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Police Investigate Armed Robbery in Guilford


Police are investigating an armed robbery at a Guilford gas station on Wednesday night.

Police said a man robbed the Citgo Station at 455 Boston Post Road around 9:19 p.m.

He was wearing jeans, a black hooded winter parka, a mask that covered everything but his eyes and winter gloves.

After walking around the store and placing an item on the counter, he opened his jacket, showed a handgun and demanded the clerk give him money, police said.

He then told the clerk to get down on the floor. No one was injured during the robbery.

The robber is around 6-feet tall. Anyone with information should call Officer Hudson or Det. Jakober at 203-453-8061.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspected Intruder Tries to Ram Cruiser, Leads Police on Chase: Police


Police arrested a suspect in a Westport home invasion after he tried to ram police cruisers and led police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 95, police said.

Westport police began investigating when a resident reported coming home to find an intruder in the house. The intruder fled when the resident confronted him.

An officer saw someone matching the description of the intruder in a black pickup that was leaving the immediate area, so he tried to pull the vehicle over, but the suspect sped off, south on the Sherwood Island Connector and tried to ram the police officers’ vehicles before getting onto I-95 North.

The Connecticut State Police were also notified and Westport police ended their pursuit when they lost sight of the truck.

Bridgeport and Stratford Police assisted and Stratford police caught the suspect when he jumped out of his truck in the area of Cambridge Street, police said.

Westport officers then responded to the scene and took Kenneth E. Nichols, 50, of Southport, into custody.

He was charged with second-degree burglary, possession of burglar’s tools, reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal attempt at assault, engaging police in a pursuit and reckless driving,

Nichols is being held on a bond of $50,000 and is due in court on Jan. 11.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

Windsor Barber Closes Shop After 56 Years


There’s no telling how many thousands of haircuts Jimmy Cerrigione has given in his Windsor barber shop since 1959. But on Wednesday, he gave his very last haircut just after noon.

The 87-year-old barber is finally hanging up his clippers after 70 years spent cutting hair.

“When I started here in town, it was 85 cents a haircut,” he recalled.

It’s a trade he learned in his uncle’s East Hartford barber shop on Burnside Avenue at 14 years old, and a craft he perfected in the Army during World War II after enlisting at 17. He served in the Philippines and Japan.

“It was in general headquarters, CID counter intelligence. And everybody that saw my record said, ‘Wow, were you a spy?’ And I says, ‘No, I was the company barber!’” Cerrigione laughed.

Now, a tremor in his hand has forced him to call it a career, but there were decades worth of memories and mementoes to pack up before the doors closed on New Year’s Eve.

Jimmy said what he'll miss the most are the countless people who sat in his chairs.

“I could tell you right now, they are my family,” he said. “You know, I told the wife, I said, I known all them guys more than I known you. … they’re family to me now.”

Among loyal customers, like Christopher Paulekas of Suffield, the feeling is mutual.

“It’s a friendship, another uncle, another grandfather if you will,” he said.

Paulekas, a West Point graduate, and third generation paratrooper, was one of Cerrigione’s last customers.

“I think Jimmy, he’ll never admit it, he’s too humble, but he’s kind of what I view as a local hero,” Paulekas said. “Always willing to help, always telling stories.”

It’s a quiet end to an era for Cerrigione, who turned down an offer from the town to throw some kind of celebration.

Instead, he simply looks forward to visits from his grandchildren and some time spent in the outdoors.

He’ll also make house calls to a handful of longtime customers who are now bedridden at home.

“I figure, you guys are good enough to come for over 50 years, so now I gotta be good enough until you go,” he said.

2 Killed, Manhunt Launched in Tel Aviv Cafe-Bar Shooting


A gunman killed at least two people and injured seven others outside a cafe-bar in downtown Tel Aviv, officials said. Local authorities are hunting for the killer, NBC News reported. 

The shooter opened fire on a group of people outside a cafe-bar, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officials were investigating whether the incident was terror-related. 

"I hid in a shed near the place of the shooting," a witness, who gave his name as Osnat, told Israel's Army Radio. "I heard load noise of shooting, we were ready that any second the shooter [would] enter where we hid. I'm still shaking."

Photo Credit: Magen David Adom/Israel's National Emergency Medical Services

Excessive Force Claim Unfounded, Woman Fell: Police


A Meriden woman's claim that police officers used excessive force that resulted in her being unconscious and injuries, police said after an investigation into the September incident. 

Police said Mary Bunch was intoxicated and fell on a gravel driveway, according to witnesses. Bunch had told police that she had one beer that evening. 

Bunch accused officers of "excessive force" after a Sept. 19 incident at her home. She filed an official complaint that also indicated police failed to provide medical attention to an unconscious arrestee. 

Bunch said she arrived and tried to disperse a party that had been going on. Police were called to the scene. Bunch said that when officers arrived they mistakenly went after her. 

Images seen in November appeared to show substantial injury to Mary Bunch's face. She said that the cuts and the bruising were caused by officers in her hometown police department in Meriden.

“I’m spitting out blood," Bunch said  in November. "My eyes can’t see. My face was burning.”

Bunch said she was knocked unconscious and arrested. She was later charged with assault on an officer and breach of peace. 

“Next memory I have, I woke up in the police station and I was like ‘why am I in here.’ I’m going crazy," Bunch said.

 After a detailed investigation released on Friday, police established that Bunch was seen drinking from a liquor bottle after she drove home from El Condado's Bar.

Police responded to a disturbance involving approximately 15 people at Bunch's house at 2:20 am. When police began to arrest Bunch's son she struck an officer and was placed under arrest.

A witness said Bunch lost her balance from being drunk and fell onto a gravel driveway that resulted in a bruised lip, a contusion and lacerations to the face. 

An ambulance brought Bunch to police headquarters where EMS was waiting. Bunch was seen conscious, refusing medical attention for her lip and kicking a police officer in the cell block area. 

After being released from police custody, Bunch went to the Mid State Medical Center that determined Bunch's Blood Alcohol Content was .28 percent-- over three times the legal limit.

Police established Bunch made several false claims in her complaint and have closed the investigation. 

Photo Credit: Meridan

Shoplifters Brought Little Boy Along: Police


Police investigating a shoplifting in Watertown are asking for help as they look for a suspect and a person of interest who they said were with a young boy at the time of the crime.

The shoplifting happened at Radio Shack, 1142 Main Street, around noon on Dec. 19.

Police released a photo of a man suspected of stealing electronic items from the store. He has a tattoo on his neck, under his right ear. Police called the woman shown in the photo a person of interest.

The boy with the two adults appeared to be around 5 years old, according to police.

The group traveled in an older model tan SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban.

Police urge anyone who sees the man or woman not to make contact with them, but to call Watertown Police at 860-945-5200 or Crimestoppers at 860-945-9940. Calls can be kept confidential.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police

'Affluenza' Teen and Mom Had Gun With Them: Report


Ethan Couch, also known as the "affluenza" teen, hid out in a Mexican resort with his mother before he was caught earlier this week, and two staff members at a Puerto Vallarta hotel told Reuters that the two had a gun with them.

Couch and his mother Tonya were caught Monday in Puerto Vallarta. The 18-year-old had violated his probation and a manhunt for him ensued. Couch was on 10 years probation after successfully invoking an "affluenza" defense while on trial for a 2013 drunken-driving crash that killed four people.

The gun was left in a drawer at the Los Tules hotel after changing rooms during their Dec. 20 to 25 stay, the hotel staffers told Reuters. However, NBC News has not independently confirmed a gun was found. The Tarrant County, Texas, District Attorney's office told NBC News it is investigating.  

Couch remains in Mexico City in custody while his mother was deported and is in Los Angeles. 

Photo Credit: Attorney General of the State of Jalisco

Skywriters Scold 'Disgusting' Donald Trump Over LA


A message denouncing Republican billionaire Donald Trump floated high above the Rose Parade in Southern California Friday, calling the presidential candidate "disgusting."

The skywriting scrawled over the annual New Year's Day parade in Pasadena read: "America is great, Trump is disgusting."

Running with the slogan "Make America great again," Trump remains the frontrunner among Republicans vying to be elected president this November. He's retained a lead in the national polls for months, despite being denounced by many for remarks perceived as sexist and racist, including suggesting that Muslims shouldn't be allowed in the country.

Trump hasn't directly responded to the writing, but he did retweet a supporter's response to a report about the skywriting.

"They're spending millions but you're still going to win go Donald Trump," said user @sprinklermanus in reply to a CNN tweet. The user also tweeted Friday that "homosexuality is a sin" and disparaged another Twitter user as a whore.

The Rose Parade winds its way through Pasadena every year on New Year's Day, showcasing large, colorful floats and big marching bands. It precedes the Rose Bowl college football game, where Standford was taking on Iowa Friday.

The game drew more political attention earlier in the day, when candidate Carly Fiorina tweeted she was rooting for Iowa despite having graduated from Stanford.

Photo Credit: AP

'I Owe Them My Life': Student Recounts Bridgeport Fire Rescue


A Connecticut student is giving thanks to fire crews who helped rescue him in a fire that broke in his third floor apartment that broke out New Year's Eve. 

"I owe them my life," Sai Ahbishek told NBC Connecticut. "I stood on the window waving for help and one of the gentleman from the fire department saw me and he came up to the third floor with the ladder and brought me down." 

Ahbishek is a University of Bridgeport technology management graduate student from India. 

"(I lost) my school fees, my expenses, my passport, my education documents, my immigrant documents, my clothes," Ashbishek said. "Everything."

Ahbishek stopped by the American Red Cross in Bridgeport Friday. A spokesperson said the Red Cross is helping 92 people, including 31 children, who lived in the condo complex.

Thursday night crews were forced to knock down a large portion of the building for fear it would collapse.

Donations for the dozens of homeless families are pouring in from Bridgeport and surrounding towns like Trumbull, Monroe and Easton, Bridgeport City Council member Jeanette Herron said.

"This community has stood together in crises many times before," Herron said.

The New Colony Diner next to the destroyed condo complex is where many residents went after they escaped the burning building.

"They had nowhere to go, they had no shoes, they just ran out with their pajamas on, they were in my diner for three hours," said owner Leo Koutikas.

The diner became a collection point for clothes, food, toys and other donations on Friday.

"This is amazing, we’ve had a great response," Koutikas said, "From second I opened until now, it’s a full house."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Nigeria's Boko Haram Kills More People Than Ever


While the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq continued to dominate headlines in 2015 with attacks in Paris, Yemen, Saudia Arabi and elsewhere, Boko Haram was killing more people than ever — potentially eclipsing the tally of its partner in terror, NBC News reported.

The Nigerian militant group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, has been tied to nearly 11,000 killings as of mid-December, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. More than half of those deaths have been the direct result of the group’s suicide bombings and armed raids. The rest died from fighting between the group and Nigerian troops.

Nigeria’s new government has promised to oust Boko Haram and has boasted of successfully retaking territory from the extremists, but experts are warning that this could lead the group to change its tactics.  

Photo Credit: File--AP

'Affluenza' Teen Gets Mex. Lawyer


A high-profile Mexican attorney known for winning big cases confirmed Friday he is representing Ethan Couch, the "affluenza" teen from North Texas jailed in Mexico.

Fernando Benitez, of Tijuana, said in a Twitter message to NBC 5 that he wants to make sure the 18-year-old is treated lawfully.

"My interest is that if they are looking for his extradition to the United States, that it proceeds only according to the Constitution and the law," he wrote in Spanish.

He did not immediately respond to a question about who is paying him.

Couch and his mother Tonya were arrested in Puerto Vallarta on Monday. Tonya Couch was deported to the United States late Wednesday and remains detained in Los Angeles pending a hearing Monday or Tuesday.

The younger Couch remains in detention in Mexico City. His extradition was blocked when Benitez filed an appeal.

According to Mexican news reports, Benitez represented former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon when he was arrested on weapons charges. Guns found inside Rhon’s home were linked to several murders, authorities said.

Rhon argued that police never had a search warrant to search the house so everything they found was inadmissible in court, and according to the reports, a judge agreed and the charges were dropped.

Asked Friday if Benitez was the same attorney who represented Rhon, he said, "Yes, I had the privilege of representing Mr. Hank in 2011, with good results."

In 2014, Benitez also represented U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, arrested for crossing the border into Mexico with three weapons in his truck. After 214 days in jail, prosecutors dropped the charges and he was freed.

Mississippi Councilman Calls to Pelt Cops With Rocks


A Mississippi city councilman suggested residents pelt police officers with rocks, bricks and bottles for chasing suspects into the town of Jackson, according to NBC News.

"What I suggest is we get the black leadership together, and as these jurisdictions come into Jackson we throw rocks and bricks and bottles at them," Kenneth Stokes said on New Year's Eve.

Stokes said officers put Jackson residents in danger when they pursue people in his ward. He also called for legal action against police that chase misdemeanor suspects into city limits.

But law enforcement officials in the area condemned the comments. Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker said he would contact the Mississippi attorney general to see if the comments constitute “assaults on officers by threat.” 

Photo Credit: AP

Saudi Arabia Executes 47, Including Top Shiite Cleric


Saudi Arabia announced Saturday it had executed 47 prisoners, including the prominent Shiite cleric and activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr,  the state-run Saudi Press Agency said, NBC News reported.

Al-Nimr was a central figure in Shiite protests that erupted in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring and his execution could incite new unrest among the OPEC powerhouse’s Shiite minority

Saudi Arabia has executed at least 157 people in 2015, with beheadings reaching their highest level in the kingdom in two decades, according to advocacy groups.

"Saudi Arabia's allies - including the US and UK - must not turn a blind eye to such atrocities and must urgently appeal to the Kingdom to change course," said Maya Foe, a spokeswoman for the rights group Reprieve, adding that 4 of the 47 executed were political prisoners.

Photo Credit: AP

Seattle Philanthropist Found Dead on Washington Mountain


A Seattle entrepreneur and philanthropist was found dead on a Washington mountain on Friday by a search and rescue team, NBC News reported.

Doug Walker, 64, of Seattle went missing Thursday afternoon while snowshoeing with friends on Granite Mountain in the Cascades, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

“They got separated from him. They waited for him on the trail for a while. When he didn't show up, they headed down the mountain," Cindi West, a King County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said.“

No other details were made public. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of King County Sheriff’s Department

Costumed, Tattooed Man Arrested Over Store Disturbance


Police arrested a masked, costumed man with a swastika tattoo on his forehead after a disturbance at a Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, gas station, NBC News reported.

Michael Carter, 36, was wearing a red costume featuring a mask. He locked himself in the bathroom and refused to leave a Kum and Go store.

The Broken Arrow Police Department told NBC News that Carter became abusive to officers and was eventually arrested for obstruction.  

Photo Credit: Broken Arrow Police Department

Pregnant Dog Dies After Being Dumped


A pregnant pit bull mix was found in Ansonia, an animal shelter said.

Ansonia Animal Shelter said the dog was dumped and sustained serious injuries. The dog and its unborn pup died after being found.

Anyone with information on who may have dumped the animal is asked to call (203) 410-7716.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Teen Wants Justice After Friend Killed By Alleged Drunk Driver


Bobby Weidig, Jr., 18, of Bethany, was killed walking to a music festival on Route 69 Christmas night, according to Connecticut State Police.

Troopers charged 60-year-old Barbara Ross, of Cheshire, with driving under the influence and failure to maintain a proper lane change.

"Its definitely about the justice system and getting charges brought on," Gloria Durley told NBC Connecticut.

Gloria Durley created an online petition asking superior court officials to file more severe charges against Ross.

The teenager has collected more than 1700 signatures so far.

"Bobby was my best friend since we were born," Durley said. "We rode the school bus together, we'd bike together around the neighborhood growing up."

Durley said she wants justice for Bobby, but remains inspired by her friend who loved unconditionally and was kind to everyone.

Gloria's father, Tom Durley, said his daughter came up with the idea on her own.

"The whole point was not to speak hate to this woman, it was almost to get her help. That's what Bobby would have wanted. He would of already forgiven her," Durley added.

Gloria's father also told NBC Connecticut that Bobby was like a son, which is why he wanted to sign the petition too.

Durley stated he has no hatred toward Ross, "I'd give her a hug and really say, taking this young man's life is a tragedy. Meant something to all of us. Live with him in our hearts for the rest of our lives. Never going to go away and people will support her too."

The Durley's say they've been told prosecutors have received the petition and understand what they hope to accomplish. NBC Connecticut reached out to state officials to see whether they would take the petition into consideration, and are waiting to hear back.

Photo Credit: change.org

Southern States Brace for Mississippi River Floods


The swollen Mississippi River was pushing downstream at 10 times the speed of Niagara Falls Saturday, threatening homes in rural southern Missouri and Illinois, NBC News reported.

Two more levees succumbed Friday, bringing the number of levee failures along its course to at least 11. In Arnold, Missouri, an estimated 150 homes were underwater.

The flood, fueled by more than 10 inches of rain over a three-day period that began last weekend, is blamed for 22 deaths. Searchers were still looking for five missing people — two teenagers in Illinois, two men in Missouri and a country music singer in Oklahoma.

The surge in water from the flooding was expected to hit cities further south, such as Memphis, Tennessee, during next week. 

Photo Credit: AP

Weapons Found at Gillette Stadium



Police arrested a Connecticut man after finding a cache of weapons, including swords and a stun gun, in his car near Gillette Stadium.


Foxborough police and the Norfolk Sheriff's office were notified around 11 a.m. on New Year's Day of a suspicious man at the Gillette Stadium's employee parking lot located near the arena.

During a search of the suspect's car, police found an electric stun gun and several swords.

Matthew Bromson, 48, of North Granby, was charged with three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, possession on an electric stun gun, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Police said the inicident was isolated, and there was no threat to the public attending the Winter Classic hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 1.  

Bromson will be arraigned in Wrentham District Court Jan. 4.

Photo Credit: Foxborough Police Twitter

Terror Group Uses Trump Clip in Propaganda Film


A recruitment film in the form of a documentary about racial injustice in the United States featuring Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was released Friday by Somalia-based militant group al Shabaab, NBC News reported.

The 51-minute film, distributed on Twitter by the Islamist militant organization al-Kataib Media Foundation, features Trump making his December call for the U.S. to bar all Muslims from entering the county as his supporters cheered. It was shown between two clips of American-born Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Trump’s call to bar Muslims from entering the U.S. has provoked an international uproar and led to criticism that his comments could be used as propaganda for Islamist militants.  

Photo Credit: AP
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