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Family of Suspect in New Britain Sex Assault Questions Charges


A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman outside a liquor store in downtown New Britain in October appeared in court on Monday and his family is questioning the charges.

Joel St. Peter, 24, of New Britain, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on Lafayette Street, near Main Street, just before 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 21, according to police.

Police said the victim did not know the man and released surveillance images of him on Friday in the hopes that someone would recognize him and help police capture a suspect.

On Friday night, police arrested St. Peter night and said tips from the public led to that arrest.

St. Peter appeared in court on Monday and his cousin said he is mentally challenged and knew the victim.

"I don't think he would have raped somebody or hold her hostage or something. I don't think he would do that," Michelle LaRochelle said. "He probably wanted to kiss her and, who knows what happened."

St. Peter has been charged with first-degree sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping.

The court file is sealed, and police said the victim is relieved the suspect is in police custody.

St. Peter was originally held on a $400,000 bond, but he is now being held on $750,000.

He is due back in court in December.



Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Timeline of Student Protests at University of Missouri


A growing discontent among black students at the University of Missouri's handling of racism culminated Monday with the resignation of president Tim Wolfe. 

Activists said the roots of their anger date to last year, when they complained of a slow and lackluster response by the university to the shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. But the displeasure reached a boiling point this fall, during a series of events that began after the start of the school year, NBC News reported.

Last week, one student began a hunger strike, and on Saturday members of the football team said they would refuse to play until Wolfe left office. That last move seemed to force Wolfe's hand.

The first event was on Sept. 11, 2015, with the head of the Missouri Students Association, Payton Head, who was walking through campus when 'some guys riding on the back of a pickup truck decided that it would be okay for continuously scream N-- at me," he wrote on Facebook the following day.

Photo Credit: AP

Crews Powerwash Soldiers' Headstones for Veterans Day


Thousands of soldiers and sailors lie buried in Soldiers Field in Northwood Cemetery in Windsor, which is owned by the city of Hartford. And now visitors can see what their names were and in what war they served.

Hot power-washing cleaned marble headstones Monday as Hartford Public Works crewmen tried to wrap up the cleanup before their Veterans Day holiday.

Just a few weeks ago, the cemetery was riddled with cracked and toppled headstones and overgrown plots. Pieces of wood propped up some stones, much to the dismay of relatives of old soldiers.

"He would be disgusted to be buried here," one man said in May of his father.

Volunteers and prison inmates also helped scrub the headstones Sept. 18.

Now the power-washing has brightened almost all of the stones at Soldier's Field. But what will happen here after Veterans Day? Hartford's city government owns the cemetery and has to maintain it. Is it a priority for the new mayor?

"Speaking as a veteran," said Luke Bronin, who served in Afghanistan in the Navy Reserve, "it's incredibly important to me that we show those who have served the respect that they deserve long after they're gone."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Obama Points to Blocking Keystone as Top Accomplishment


President Barack Obama is already citing the decision not to proceed with the Keystone XL pipeline as one of the key accomplishments of his presidency.

Obama spoke to the group Organization for Action on Monday. He recounted the improving economy and job numbers and the higher number of people with health insurance coverage. Those are staples in his speeches to supporters. But he added to the list of accomplishments the decision to kill a Canadian energy giant's application to build the pipeline.

He says going ahead with the pipeline would have harmed the United States' leadership on curbing global warming.

"We've got to lead by example, because ultimately, If we're going to prevent large parts of the Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable, then we're going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them," Obama said.

The group Obama addressed supports the president's political agenda, including efforts to curb global warming and overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

Photo Credit: AP

Hartford Residents To Brainstorm Ideas For $1.25 Million Project


The city of Hartford is looking for your ideas on how to spend $1.25 million.

It’s part of a new plan called “Participatory Budgeting” – where residents make the ultimate decision on a project.

“The purpose is to for residents to determine how a certain amount of money gets spent in their city,” Maribel LaLuz, director of communications for the city of Hartford, said.

The $1.25 million dollars comes from the Capital Budget fund, which was allocated by the Hartford City Council to use for a 2017 project.

“They have to be construction projects, so I’m anticipating there will probably be a lot of proposals for park related or recreational related projects, but it could also be community gardens or street improvements," Linda Bayor, a representative with Hartford Decides, said.

The new organization is made up of five groups: the city of Hartford, Leadership Greater Hartford, the city’s public library, Metro Hartford Alliance and Hartford 2000.

The public is invited to attend three brainstorming sessions:

Meeting 1

Saturday, Nov. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hartford Public Library Downtown Branch, 500 Main St., Hartford

Meeting 2
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Arroyo Center in Pope Park, 30 Pope Park Dr., Hartford

Meeting 3
Saturday, Dec. 5, 1 to 5 p.m.
Parker Memorial Community Center, 2621 Main St.

After the public has brainstormed ideas, they will be paired up with city officials to develop a project plan.

A public vote to determine how the $1.25 million will be spent will be in March. The project will then be added into the next budget cycle.

For more information on Hatford Decides and participatory budgeting in Hartford, you can visit www.hartforddecides.org.

Bridgeport Police Seek Bike Robber Who Punched Victim: PD


Bridgeport police are looking for a person who assaulted someone under 18 and then stole his bicycle outside a business in the city on Sunday, police said.

Police responded to an establishment at the corner of Ogden Street and Noble Avenue in Bridgeport on Sunday to investigate a report of a strong-arm robbery, police said. When officers arrived, the juvenile victim told police he had parked his bike outside while he went in the business to buy something, according to police.

When he got back to his bike, someone was sitting on it, police said. He told the person to "give it back," he said to police. But instead of complying, the person punched him in the right side of his stomach and took off on the victim's bicycle in the westbound direction on Ogden Street, police said.

Police are still looking for the robber and the bicycle, which is a red, gray and black TREK mountain bike.

The incident remains under investigation.

Bridgeport police ask anyone with information to contact the department at 203-576-1311.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Pull Unconscious Man from Burning Car


Three Hamden police officers, including a police captain, rushed into action to pull a driver from a burning car early Monday morning.

Captain Ronald Smith was working in the area of Dixwell Avenue and Benham Street at 2:30 a.m. when police received reports of a car crash and fire, police said.

As Smith arrived at the scene, heavy smoke was billowing inside the car and a bystander alerted Smith that someone was still inside the vehicle.

Smith saw the man, later identified as Thomas Henderson, 35, and tried to get to him, but the damage was extensive and he was not able to get to him.

Smith then used a fire extinguisher from Acropolis Diner to try to put out the blaze.

Moments later, Sergeant Michael Sigmon, and Officer Nicholas Lovett arrived and Sigmon broke the front passenger side window, then all three officers were able to pull Henderson from the car and drag him away from the vehicle.

Hamden firefighters responded and extinguished the fire.

Police said Henderson suffered several injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police ID Couple Shot in Philly


Philadelphia police identified a man and woman who were shot to death inside an SUV near a historic mansion in Fairmount Park and referred to their murder as a "crime of passion." 

Shakoor Arline, 25, and Lisa Smith, 32, were found with gunshot wounds in their heads inside a white Toyota Sequoia at the park's Lemon Hill Friday afternoon. A maintenance crew found their bodies inside the white Toyota Sequoia parked at the hill, just north of Boathouse Row and yards from the historic Lemon Hill Mansion, about 2:40 p.m. on Friday.

The crew was emptying trash cans at a picnic pavilion just off the 800 block of Lemon Hill Drive when authorities said they noticed the SUV parked in an unusual area near a gazebo and went to investigate.

Police said the two were in the back seat of the SUV with Arizona plates. A back passenger-side window was shattered by gunfire. Arline was naked while Smith was partially dressed, according to investigators.

The victims each suffered several gunshot wounds to the head, police said. During a press conference Monday, investigators revealed the gunman fired nine shots in all at close range and referred to the shooting as a "crime of passion."

"I can tell you from the crime scene it appears to be very much a crime of passion," said Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark. "We've got nine shots fired, all of them head shots, to both of the victims." 

While police initially said Arline and Smith were dating, they revealed Monday that the two victims were also in relationships with other people.

"We know that they had a relationship but also they had outside relationships so obviously that's where our investigation is gonna start," Captain Clark said. "Because somebody knew that they were in the park at that time and obviously had an issue with that." 

Police say they interviewed an unidentified woman in connection to the shooting but no arrests have been made. They continue to investigate.

Tipsters should contact 215-686-3334 or text a tip to PPD TIP (773847).

Photo Credit: NBC10

'Football Became Secondary,' Mizzou Coach Says of Boycott


The coach of the University of Missouri football team, whose players boycotted games and practice because they felt that the school's president wasn't properly handling allegations of racism on campus, said Monday that supporting the players was the right thing to do and that he'd "do it again," NBC News reported.

Coach Gary Pinkel said at a press conference that he backed the boycott, which ended earlier Monday when University President Tim Wolfe resigned. Members of the football team said they wouldn't play, in support of a graduate student who started a hunger strike over hateful speech and actions, canceling practice Sunday.

"Football became secondary," said Pinkel, who referred to the players as student leaders. He tweeted a photo Sunday of the entire team standing together in a show of unity.

Later Monday, R. Bowen Loftin, chancellor of the system's flagship campus in Columbia, announced his resignation, effective at the end of the year.

Photo Credit: AP
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Dog Killed, Elderly Woman Injured in Wallingford Hit-and-Run


A dog was killed and an elderly woman was injured in a hit-and-run crash during their walk on North Turnpike Road (Route 150) in Wallingford Monday evening.

The road is shut down after the accident, which happened in front of Amore Pizza in the area of 84 North Turnpike Road, according to police.

A 74-year-old woman was walking a dog when a green car hit her and the canine, police said. The dog was dead when police arrived and the woman was transported to an area hospital to be treated for serious physical injuries.

The driver of the vehicle that hit them kept going and fled the scene. Police are looking for the individual and the car.

It's unknown how long the road will remain closed.

Police were still on scene as of 5:40 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Terminated Teacher Apologizes for Chair-Pulling Incident


A teacher at Bailey Middle School in West Haven is speaking out after his termination over an incident caught on camera showing him pulling a chair away while a student was sitting on it.

Police launched an investigation after receiving a cell phone video of eighth grade science teacher David Pfaff, 31, aggressively pulling a chair out from underneath a student at the middle school, but no arrest has been made at this time, police said.

The incident happened several videos and Pfaf said he never intended for it to get out of hand. A student with behavioral problems refused several times to get up from his chair when Pfaff asked him multiple times to move so others could use the table he was at, Pfaff said. Pfaff said he offered the students options to leave the room or talk to support personnel, but the student spoke to him and his peers using inappropriate language and he asked him one more time to "please move."

“He used very, very, very inappropriate language towards me and towards other students," Pfaff said.

When the student still didn't budge, Pfaff said he was faced with three options -- to let it go, to call security for help or to intervene.

“I felt like calling security, getting the administration involved – the school administration involved – and having him sent to in-school suspension or whatever discipline measure they said was necessary. I felt that was overkill," Pfaff said.

He said he didn't think he could do nothing, so he decided to employ a technique he observed other teachers use in similar situations -- moving a student's chair to get the child to stand so the teacher could then escort them to another space in the room.

“I felt that I needed to intervene in some way that I had not previously done," Pfaff said.

But, when he did it, the student didn't stand up, so the kid fell to the ground.

Pfaff said he never meant for that to happen and that he would never harm a student.

“I looked at him and I looked at the chair. I know you are not supposed to touch a student. You don’t do that," Pfaff said. “I never meant for that to happen. Never.”

The student got up and didn't complain of being in pain, but had a meltdown, knocking over chairs and throwing objects in the room, forcing Pfaff to have to call security anyway, Pfaff said.

“He told me, you know, he told me he was fine," Pfaff said.

Security personnel removed the student from the classroom, Pfaff said.

West Haven Superintendent Neil Cavallaro released a statement on the incident, stating, “As soon as we were notified last week of the incident in question, we immediately contacted the appropriate authorities and terminated the teacher, who was still on the probationary period that all new teachers are on when they are hired in our district. We cannot comment further, as the investigation is ongoing and it is also a personnel matter.”

Pfaff admitted that the incident made him worried he would be fired and then he learned four days ago that someone had filmed the incident on a cell phone.

“I did not see them recording me whatsoever," Pfaff said.

He was told the video was being released to the district and that an investigation into the incident on the video would be opened, Pfaff said. He was escorted to his car and told he was being put on home leave during the investigation.  On Friday, police said they were also opening an investigation and his union representatives notified him the same day he was going to be fired, Pfaff said.

Regarding the situation, he said that teachers often have to make split-second decisions. When asked if he thinks he went too far, he said, " it’s kind of difficult to judge in the moment whether you’re going too far, whether or not you aren’t,” but that “if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have taken the same course of action.”

“You’re presented with a situation and you don’t have two minutes to think over all the results that could happen to that," Pfaff said. "You have to make a decision in 10 seconds, 20 seconds.”

He said he is sorry for what happened and regrets the incident, which he said has been weighing on his mind. 

He has since spoken with fellow teachers and administrators about it in the hopes to learn from it.

“I loved my job. Did it come with challenges? Yeah, it did," Pfaff said.

Pfaff had been teaching at the school for three months and was in a probationary period as a new teacher. He has about a year of teaching experience and substituted in Waterbury schools previously.

“A good teacher always questions everything they do and they always try to improve upon for next time," Pfaff said.

School officials declined to comment further on the situation because it is a personnel matter and remains under investigation.

West Haven police said they cannot release the video because it's part of their investigation.

Pfaff said he's looking to find a lawyer and said he doesn't have all of the protections of the teachers' union.

“I feel bad. I feel really, really bad about everything that has happened," Pfaff said.

SeaWorld San Diego Ends Whale Show


SeaWorld San Diego will phase out its iconic killer whale show as early as next year and replace it with a conservation-based show, SeaWorld Entertainment's CEO announced during the company's investors meeting Monday. 

The killer whale show featuring Shamu has been part of the park's identity for decades. SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby said at Monday's meeting the show will be phased out as part of a shift in focus to promote conservation as part of the company's brand. 

"Now, we've been doing a lot of this quietly, ourselves, but we're making it a part of our brand going forward," Manby said. 

Instead of the killer whale show as it exists now, Manby said SeaWorld San Diego will launch a new orca experience in a natural setting, focusing on the behavior of whales in the wild. The future of other killer whale shows in Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio, TX. 

PETA Foundation Director of Animal Law Jared Goodman said in a statement to NBC7 that despite these proposed changes, no change will be enough to satisfy the animals' needs.

"An end to SeaWorld's tawdry circus-style shows is inevitable and necessary, but it's captivity that denies these far-ranging orcas everything that is natural and important to them," Goodman said.

In addition to transitioning their iconic show, the SeaWorld Entertainment CEO announced a number of new changes aimed at making the parks more cause-based. 

"We'll also design new ways to encounter our animals, not in shows, but in natural environments that will inspire the next generation of our guests," he said.

Manby said he envisions a hands-on experience that will inspire people and teach them about the animals.

"The show will have a strong conservation message, and that means 2016 will be the last year of the theatrical killer whale experience called 'One Ocean' that right now is in San Diego," Manby said. 

Manby outlined the park's plan for "different formats of storytelling," ranging from new rides to virtual presentations of far-away places. One new experience for guests will arrive in 2016, when SeaWorld brings the world of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to life across all parks.

Going forward, park employees — now called ambassadors — will be paid to spend time engaging with guests as part of the park's push to connect with the community and build conversation into its brand. Manby said engagement days will be spent supporting rescues, educations and preservation.

Employees' name tags will now not only identify workers, but will also list animal causes they support, according to Manby.

Additionally, SeaWorld will partner with Evans Hotels as they begin to explore the idea of putting a hotel in some of their parking lot space and the surrounding areas, just off San Diego's Mission Bay. 

At Monday's meeting, SeaWorld Entertainment reported its earnings and park income climbed in the three months leading up to September, even though attendance fell slightly.

More than 22 million people visited parks around the country. According to Manby, 32 percent of SeaWorld guests are millennials and half are families, numbers he would like to increase.

SeaWorld San Diego will also become the testing park for new pricing changes the company is trying out in an effort to streamline the ticketing process. 

The company still faces challenges.

A California congressman introduced a bill to ban the breeding, capture and import of Orca whales for public display. The California Coastal Commission required that SeaWorld ban breeding in captivity if it wanted to build a new killer whale enclosure, though the ban would only apply to California properties.

SeaWorld has come under fire since the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which suggests the park's treatment of captive orcas provokes violent behavior. Since the release, the company has struggled with falling stock prices and park attendance numbers. In the past, the park has blamed a drop in attendance on its struggle to restore its image. 

An online PETA petition with nearly 100,000 signatures is asking Dubai officials not to allow SeaWorld to open in the city. 

Photo Credit: AP/File

VW Offers $1,000 Credit Cards to Owners of Cheating Diesels


Volkswagen's U.S. subsidiary said on Monday it will offer $1,000 worth of credit cards, of which half may be spent at VW and Audi dealerships, to owners of certain diesel models the company has admitted do not comply with government emissions standards.

The automaker said eligible U.S. owners of nearly 500,000 VW and Audi models equipped with 2.0 liter TDI diesel engines can apply to receive a $500 prepaid Visa card and a $500 dealership card, as well as three years of free roadside assistance services, NBC News reported.

The program could cost VW nearly $500 million, half of which could flow directly to dealers.

VW has said about 482,000 cars sold in the United States since 2009 with four-cylinder diesel engines had software installed that allowed the engines to pass government tests for smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions, but pollute at levels far above government limits in normal operation.

Photo Credit: File--AP

One Injured in Shooting on Spartanburg, S.C., College Campus


One person was being treated at a hospital after a shooting Monday night on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College in northwest South Carolina, authorities told NBC News.

No information on the severity or circumstances of the person's injuries was immediately available.

The school, a private junior college about 25 miles northeast of Greenville, confirmed that there had been a shooting on campus. It issued a campuswide lockdown and told students to remain in their dormitory rooms.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Man Left Porn at Southington, Berlin Homes: Cops


Police in Berlin and Southington have arrested a 58-year-old Bristol man who they said left pornography with racist messages strewn across lawns of random houses for years.

Gilbert Lévesque, 58, of Bristol, was arrested on Monday after a months-long investigation.

Southington police have been investigating since four residents filed complaints on May 18 after finding pornographic clippings in front of or near their homes.

At the time, police said they received reports of magazine photos and one DVD at several locations around town, including near a school and at a bus stop.

Over each image, vulgar and racist messages were scrawled in marker, police said.

When they announced the arrest on Monday, Southington police said they had received complaints on May 18, May 21 and May 24 and have charged Lévesque with six counts of breach of peace, one count of risk of injury and impairing the morals of children for those incidents.

This has been happening in Southington for the past 13 years, including in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Old Saybrook, police said, but it’s not clear if Lévesque is suspected in all the cases.

Lévesque was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond for the Southington charges and is due in Bristol Superior Court on Nov. 23.

Police in Berlin said they investigated several incidents over the past two years, including in the Savage Hill Road area.

When police searched Lévesque’s home, they found a “large amount of evidence” and said it looks like the material was distributed at random and did not specifically target anyone.

Bristol police have charged him with 44 counts of second-degree breach of peace.

He was released on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on Nov. 18 for the Berlin charges. 

Photo Credit: Southington Police

Yale Students March for Racial Justice Amid Recent Tensions


Thousands of Yale students took to the streets of New Haven in a "walk of resistance" on Monday, calling for racial justice after complaints of racial tensions at the prestigious Ivy League institution in recent weeks.

This comes just days after the university president and a dean, as well as other school officials, met with dozens of students on Thursday to discuss concerns in the wake of a fiery exchange about "culturally offensive" Halloween costumes as well as allegations that a fraternity recently held a "white girls only" party.

The debate over Halloween costumes — such as "blackface and turbans" — that could be considered culturally insensitive, came after the university's Intercultural Affairs Council sent an email to students before Halloween, asking them to be cognizant of the "cultural implications" of their costumes.

The other issue includes allegations that the Yale chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity threw a "white girls only" party and denied classmates entry based on their race. The fraternity has denied the allegations and called them "deeply disheartening."

On Monday, students, carrying signs, with messages including, “I Stand With My Sisters“ and “United We Stand,” said they are marching for racial justice, but declined interviews.

"We are unstoppable, another Yale is possible," students chanted.

"It is time for a change in strategy. It is a time for student power," one person proclaimed.

Prior to the march President Peter Salovey addressed the back-to-back issues in a letter to the student body, saying the conversation he had with students about the allegations left him “deeply troubled” and said the university must “act to create at Yale greater inclusion, healing, mutual respect, and understanding.”

The racial argument flared up around Halloween. After the Intercultural Affairs Council email was sent out, Yale lecturer Erika Christakis fired back with an email defending "students' rights to wear potentially offensive costumes as an expression of free speech," according to The Yale Daily News.

"I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense," Erika Christakis wrote in an email to the students of Sillman College. The full email was posted by TheFire.org. "I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students."

Then came the alleged "white girls only" party. After student protests and media attenton, brothers at Sigma Alpha Epsilon released a statement denying that anyone was turned away from their party on the basis of race. They said they support all efforts to "highlight perceived discrimination" and that they "harbor no resentment" over the claim.

"We do regret, however, that a more thorough investigation into these claims did not occur before allegations were made," said the fraternity's statement from last week.

Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway's statement to the student body, released over the weekend, said he is investigating.

"Remember that Yale belongs to all of you, and you all deserve the right to enjoy the good of this place, without worry, without threats, and without intimidation. I don't expect Yale to be a place free from disagreements or even intense argument; I expect you to disagree on a wide range of issues. In so many ways, this is the purpose of our institution: to teach us how to ask difficult questions about even our most sacrosanct ideas. While we do this, however, we must support each other," he said in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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Bloomingdale's Sorry for Ad


Retail giant Bloomingdale's is apologizing for a holiday ad that many believed seemed to promote date rape, calling the spot "inappropriate and in poor taste."

The ad from Bloomingdale's 2015 holiday catalog began circulating online Tuesday, showing a woman and man dressed up for a night out, with the woman looking in a away while the man gazes in her direction.

"Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking," it reads.

Thousands took to social media in outrage soon after the ad debuted.

Bloomingdale's responded with an apology on Twitter.

The retailer also told NBC News, "In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our current catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale's sincerely apologizes for this error in judgement."

Bloomingdale's would not comment on the company's process for approving advertisements or say whether disciplinary action had been taken in connection with the ad.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Bloomingdale's
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Ex-Wesleyan Student Charged in Overdose Case Pleads Guilty


One of five former Wesleyan University students arrested in connection with a slew of party drug overdoses earlier this year pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday, and in exchange, prosecutors dropped some of the charges against him.

Zachary Kramer, of Bethesda, Maryland, originally pleaded not guilty but reversed his plea Thursday.

Police launched an investigation in February after nearly a dozen Wesleyan students were hospitalized after taking what they thought was the euphoria-inducing stimulant MDMA, or "Molly," authorities said. One of the affected students went into cardiac arrest, according to police.

Soon after the students sought medical attention, Middletown police suspected they might have ingested a bad batch of Molly and began investigating the drug's origins.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the students bought what they thought was Molly from Kramer, of but the drug was later identified the party drug as "Spice" or "K2," a brand of synthetic marijuana.

Kramer became the drug's primary supplier in 2015, taking over after dealing drugs he bought from another student, according to the warrant for his arrest.

Witnesses told police they thought Kramer has bought the recent batch in Washington, D.C., and brought the drugs to campus. Police found several drugs in Kramer's dorm room, according to the warrant.

Kramer initially entered a plea of not guilty, but pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy of distributing controlled substances in exchange for charges of attempting to distribute and distributing near a private college being dropped.

He is due back in court on Feb. 10 and prosecutors are recommending a sentence of a year to 18 months. 

Kramer, who was expelled from Wesleyan, was one of five students arrested on state charges amid the investigation. The state has since suspended its cases against Kramer and another student, Eric Lonergan, who are also facing federal charges. 

Lonergan is due in court on Nov. 23.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police

Car Hits School Bus in Guilford: Police


A car broadsided a school bus on Route 77 in Guilford, according to police, who said children are on the bus, but none of them are injured.

Police said the crash happened near Little Meadow Road and the initial report is that the car broadsided the bus.

The road is closed near the crash site and crews will need to clean up a fuel spill.

An NBC Connecticut crew is on the way to the scene.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

'Dumb Luck': Hot Pocket Saves Man Affected by Akron Plane Crash


A hankering for a Hot Pocket may have saved his life.

When a twin-engine charter jet slammed into an Akron, Ohio, apartment complex on Tuesday just before 3 p.m., Jason Bartley's building took the brunt of the devastation. 

The 38-year-old factory worker, who is usually home at that time, left to run errands at 2:15 p.m. Upon tackling his to-do's, Bartley didn't go home right away. Instead, he headed for the Dollar General to buy a pizza Hot Pocket for dinner and another Hot Pocket for breakfast before returning home. 

About six minutes after the plane crashed, Bartley drove up to his normally quiet, residential neighborhood and found thick smoke and orange flames filled the sky. Nine people on board the plane were killed.

"My apartment was the one that took the direct force hit," Bartley said, calling his near-miss "dumb-luck."

Having lost everything but his car and the clothes he was wearing that day, Bartley said that first day of the accident left him in a fog — and now he realizes he's lucky to be alive.

Photo Credit: AP
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