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Dad of Kidnapped Son Praises Coach


The father of a teen kidnapped by a carjacking suspect said the teen's coach, who wrestled a gun away from the armed suspect, may have saved his son's life. 

"Didn't hit me 'till church that we could have been at a funeral Mass instead of a Christmas Mass," said Kevin Spencer, father of the kidnapped boy. "It kind of hit me right then and there we could have lost our son."

Two days before Christmas, and two days before his wife's birthday, Spencer's 16-year-old son Jack was preparing for upcoming tryouts with his 28-year-old baseball coach, Dylan Graham, at Hickman field in Kearny Mesa when, they say, a man approached them with a handgun. 

He forced the duo into the coach's Jeep Latitude and ordered them to drive him to Ramona, according to SDPD Robbery Unit Commander Todd Griffin.

With the coach in the driver’s seat, the teen in the front passenger seat and the suspect in the back, they drove until they reached the mountains near Ramona. The suspect told the pair he would let them go near Ramona, but after making a call, he told them his plans had changed.

Graham said he remembers thinking the suspect was going to kill them, but was just waiting for the right time. He said he began thinking about an escape route to keep he and Jack alive. 

When the suspect pulled out a cigarette and began smoking, Graham lunged at the suspect and grabbed his gun. 

"He literally took off his seat belt and went in between the two seats and went after the guy," Spencer said.

As they struggled over the weapon, two shots were fired into the roof and the Jeep veered off the road, crashing at San Vicente and Wildcat Canyon roads in Ramona. The coach told the teen to run as he held the suspect at gunpoint.

The victim fired two shots at the suspect’s feet, Griffin said, and the suspect ran away, bleeding from his forehead and hand and holding his leg. Down the road, he carjacked another vehicle. The 79-year-old driver who picked him up eventually jumped out of the car, which was later found abandoned in a parking lot.

Though Graham was not trained for a situation like this, "yet he did it and pulled it off," Spencer said. 

And the father said Graham's brave actions saved his son's life. 

"If Dylan didn't do what he did, the circumstances could have been vastly different," Spencer said. "It could have been a heck of a lot worse."

Following the struggle, Graham went to the hospital for minor wounds. The former San Diego State University baseball player is recovering now and expected to be okay.

Graham is "a little bumped up and sore, but we've communicated to him out thankfulness for his courage for his actions and very pleased that he's safe and hope that he's feeling better," Spencer said.

Spencer said what Graham and his son did displayed great bravery during a difficult time. In a world with so much negativity, Spencer said, he wanted people to know how Graham, one of the "good guys", helped save a life. 

"I don't know if I could have done what my son did, and I certainly don't think I could have done what Dylan did," Spencer said. "Two remarkable kids. I shouldn't call Dylan a kid, but you know to me, he is. But two remarkable young men. And Dylan especially felt the need to protect our son."

The incident turned the last few days of 2015 into an unforgettable miracle for Spencer's parents, who are thankful both their son and Graham are alive and well. 

"My wife and I put a spin on it: that probably was the best birthday present she'd ever gotten and certainly a Christmas blessing, that something like this could happen and nobody, thank God, was hurt and everyone's home with their families," Spencer said.

Spencer said they received word the suspect was taken into custody earlier, but authorities have not confirmed that information to NBC7 independently. The investigation is ongoing. If you know anything about the suspect or the incident, call the SDPD at 619-531-2000.

Japan, South Korea Reach Historic Deal on Wartime 'Comfort Women'


The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan agreed on an historic deal Monday to resolve a longstanding impasse over Korean women forced into Japanese military-run brothels during World War II. 
Historians say tens of thousands of so-called "comfort women" from Asia, many of them Korean, were sent to front-line military brothels where they were forced to perform sexual acts with Japanese soldiers. 
The shared history has been a source of tension between the powers for decades.
Monday's agreement, which is expected to ease the tension, includes an apology from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a 1 billion yen ($8.3 million) aid fund from Tokyo for the few dozen former sex slaves who are still alive. 

Photo Credit: AP

Rash of Burglaries in Unlocked Cars in Plainfield


Plainfield police are investigating a rash of car-breakins that have happened at overnight the past several weeks, police said.

The car burglaries have been happening in unlocked cars, so police are reminding people to lock their vehicles and to avoid leaving valuables in them.

Several car break-ins have happened in the area of Putnam Road and nearby streets by the Plainfield/Killingly town line over the past several weeks, police said.

The department asks residents to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity observed right away at 860-564-0804.

Police haven't identified any suspects in the car break-ins at this time.

One Dead After Crash on I-91 South in Enfield


One person is dead after a crash on I-91 south in Enfield.

State police say Aaron Hess, 39, of Bloomfield, was driving in the right lane around 2:57 p.m. near exit 46 when his car veered across three lanes of traffic and struck a cement barrier on the left shoulder. Hess suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on scene.

Police are still investigating the crash. I-91 south was closed for several hours while police investigated but has since reopened.

Anyone with information about the crash should contact State Police Troop H at (860) 534-1000

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Put Out Car Fire on Route 15 in Hartford

State Preps for First Chances of Snow this Season


Temperatures were in the fifties to start the final week of the year. It was weather that was hard for some people to believe.

“It’s rainy in December, not that great. But I guess I’d rather it rain than snow,” say Janee Kemp of East Windsor.

Shoppers took advantage of the mild Sunday in Enfield. They were out to browse the after Christmas sales.

“You can see I just have a hooded sweatshirt on. Haven’t broken out the big jacket so definitely nice,” says Andrew Anderson of Bloomfield.

“I’m loving it. I don’t like snow. I’m from here but I still don’t like snow. I will never complain about this weather,” says Niesha Taylor of Bloomfield.

While some were snagging deals, others were stocking up for potential wintry weather this week.

“I have my ice melt for cats and I have plenty of food in the house,” says Lorraine Duquette of East Hartford.

People stopped by Katz Hardware in Glastonbury. They’re finally looking for winter essentials including ice melt, shovels, and roof rakes.

“We’ve been slow. We’ve been picking up now. The weather started to pick up so we’ve getting a lot of the long-term New Englanders who know that this weather could change in a drop of a hat,” says Morgan Crum, manager of Katz Hardware.

Crews Extinguish Essex Fire


Crews have responded to a minor fire in Essex.

No one was injured in the fire that broke out at 10 Main Street.

The scene has cleared.

Vigil to Be Held for Teen Shot Dead Christmas Eve


Family members and friends are coming together Monday night to remember the 14-year-old Bridgeport teenager killed on Christmas Eve and his suspected killer is scheduled to appear in court during the day.

Michael Majors, 23, is facing murder charges in the shooting death of Luis Colon, 14.

Police say they responded to the area of 1160 State Street in Bridgeport for reports of a shooting. When they arrived they found two teenage victims suffering from gunshot wounds.

According to Bridgeport Police Captain A.J. Perez, Colon, was shot in the chest and died of his injuries at St. Vincent's Hospital. The other victim, a 17-year-old Trey Kaiser, was shot in the hand and leg and transported to St. Vincent’s hospital. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Police believe Colon was caught in the crossfire between two groups during a shootout.

“The 14-year-old was crossing the street when he got shot,” Perez said.

Surveillance video reveals a group of people outside Stylz Barber Shop. Two men, Majors and 17-year-old Trey Kaiser approached the group, police said. Major pulled a gun and opened fire, according to police. A man in front of the store also pulled a gun and the two began shooting, police said. Police estimate between 10 and 15 shots were fired.

Police don't believe Colon was the intended target.

“I thought of my grandchildren. It could be anybody’s grandchildren. What a sad loss. He hasn’t even lived," Hortense Bagley, of Bridgeport, said.

Majors initially denied any involvement, but then confessed that he was the shooter, police said. He was arrested and charged with murder. He is being held on $1 million bond. Police believe the incident is drug related.

Police say Colon lived in the neighborhood and attended a nearby high school.

“You could be anywhere and get shot. I mean it’s getting so bad around here. It’s terrible. I’m afraid to walk to the store. Poor little kids are getting killed, for nothing," Gloria Jean, of Bridgeport, said.

The vigil for him is Monday night at 6 p.m. at the barber shop.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Berlin Turnpike Reopens After Crash

Women Drives on Golf Course After Argument in Car Transporting Child: PD


Two adults were arrested after a dispute in a car with a child inside  that ended on a golf course on Christmas Eve in Naugatuck, police said.

Erika Dangelo, 31, of Naugatuck, is facing multiple charges including risk of injury to a child after she was arguing in a car with her boyfriend while driving on Porter Avenue and then pulling onto Hop Brook Golf Course, damaging the putting greens, police said. A man a child got out of the car and she pulled further onto the golf course before turning around, police said.

Officers responded to the golf course at 11:32 p.m. on Christmas Eve after receiving a suspicious vehicle complaint. They arrested Dangelo on charges of risk of injury to a child, third-degree criminal mischief, operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failure to drive in the proper lane on a multiple lane highway.

Police also charged Javier Nazario, 32, who lives with Dangelo in Naugatuck, with failure to respond to a payable violation due to an active arrest warrant for the separate charge.

Dangelo is scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Monday. Her bond was set at $500 for the motor vehicle charges and $1,500 for the criminal charges. Nazarious is scheduled to appear in the same court on Jan. 6 for his charge and hew was released on a $190 court-set cash bond.

Photo Credit: NBC

Video Shows Woman Throwing Dog


Disturbing video out of Fairfield shows a woman throwing a dog to the ground so hard the animal rolls several times across the pavement.

The footage shows a woman, identified by police as Brandi Chin, carrying her dog by the collar and tossing him into the street toward her ex-boyfriend.

Chin's ex-boyfriend told NBC affiliate KCRA it was a "heat of the moment" kind of thing.

"Me and her were arguing about personal things," he said. "It got blown up into something else and I think it just got out of hand."

The ex-boyfriend said he had never seen her do anything like this before.

"She's not an animal abuser. She's never abused animals when I was with her," he said.

Neighbor David Shields posted the video on social media. The footage garnered more than 44,000 views in the eight days since it happened. Some viewers called police, and animal service officers spent hours looking for the woman, who may be hiding in Vallejo.

The man who shot the video told KCRA it isn't the first time he's seen the woman abuse her dog. He said he's glad he caught it on camera this time.

David Shields posted the video on social media. In the eight days since, the footage has been seen by over 44,000 people, some of whom called police. Animal services officers responded to the calls and spent hours looking for Chin and her dog.

She is reportedly hiding out in Vallejo and could face fines and jail time if convicted of animal abuse. Authorities said they will have the dog checked by a veterinarian once they find it.

KCRA's Dana Griffin contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: David Shields

Bush: I'm Not Intimidated by 'Bully' Donald Trump


Presidential candidate Jeb Bush continued on Monday to attack Donald Trump as a "bully" who has thrived by exploiting the country's divisions, telling reporters in his home state that "people are latching onto him because life's not good right now," NBC New reported.

Returning to the campaign trail after the Christmas break, Bush slammed Trump for "preying on people's fears" amid an economic recovery that has been sluggish for many Americans, adding that the real-estate mogul "divides us in all of our disparate parts."

"I'm the only candidate that has gone after him because everybody else seems to be intimidated by the bully. I'm not," he added.

Photo Credit: AP
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Ellington Woman Found Dead in Home Was Shot to Death


A woman found dead in an Ellington home the day before Christmas Eve died of gunshot wounds in a homicide, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington.

Connie Dabate, 39, was found dead at the scene of a 911 call at 7 Birchview Drive that originally came in as a residential burglary alarm call around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

Troopers first found resident Richard Dabate, 39, with non-life-threatening injuries upon their arrival. Dabate was transported to Hartford Hospital for treatment. Troopers also encountered smoke in the home.

Officials from the medical examiner's office determined that Connie Dabate was shot in the head and abdomen and died of those gunshot wounds. Investigators have deemed her death a homicide.

Detectives are still working to determine what activated the burglary alarm and caused the injury and death to the victims.

There is no threat to the public.

No arrests have been made and no suspects have been named at this time and there's no search or suspect at large, state police said. This was an isolated incident, state police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

First Snow Expected Overnight in Winter Storm


There wasn't a white Christmas in this streak of record warmth, but First Alert forecasters have their eyes on the season's first snow Monday night into Tuesday morning that could coat parts of the state with up to a few inches in the north.

A winter weather advisory will go into effect at 8 p.m. on Sunday night. for all of the state but the immediate shoreline. Most of the state could see about an inch of snow and a small part of northern Connecticut in the hills could see two to four inches.

Monday is a day of transition, with temperatures getting colder, hitting between 35 and 40 degrees.

The day will start with sunshine before increasing clouds roll in. The typical high clouds before a storm will spread over the region and result in considerable cloudiness. More importantly, high pressure over Quebec provide a flow of cold, very dry air on a north and northeast wind.

That sets the stage for the season's first winter storm. Snow will start falling a little after midnight and will be done by the time people wake up. However, it will transition into sleet and freezing rain into the morning.

The Tuesday morning commute looks slick, particularly in northern Connecticut. Temperatures will be near freezing through the valley well into the morning.

Tuesday morning into the afternoon will likely transition into rain, with any mix along the shoreline turning over to rain fairly quicly.

The one factor that will help is the unfrozen ground. It's warm and moist. That may decrease the chance for prolonged freezing rain or even impact how the snow accumulates.

Wednesday brings drier weather, with perhaps a mix of clouds and sunshine. There's some question as to how much low level moisture will be left, which cloud result in more clouds and even drizzle.

Another system brings rain showers on Thursday (New Year's Eve) with temperatures in the 40s.

So, while there are signs of winter in the forecast and some snow-making weather to be found, the temperatures generally remain above average heading into the final day of the year.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Sisters Entertain Themselves During Flight Delay in Hilarious Video


Two Connecticut sisters spent hours in the airport in Detroit on Tuesday when their layover was extended, so they made a hilarious video to break up the boredom.

The sisters were flying from Indiana to Bradley Airport on Tuesday, but their three-hour layover in Detroit became much longer amid several flight delays and cancelations.

With the airport sparsely populated and restaurants closing down, they hopped on the conveyor belt and entertained themselves, as well as everyone else who was still there, by acting out swimming motions, a slow-motion fight and riding a bike. They also pretend to row a boat.

If some of their antics look familiar, they said they did see the University of Louisville swim team’s video earlier this year.

The sisters said the employees at the airport who saw them were entertained.

They did eventually get home, landing after midnight.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Ledyard Fire Chief Takes Job With Homeland Security


Ledyard’s fire chief is leaving the department and will be taking a job with the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The Day reports that that John Doucette will be leaving for San Diego to be marine interdiction agent after serving the last 18 years with the fire department and 12 years with the Groton Town Police Department. 

Photo Credit: AP

Jihadi Couple Who Plotted London Bomb Attack Jailed For Life


A husband and wife convicted of plotting to bomb a shopping mall or subway train on the anniversary of London's 2005 terror attack have been sentenced to life in prison.

Mohammed Rehman, 25, and his wife Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, were found guilty Tuesday and both received life sentences Wednesday. Rehman could be eligible for parole after 27 years; Khan after 25. Khan's is the longest sentence every handed out for a female terrorist in Britain.

Prosecutors said the couple planned to attack civilians on the 10th anniversary of London's July 7, 2005, bombings.

Photo Credit: AP

East Windsor Police Trying to Determine How Man Was Injured on Route 5


A 33-year-old East Windsor man was sent to the hospital after being injured on Route 5 in East Windsor and police are trying to sort out the details on exactly what happened.

Police responded to 123 South Main Street around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and found Shamel Stroman,33 of East Windsor, lying in the shoulder of the northbound lane.

On Tuesday, police said he was hit by a car that fled the scene.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, police said a witness reported seeing a man matching the victim's description jump on the back of a large silver box truck that was stopped at a red light. When the light turned green and the truck accelerated, the man tumbled onto Route 5, but got up and did not appear hurt, the witness told police. 

He was later found injured and was sent to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, including a severe blow to the head. He told police a vehicle had struck him, police said.

Route 5 was temporarily closed but has since reopened.

Police are investigating and looking for the driver. Anyone with information should call (860) 292-8240.

A Timeline of the Case Against Bill Cosby


The criminal charge brought against TV star Bill Cosby Wednesday arose from an alleged sexual assault nearly 12 years in the Philadelphia suburb of Chelthenham Township -- though authorities did not identify the victim by name. Andrea Constand was then director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, of which Cosby was a trustee and an alumnus. Now a 42-year-old message therapist in Canada, Constand says the attack occurred while she was visiting the TV star at his home seeking career advice. Cosby has denied the accusation.

Here is a timeline of the case: 

Mid-January to mid-February 2004: Constand is allegedly sexually assaulted by Cosby after he gave her pills that left her semi-conscious. Cosby said in a later deposition that she did not stop him. A police complaint against Cosby gives a range of dates for the alleged assault though other legal papers specify January.

Jan. 13, 2005: Constand reports the alleged assault to police in Ontario.

Feb. 17, 2005: Then Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. announces he will not charge Cosby. Earlier he had said that the victim’s delay in reporting the alleged assault had hurt any case.

March 8, 2005: Constand sues Cosby over allegations of sexual assault and defamation.

Sept. 27 and 28, 2005: Cosby is deposed in a civil lawsuit brought by Constand during which he acknowledges giving Quaaludes to young women he wanted to have sex with.

Nov. 8, 2006: Constand settles a civil lawsuit she had brought against the comic on confidential terms.

July 6, 2015: Cosby’s testimony from Constand’s civil lawsuit is unsealed after which prosecutors in Pennsylvania reopen the case.

Oct. 26, 2015: Constand files a defamation lawsuit against Castor for comments he made during an unsuccessful bid to regain the district attorney’s job. Castor's opponent, Kevin Steele, accused him of not looking out for Cosby's alleged victims.

Dec. 30, 2015: Steele, the district attorney-elect, announces a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault against Cosby just before the statute of limitation runs out. It is the first criminal charge brought against Cosby after more than 40 women said he made unwanted sexual advances toward them. He has denied all allegations and has sued several accusers. Cosby was arraigned and released on $1 million bail.

Photo Credit: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images
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Milford Man Tried Luring Young Girl Into His Car: Police


A 68-year-old man tried luring a young girl riding a bicycle into his car, Milford police said.

Thomas Stanton, of Milford, asked a young girl riding her bike to get into his vehicle on Dec. 27, according to police. The girl was able to escape and call police from a friend's house.

Police arrested Stanton who was found a short time after the incident. He is being charged with breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor. His bail is set at $5,000.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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