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Man Pulled Victim's Hair, Barricaded Himself in Home: PD


Southington police arrested a man accused of barricading himself in a home after pulling someone else's hair out of anger, police said.

Stephen Cieszynski, 46, of Southington, is facing a second-degree breach of peace charge. Police said he got angry at someone and pulled the person's hair on Sept. 23.

When officers arrived to look into the incident, he ran into the home and barricaded himself inside it, police said.

Officers got into the home that evening and located him, taking him to the hospital for evaluation, police said.

Police arrested Cieszynski on Oct. 9 at about 2:30 p.m. on a warrant.

He was held in custody on a $50,000 court-set bond.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Jogger Slaying Suspect Allegedly Called 911, Confessed: PD


The ex-college football player who allegedly cut down a jogger at random in Dallas Monday is said to have called in the killing on his own, then confessed to the grisly attack to an officer, Dallas police said Tuesday.[[332017812,R]]

According to an arrest warrant affidavit released Tuesday, Thomas Linz Johnson, was taken into custody Monday morning after flagging down a police officer and asking to speak with him at a popular Northeast Dallas park Monday morning.

The officer was one of several who responded to numerous calls about a stabbing along the White Rock Creek Trail at Harry Moss Park, police said.

Johnson, sitting near the crime scene next to a concrete pillar, told the officer "I just committed capital murder. I just committed capital murder," police said Tuesday. When the officer asked the man what he meant by the statement, Johnson responded, "It's like when you don't wake up."


Earlier in the morning, at about 7:55 a.m., police said Johnson approached a man, whom police identified Tuesday as 53-year-old David Stevens, jogging along the trail and struck him in the head multiple times with a "large-bladed knife."

A witness to the slaying, who wished to be identified only as Brandon, told NBC 5 Monday that he saw a man strike another man several times with a "machete." As he rode past on his bike, Brandon said the attacker yelled for him to stop but that he kept going. Once a safe distance away, Brandon stopped and called 911.

According to police, Johnson left the trail after the slaying and asked a man, later identified by Dallas police as Jason Hagen, if he could use his mobile phone to call 911. During the call, Johnson reported "an unknown individual was laying down with a sword in his head and not moving."

Johnson then took Hagen and another man, identified by police as Jonathan Lawrence, to the spot under the overpass where the victim's body was found.

Dallas Fire-Rescue would arrive a short time later, find Stevens as described by the 911 caller and transport him to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Dallas police officers arrived at the crime scene as paramedics were leaving with Stevens. Police say that as one of the officers approached the scene, Johnson, sitting near the pillar, said, "I need to talk to you." The officer asked Johnson to wait for a moment while he spoke with DFR personnel.

After Johnson told the officer he'd committed a murder, the officer placed him under arrest and noticed blood on his pants. During the arrest, police said Johnson was issued his Miranda warning and voluntarily waived his right to remain silent and agreed to talk with detectives. During that interview, police said Johnson again confessed to the slaying.

Johnson, who was listed as homeless in the arrest warrant affidavit released by police Tuesday, allegedly told investigators he was angry about his current living situation and picked Stevens at random.

Johnson has prior felony convictions, but none for violent crimes. On Jan. 9, he pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a vehicle and to burglary of a habitation. He was sentenced to four years probation on both offenses and fines of $3,500. The Dallas County Sheriff's Department had two outstanding warrants for Johnson on the same offenses, with bond being set at $200,000.

At this time, a bond amount on the murder charge has not been disclosed and jail records do not list an attorney on record.

Johnson, who grew up in Dallas, played football for Texas A&M University in College Station in 2012. In his short collegiate career, he had three catches for 22 yards in A&M's 29-24 win at top-ranked Alabama. He disappeared from College Station a few days later and wasn't seen again until he appeared at his family's Dallas home three days later.  He never returned to A&M.

Thomas Linz Johnson Arrest Warrant Affidavit


Photo Credit: Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
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N.H. Primary: More Visits Aren't Helping Presidential Candidates


There's a saying in New Hampshire that you don't decide who to vote for in the presidential primary until you've met the candidates at least three times.

But based on necn's 2016 New Hampshire Primary Candidate Tracker, it appears that spending a lot of time with Granite State voters isn't necessarily a good thing.

More often than not, the New Hampshire Primary has accurately predicted the party's nominee. Even when it hasn't, it has helped shape the race, often propelling lesser known candidates to frontrunner status.

But that may be changing, even as some candidates invest huge chunks of their time in the state.

"Since 2012, the national debates have kind of changed a bit the role of early caucuses," said Patrick Griffin of Purple Strategies New England, a former Bush family advisor. "There's been an incredible nationalization of the campaigns. People in New Hampshire are making up their minds based on debate performance. They're making their minds up without necessarily meeting a candidate."

The three Republican candidates who have made the most stops in New Hampshire so far — Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie and George Pataki — are all polling near the bottom of the field in the state. Graham and Pataki received 1 percent or less in two recent polls conducted by NBC and WMUR, while Christie was between 5 and 7 percent.

Only Carly Fiorina — who has made the fourth most stops in the state with 80 — is in the top five in recent polls. She was in second place in both recent polls.

Donald Trump, who is leading the polls, made his 20th stop in New Hampshire on Monday. Only Rick Santorum (17) and Mike Huckabee (9) have spent less time in the state.

On the Democratic side, the same appears to hold true. Martin O'Malley has made the most stops in New Hampshire, at 54, followed by Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at 42.

O'Malley is polling at just 2 percent in the state — way behind both Sanders and Clinton.

"Putting in hours and days is no guarantee it's going to translate into increased poll numbers," said Dean Spiliotes, a Southern New Hampshire University political scientist. "Back in 2004, Joe Lieberman basically moved to Manchester and it didn't make a difference. It can help, but it's no guarantee. It's not a silver bullet for getting traction in the polls."

Some candidates still seem think the state is worth visit after visit before the primary, to be held at some point in February and traditionally the very first in the nation – a huge feather in a would-be president's cap.

necn's candidate tracker compiles campaign visits collected from media reports, candidate schedules and plans confirmed by the station. This analysis tracks visits scheduled through Friday, Oct. 16.

Spiliotes agrees with Griffin that the nationalization of presidential campaigns has changed New Hampshire's role to some extent. With the growth of the Internet and social media, it's become easier than ever before for voters to get access to the candidates.

"I think technology, social media and campaign finance has renationalized the primaries at some level," he said. "You can be a frontrunner, get traction and have movement in the polls with retail politics, or less so. There are all these virtual ways that are still quite intimate — cell phone, iPad — there's a very direct connection with the candidate.

"I was on vacation overseas in August in a pretty remote area," Spiliotes added. "I popped on to Twitter and saw 'Coming up next - John Kasich at the Iowa State Fair.' I watched it in real time, no different than if I was sitting in New Hampshire."

Still, Griffin thinks there's still plenty of time for New Hampshire voters to reverse that trend.

Given time, he thinks Trump will fall in the polls, making room for those candidates who have carefully cultivated New Hampshire voters, "the candidates of second looks," as he calls them. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and even Ted Cruz are all examples of people he thinks could still climb to the top of the heap.

"Usually as you get closer, people in New Hampshire will do what they're supposed to do," Griffin said. "I don't think this is over. I think people are still shopping."

Asher Klein contributed research for this story.

Photo Credit: necn
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Facebook Adds New Sections and Suggested Videos


Video on Facebook may be a relatively new feature, but it's already seeing enough engagement that the social network is expanding it into a mini-YouTube.

"We have been testing a number of new features that give people more flexibility when watching videos, whether you're watching a video in News Feed on-the-go or sitting down to enjoy multiple videos back-to-back," wrote VP of product management Will Cathcart in a blog post.

Videos you watch will be followed by options to continue watching related content — like YouTube.

Videos you watch will be followed by options to continue watching related content — like YouTube. You'll be able to save videos to watch later — like YouTube. There will soon be a dedicated video section with videos from friends, brands and pages you follow — like YouTube.

Photo Credit: File--AP

Trumbull Police Investigate Reported Armed Sexual Assault


A 43-year-old Trumbull woman told police a man carrying a hand gun came into her home and sexually assaulted her.

The incident happened at about 5 a.m. Tuesday.

No suspect has been identified at this time.

Trumbull police are investigating the complaint and anyone who observes any suspicious activity in the area to call 203-261-3665 or dial 911 in an emergency.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Halloween Costumes Set on Fire in CA Walmart: PD


Someone sprayed a rack of Halloween costumes with lighter fluid and set them on fire inside a Bay Area Walmart store on Tuesday afternoon, police said, forcing the store to close and customers to evacuate while authorities investigated.

The suspect took the lighter fluid from a store shelf before using it to douse the Halloween section before starting the fire, police said. Frightened witnesses called 911.

The suspect, a 40-year-old man police believe is from Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of arson after the fire was set inside the store at about 1:30 p.m., San Leandro police Lt. Robert McManus said.

Store security managed to apprehend the suspect before police arrived, Lt. McManus said.

The store, at 15555 Hesperian Blvd., has since been closed while San Leandro police and Alameda County firefighters investigate. According to McManus, there is still a strong odor from the fire at the store.

“We are still reviewing surveillance video from the store, interviewing witnesses and evaluating evidence, hoping to piece this incident together,” Lt. McManus said. “Although we don’t know how many customers and employees were in the store when the fire started, we do know that it was a very dangerous situation that placed others in danger."

A Walmart spokesperson confirmed the store was evacuated but referred further questions to San Leandro police.

Video posted to Twitter by user @JustPaulMiller appeared to show a store employee extinguishing the blaze.

“A lot of families were in the store purchasing items for Halloween,” Miller said. “That’s something that’s heartbreaking.”

No one was injured, authorities said.

The motive for the arson is not yet known.

Photo Credit: Paul Miller
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I-95 Car Fire in New Haven Causes Traffic Delays


A car fire on I-95 north in New Haven is causing traffic delays.

Traffic is getting by slowly in one lane at exit 48 and 50.

State police are waiting on a wrecker to arrive and expect to reopen all lanes by 8 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Apple Loses Patent Case to University of Wisconsin


Apple Inc. could be facing up to $862 million in damages after a U.S. jury on Tuesday found the company used technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's licensing arm without permission in chips found in many of its iPhones and iPads, NBC News reported.

The jury in Madison, Wisconsin, also said the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) patent, which improves processor efficiency, was valid. The trial will now move on to determine how much Apple owes in damages. 

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In an emailed statement, WARF told NBC News it does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Photo Credit: File--AFP/Getty Images

CT Voters Back Trump and Clinton for President


According to the most recent Quinnipiac Poll of Connecticut voters, the front runners on each side of the aisle are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, mirroring national trends in the race for president.

Among Democrats, Clinton collects 37 percent of voters, while Bernie Sanders sees 25 percent and Vice President Joe Biden, who isn't even running for president, garners 18 percent of the vote.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump leads a pair of outsider candidates with a handful of other candidates lagging far behind.

Trump has support of 34 percent of likely GOP primary voters, Dr. Ben Carson has 14 percent and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has 11 percent.

Perhaps one of the most telling facets of the poll has to do with Joe Biden.

Even though he's not in the race, he would defeat all three GOP front-runners if the election were to be held today. He would be beat Trump, Fiorina, and Carson by double digits.

Photo Credit: AP

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez Argues Before State Supreme Court


Attorneys for Eddie Perez, the former Hartford Mayor who was convicted on bribery and extortion charges five years ago, argued that a state appellate court made the right decision to reverse his convictions.

The appellate court argued that the task of the jury to differentiate between two separate proceedings at the same time in order to reach sound decisions was too difficult.

Harry Weller, the Senior Assistant State's Attorney who argued the other side, trying to reinstate the convictions, said the notion that the bribery and extortion cases couldn't be kept separate isn't supported by the facts of the cases.

"The witnesses were kept separate. The jury was instructed by the trial court almost every day what witnesses were testifying to what case. The appellate court noted that these were herculean efforts" he said.

Hubie Santos, Perez's defense attorney, said in particular, when the jury was told through a recording that Perez was an admitted liar, it sealed his fate in the case because the jury would rationally hear that and apply it to both cases.

"In reality, your honor, they got the conviction on case #1 and they're probably not going to try case #2."

Santos argued that the appellate court got it right.

Heating Oil Prices Vary Depending on Contract Type


If the autumn leaves remind you to get a home heating oil contract, it won't be enough to call several companies to compare prices, because there are different prices for different kinds of contracts.

"There is a market rate system which if prices stay the same or go down, is good for the consumer," said David Daniels, of Daniels Energy in Portland, which has two more kinds of contracts , one with a fixed price.

"If prices go up with a fixed price you would still be paying the lower rate," he said.

A price cap is the feature of the third kind of contract.

"With a price cap, if prices go up you'll still pay the lower rate. However if prices decline like they did last year, the savings get passed onto the customer," Daniels said.

Speaking of last year, with all that snow that slowed so many fuel deliveries, Daniels says a heating oil buyer should consider not just the price of filling your tank but a company's reputation for filling your tank.

 "Make sure that you choose a company that will be here to perform if we have a winter like we did last year. We want to make sure they have trained people and enough equipment to service all their customers," he said.

According to the federal government's Energy Information Administration, the average price in Hartford County rose a bit last week, to $2.40 a gallon, $2.25 closer to the terminal in New Haven County, but more than a dollar below the average price this time last fall.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Woman Called 911 for Help Finding Cell Phone: PD


A Middletown woman is facing charges after drunkenly calling 911 when she couldn't find her phone and she has called 911 about 76 times since March 15 about mostly non-emergency issues, police said.

Police responded to 274 East Main St., apartment A3, in Middletown on Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. after Michelle K. Davis, 43, of Middletown, called 911 on her landline to report she couldn't find her cellphone and then hung up, police said.

When police spoke to Davis at her front door, she appeared to be heavily intoxicated, police said. When asked about her lost phone, she told the responding officers, "Oh yea. My phone. I found my phone, so I'm all set." When asked if that was the only reason she called 911, she replied, "yea, I used my house phone to call 911, but I found my cell phone now," police said.  One of the officers told her that "needing help finding a cell phone when you are intoxicated is not a reason to call 911" and she responded, "Whatever," police said.

It's not the first time Davis has called 911, according to police, who said they are familiar with her "tendency to call 911 for non-emergency situations." Since March 15, she has called 911 about 76 times for mostly non-emergency issues, according to police. Police also spoke with a Middlesex Hospital doctor in the past about her "frequency to call 911 and make claims that she needed help, only to find out she did not need medical or police attention," police said.

Police charged Davis with falsely reporting an incident and misdialing 911.

She is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 16.

Democratic Candidates Focus on Sanders' Gun Record


Bernie Sanders was criticized by Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley for his record on guns during the first debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, NBC News reported.

Sanders said guns are viewed differently in his rural state of Vermont, a claim which was rejected by O’Malley. Clinton accused Sanders of siding with the firearms industry by opposing the Brady Bill, which mandated federal background checks on firearm purchases.

"I think that we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA,” Clinton said.

Photo Credit: AP

GOP Candidates Live-Tweet Debate


The five Democratic presidential candidates squared off in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday in their first debate. Many of the Republicans who are hoping to challenge the Democratic party nominee in next year’s presidential election took to social media to comment on the candidates’ performances and how well they debated the issues.

Donald Trump, who live-tweeted the debate, wasn’t impressed, saying there was no clear star.

Members from Ben Carson’s team posted a video message to his Twitter feed predicting what they thought would be absent from the debate, including why the economy isn't growing, "anything about the unborn" and a prayer. 

Marco Rubio created a bingo game board, urging his followers to mark off squares each time a candidate talked about points like energy costs, Planned Parenthood and President Barack Obama, while Rand Paul tweeted a GIF of deleted emails from an iPhone screen.

Ohio Governor John Kasich tweeted a video message to his followers at the end of the debate, saying he’s planning on an alternative to the Democrats “high taxes and more government,” which he plans to release on Thursday.

Many of the GOP candidates challenged front-runner Hillary Clinton on her use of a personal email server. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted directly to Clinton, saying it’s “not about your emails, it’s about you hiding the truth @ the expense of our national security.”

Other candidates criticized Clinton's leadership style.

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders wasn’t immune to criticism. Mike Huckabee said he would trust Sanders with his tax dollars “like I trust a North Korean chef with my labrador!” His tweet sparked immediate outrage on social media. 

South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham had a few kind words for Jim Webb, calling him a “war hero by any definition.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said he wasn't surprised that the candidates were discussing capitalism.

But GOP candidates weren't the only ones tweeting. Bill Clinton, who also watched the debate, also tweeted, not surprisingly, his support for Hillary Clinton.

Photo Credit: AP
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Plane Crashes Into Trailer


Palm Beach County authorities responded to a small plane that crashed into a trailer in Lake Worth in southern Florida that killed a woman on Tuesday.

Domingo Galicia said he heard an explosion in the Mar Mak Trailer Park and went running to look for his daughter. He said his 21-year-old daughter, Banny Galicia, died in the explosion.

"I don't feel anything. I feel like I'm in the air. This is all I have, what I'm wearing," Galicia said.

It's unclear how many people were inside the trailer when the plane crashed and how many people were inside the plane.

The Palm Beach Sheriff Office said two trailers were affected; one where the crash occurred and another next door. All other residents have been allowed to return home.

"I looked up in the sky and saw a big cloud of black smoke just engulfing," Booker T. Martin explained.

"I see everyone outside looking, some people crying. One guy said he tried to save a lady stuck in the house," Vladimir Nicolas said.

Surrounding roads and trailers nearby were immediately closed and evacuated around 6 p.m.

The FAA and NTSB have been notified. The scene will be secured by deputies until NTSB crews arrive on Wednesday.

Police Arrest Suspect 18 Years After Oklahoma Girl Disappears


Police arrested a suspect in connection with the 1997 disappearance of Oklahoma girl Kirsten Hatfield, court documents show.

Anthony Joseph Palma was arrested on Monday in his home, just two homes down from the street from the house where the 8-year-old's family was living when she disappeared, NBC News reported.

The break in the case came in when it was reassigned to another detective.

Photo Credit: AP

Huckabee Under Fire for 'North Korean Chef' Tweet to Sanders


Mike Huckabee came under fire for a tweet he sent while the Democratic candidates took to the debate stage in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday, NBC News reported.

The former Arkansas governor likened his trust of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders to “a North Korean chef with my labrador!”

The response on Twitter to Huckabee was swift.

Photo Credit: AP
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Israel Deploys Troops to Reinforce Security


Hundreds of Israeli troops deployed on Wednesday to bolster police forces amid a deadly wave of violence that has put the nation on high alert, NBC News reported.

The military moves came a day after a series of attacks — men opening fire and stabbing passengers on a bus, a driver ramming pedestrians then stabbing pedestrians — that left three people dead and more than 20 wounded.

In response to the escalating violence, Israel's security cabinet approved a set of tougher security measures late Tuesday.

Photo Credit: AP

New Haven Police Investigating Homicide


 New Haven police are investigating after a man was found shot to death in a parking lot of an apartment building at 210 Davenport Avenue on Tuesday night.

According to police, the unidentified victim is an adult in his late teens or early twenties. 

He was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.

Authorities are still on the scene investigating the incident and have not identified any suspects.

Anyone with information is urged to call New Haven Police at 203-946-6304.

FBI Searching House, Barn in Manchester


FBI agents spent the morning and part of the afternoon searching a house and barn at 30 Hudson Street in Manchester as part of an ongoing investigation.

Few details are available other than that the FBI was acting on a search warrant.

Local and state police are also at the scene and said that they are always called in whenever another agency is working.

It's not clear who is at the center of the investigation.

NBC Connecticut knocked on the door and it appeared people were inside, but no one answered.

The family who owns the house now bought the property in 2008 from an estate, according to the Manchester tax office, and online tax information says the property includes a barn with a loft and a shed.

According to neighbors, a large family has lived in the house for a few years. While they report seeing several cars and people come and go from the house, they have never noticed any cause for alarm.

The FBI had left the scene by mid-day.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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