people are expected to attend a public memorial service today for Sean Collier, the 26-year-old MIT campus officer officials said died at the hands of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Among the thousands will be state troopers from Connecticut and officers from the Middletown, Waterford and Meriden police departments, as well as others.

They boarded a bus with heavy hearts this morning.

"It's always important to show your support when another officer is slain,” Lt. Michael J. Thomas, the commanding officer for State Police Troop E, said on Wednesday morning. "No matter anywhere in New England, New York, NJ wherever it is and if we can get a group of guys to go up there to pay our respects, that's what we're going to do as a law enforcement community."

"No police officer ever wants to hear about a brother officer being slained," he said. "No matter, anywhere in New England, New York, New Jersey, wherever it is, and if we can get a group of guys to go up there to pay our respects, that's what we're going to do as a law-enforcement community."

Detective Lt. Mark Walrysiak, of the Meriden Police Department, said Collier's death affects officers tremendously.

"Because of the significance of the case and the details involved with how he died, we definitely wanted to give a presence from our department," he said. "Twenty-six years old and that's just heart-wrenching for the family and how it affects them, it affects us. ... It could be any one of us, any day, any night, but unfortunately it was him."

Lt. Thomas said police know that there's a potential for something dangerous to happen each day they go to work.

"And every day, we want to come home safe. We want to protect the public, but we also want to get home to our families," he said.

Collier’s family spoke with the Today Show this week and said he was a kind man, dedicated police officer who was humble and donated to the Jimmy Fund through his life, even when he had little money.

The Collier family is asking that donations in Collier’s memory be made to the Jimmy Fund, 10 Brookline Place West, FL6, Brookline, Massachusetts 02445-9924.


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Photo Credit: AP

The Hunt Is on for Missing Barry Bonds Plaque


The memory of Giants slugger Barry Bonds may be waning in San Francisco, but it looks like someone still wants a piece of him.

Sometime over the last week, someone took a plaque honoring Bonds.  

The six-foot high sign that  used to hang beyond right center field is missing, as the San Francisco Chronicle first reported.

It's a large, orange shield with the number 756 and was bolted securely to the spot inside AT&T Park where Bonds hit his record-setting 756th home run in 2007.

It was in a public area next to the bleachers in the outfield.

If you know the park, it was hung to the left of the Comcast SportsNet sign on the brick wall below the Coors bar in the outfield. (Photo above).

Bonds was one of the franchise's greatest and most popular players. He is also a felon appealing his federal obstruction-of-justice conviction related to the BALCO steroids drug case.

Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter told NBC Bay Area in a simple email that the team is having the plaque replaced and the Giants aren't involving police because it would be a "waste of taxpayer money" to involve them at this point.

The most important thing, she said, is to get the plaque replaced.

The only other mention of Bonds at AT&T Park is still there.

Bonds' name listing all the Giants with 500 home runs hangs on the arcade archway closest to center field.

Team and stadium officials did say they do plan to look at a week's worth of security video to find out whodunit.


Photo Credit: Lori Preuitt

Police Seize Guns, Drugs and Cash in Norwich Raid


Police in Norwich arrested a 43-year-old local woman during a drug raid on Tuesday afternoon and seized three firearms, pounds of drugs and almost $2,000 in cash.

Police served a drug-related search and seizure warrant at 60 Pearl Street, apartment A, at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday to investigate anonymous complaints of drug dealing from the residence.

Raquel N. Baker, a 43-year-old resident of the apartment, was arrested and police recovered a Hi-Point 9mm with a high capacity magazine, a Smith and Wesson .380 with a laser sight, an H&R Arms .32 revolver and several rounds of ammunition, police said. 

Police also seized 3.2 pounds of marijuana, 10 grams of cocaine and more than $1,800 in U.S. currency.

Baker was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was held on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to be presented in court at G.A. 21 on April 24.

Additional arrests are anticipated because one of the targets of the search and seizure warrant was not home at the time the warrant was served, police said.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police

Why Boston Bombing Suspect Faces WMD Charge


A week after Dzhokar Tsarnaev allegedly detonated a homemade bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, federal prosecutors charged the teen with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and maliciously damaging and destroying property, resulting in death.

The first charge resurrects a term that stirred fears a decade ago about nuclear-armed regimes and the prospect of the world’s deadliest weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

In President George W. Bush’s famous “weapons of mass destruction” speech, which laid out the rationale for U.S. military intervention in Iraq, he warned that without action, enemies of the United States could one day get their hands on chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons, killing “thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people.”

The Tsarnaev brothers are accused of killing three people and injuring more than 260 others on April 15 with a pair of improvised explosive devices: pressure cookers packed with low-grade explosives, metallic BBs and nails.

To the many who took to Twitter to complain or publicly scratch their heads, the weapon of mass destruction charge appeared incongruous with the details of the Boston attack.

Some questioned why assault rifles used in deadlier mass shootings were not considered weapons of mass destruction while others objected to the idea of improvised explosive devices being placed in the same category as nuclear warheads. “So Iraq was invaded because of pressure cookers?” one person tweeted.

"The weapons of mass destruction charge may sound odd, but the definition of weapon of mass destruction will not be a problem," William C. Snyder, a visiting professor at Syracuse University's College of Law wrote in an email.

While the Defense Department limits its definition of WMDs to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons capable of causing mass casualties, the Justice Department uses a much broader interpretation. An amendment to the federal criminal code in 1994 gave prosecutors much more flexibility in their use of the WMD statute, which added bombs, mines, grenades, even certain guns to its list of qualifying "destructive devices."

Snyder points out that prosecutors may have trouble meeting the statute's jurisdictional requirement, which requires proof that the crime impacted interstate or foreign commerce, but doesn't anticipate any problem arising from their classification of pressure cooker bombs as WMDs.

Since the Federal Death Penalty Act was passed in 1994, tacking a long list of items to the WMD definition, prosecutors have classified everything from pipe bombs to RPGs as weapons of mass destruction. Shoe bomber Richard Reid, who unsuccessfully attempted to down a plane with explosives hidden in his shoe, was sentenced to life in prison in 2003 on eight charges including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

The same WMD designation was assigned recently to U.S. Army veteran Eric Harroun, who boasted online about joining Syrian rebels in their fight to depose Bashar al-Assad. The government's criminal complaint accused him of fighting alongside a U.S.-designated terror group and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction—a rocket propelled grenade—outside of the U.S. That charge brought the legal definition of WMDs into the spotlight last month and prompted articles with headlines such as, "Let's All Stop Saying 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' Forever."

Stephen Vladeck, a professor at American University's Washington College of Law says that while the WMD statute may be "inaptly named," it clearly incorporates both RPGs and the sort of bomb the Boston suspects are accused of detonating.

"This statute has been historically designated for bombings," he said. "For better or for worse, there is no general bombing statute."

Indeed, analysts predicting charges against Tsarnaev in the days and hours before they were announced invaribly placed the WMD charge at the top of their lists. Former FBI agent Donald Borelli casually mentioned the term "weapon of mass destruction" to describe the marathon bombs in an interview with MSNBC last Wednesday, causing host Chris Hayes to pause. "Weapon of mass destruction? Is that specifically the term we're using for this pressure cooker bomb?" he interjected.

"Well, you can use it under the WMD statute,"  Borelli replied. "A bomb like that can be considered a WMD. So there's your terrorism charge."

In his quest to define the confusing term, W. Seth Carus, deputy director of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction encountered more than 50 definitions for WMDs issued by federal or international organizations. In a report he wrote on the matter, he criticized the 1994 law, which he said, turns "the original meaning of WMD on its head." That law, he points out, inspired 21 states and the District of Columbia to adopt their own varying WMD definitions.

He argued for the return to the original definition developed by the UN in the 1940s, which included only the deadliest weapons, like atomic bombs and radioactive weapons, in its characterization of WMDs.

But Carus' outlook was not optimistic. "It is unlikely that the U.S. Congress or the law enforcement and defense communities will follow such a path," the report concluded.

Photo Credit: AP

Two Arrested After Home Break-in in Darien


Police have arrested a 53-year-old Bridgeport man and a 30-year-old Stamford woman after responding  to a residential break-in in Darien on Tuesday afternoon. ‘
The Weeds Landing man called police at 12:40 p.m. to report that someone had forced his way into his home and fled when the home owner approached him, police said.

The homeowner told police the intruder ran toward the Post Road.

When Darien police obtained a description of a vehicle involved, they shared it with surrounding towns and Stamford police stopped a vehicle that matched the vehicle, police said.

Darien police arrested Clarence Patterson, 53, of Bridgeport, and Amber Jenkins, 30, of Stamford.

They were both charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree conspiracy to burglary and third-degree criminal mischief.

Patterson was held on a $25,000 bond and has a court date of May 6.

Jenkins was released on a promise to appear and also has a court date of May 5.

Meat Company Employee Accused of Stealing $10,000 in Chicken Wings


An employee accused of stealing $10,000-worth of chicken wings from a meat and poultry company in Connecticut has been arrested.

The owner of County Distributors - located in the town of South Windsor - reviewed surveillance footage from his warehouse and noted that an employee, identified as Boris Delisser, had taken products from the warehouse and loaded them into a vehicle, according to police.

The complaint was filed in February 2012, according to police, and the investigation determined that Delisser had done this on several occasions. The total loss is estimated in excess of $10,000 worth of chicken wings and meat.

This chicken wing theft is the latest in a spate of food heists that took place in recent months. An Illinois man was arrested in March for stealing 21 tons of cheese from Wisconsin, while a Pennsylvania man was charged for pilfering and drining $100,000-worth of whiskey that belonged to his boss.

Police obtained a warrant charging 43-year-old Delisser with larceny in the first degree, which was served on Tuesday. 

He was released on a $10,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on May 2.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police
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