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State Police Respond to Crash on I-384 West in Manchester


State police have responded to a crash in Manchester on Interstate 384 west.

The accident happened near exit 3 off the highway.

The highway remains open.

No further information was immediately available on the crash or whether there were any injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man in Critical Condition After New Haven Home Fire


A man in his 40s is in the hospital in critical condition after firefighters found him unconscious in a fire at his home in New Haven.

Firefighters found the man unconscious toward the back of his home when they responded to a fire at 20 Marie Street. He suffered smoke inhalation and crews were able to resuscitate him so that he regained consciousness.

Investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen, but the cause remains under investigation.

Damage was visible on the outside of the home, including a broken front window and large hole in the side of the house.

"That's overhaul where we try to pull part of the building apart where we try to find hidden fire, but the hole you're seeing is actually from the fire," New Haven Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Marcarelli said.

Authorities said the fire did extensive damage to the interior of the home, as well, but they don't believe it is a total loss.

The resident injured, who hasn't been identified and is the sole occupant of the home, is recovering in an area hospital and is listed in critical condition.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Vigil for Bridgeport Toddler Killed in Condo Fire


Family, friends and community members packed a Bridgeport church on Bunnell Street Monday evening for a vigil in memory of Sincere Pettway, the 3-year-old girl who died in a condo fire early Sunday morning.

"For her to be three years, my baby had an impact on everybody’s life," Sincere's granmother, Christie Gray said. "And on behalf of both sides of the family we are truly grateful."

Afterwards, they released dozens of white balloons and lit candles in the street.

“Everybody loved that little girl,” said Sincere’s aunt Shameeka Santiago. “She was only here for three years, but she like impacted everybody and she came and made everybody happy no matter what the situation was.”

Family members say Sincere’s mother Shaneese Pettway is being treated for burns and smoke inhalation she suffered helping three other children escape and while trying to find her daughter in the smoke filled apartment. Shaneese is still hospitalized and was unable to attend the vigil.

"All I heard for the past two days was what kind of hero she was and that’s what I look at her as today," Sincere's cousin, Gigi Pettway told NBC Connecticut. "Saving those other kids in spite of her own child, you know, passing away."

Sunday’s fatal fire is the second major incident Bridgeport firefighters have responded to in the past week. Firefighters battled a blaze on New Year’s Eve that displaced more than a hundred people and destroyed a condo complex on Charles Street.

“It’s a heavy burden put on the department,” Bridgeport Fire Chief Brian Rooney said, “especially, when we see a fatality-- especially when it’s a young child like that.”

While firefighters found damage in the kitchen Sunday morning, Chief Rooney said the cause and origin of the deadly fire have not been determined.

“Whether or not there were working smoke alarms in that apartment, right now that’s still under investigation,” Rooney said.

As fire marshals from the state and Bridgeport investigate whether something was wrong with the condo’s smoke alarms, Chief Brian Rooney is reminding Bridgeport residents they can acquire them for free through the Safe Asleep Smoke Alarm Program.

“That’s what a smoke alarm is,” Rooney said, “it’s the first line of defense.”

Since launching the free smoke alarm program in 2005, the Bridgeport fire department has installed nearly 50,000 smoke detectors. The chief said they’ve helped save lives during 130 fires.

Santiago said Shaneese was in better shape Monday compared to the day of the fire, but she is still struggling to cope with the loss of her baby.

“If they could pray for Shaneese that she can – I can’t even say move on from it,” Santiago said, “That she can, I don’t even know what to say.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Dow Down 276 Over Fresh Concerns on China


U.S. stocks traded sharply lower Monday, the first day of trading for 2016, weighed by renewed concerns of negative impact from slowdown in China and increased tensions in the Middle East.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 276 points, or 1.58 percent, ending at 17,149 points at the closing bell. Earlier, it had briefly fallen more than 450 points before making a slight recovery – if those losses held, they would have accounted the worst opening day since 1932.

The Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite both took a hit Monday, with the former down 2.5 percent, and the latter down more than 3 percent.

"A lot of it has to do with China and a lot of it is overdone," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "The China PMI hasn't changed much. It's not unusual to have an outsized reaction when you've got a base case that 2016 could be a tough year." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Cold Snap to Hit Today


After an unseasonably warm end to 2015, a cold snap is about to hit Connecticut the first week of the New Year.

As your kids head back to school Monday after holiday break, you'll want to dress them for cold conditions and they'll feel the brunt of the cold when they're getting off the bus later today. 

There were a few flurries in the air already early this morning. Temperatures are in the 20s and 30s, but the wind is blowing out of the north and northwest at 5 to 15 miles per hour, sometimes gusting at 25 miles an hour, so that's pulling down the coldest air we've seen all season.

Monday will feature a lot of sunshine mixed with clouds. For the most part, it will be in the 20s, about 30 around noon, but it will feel colder because of the wind.

Sunset will be around 4:37 p.m.

Frostbite is most common on your fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin and can happen in 30 minutes, so make sure to bundle up. 

To protect your car, AAA suggests checking your batter because your car can have a tougher time starting in colder temperatures. Also, check your tire pressure and fluid levels. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Berlin Police to Stop Using Body Cameras


Berlin Police have been using six body cameras on a voluntary basis for the past few years. They’re one of a small handful of police departments in Connecticut using the cameras.

In the coming weeks and months, the practice will stop altogether says Berlin’s Police Chief Paul Fitzgerald.

"The onerous part is really the storage and when I have to use it” said Fitzgerald during an interview Monday.

Fitzgerald is wary of new guidelines for the use of body cameras by POST, the Police Officers and Standards Training Council. The new guidelines recommended maintaining a body camera recording for at least 90 days in most cases and 10 years in some cases.

In a small police department like Berlin’s, the chief says hiring multiple people to maintain the videos and the data attached to them could turn out to be too much.

"Who's going to watch all of that video so I can decide what should be released and what shouldn't be released? It really becomes a management nightmare."

The Connecticut General Assembly approved a bill that the governor signed into law that provided new regulations for the use of body cameras, and new guidelines for police on how to handle use of force investigations. Independent investigators will not be utilized.

In addition, the law included language that requires all Connecticut State Police to wear body cameras in addition to all state college police.

The law also contained $50 million for municipal police departments to apply for to pay for cameras and their storage for up to one year.

David McGuire with the Connecticut ACLU says he fears the move made by the Berlin Police could provide poor optics for the department.

"I think it sends a very very bad signal to residents in that area and other chiefs across the state that it's OK to push back and not go along with these cameras,” McGuire said.

McGuire pointed out that at one point police dashboard cameras were resisted by police across the country and said, “Now they’re standard fare.”

Fitzgerald sasys the requirements of storage are too much for his department and insists that dash cams are enough for the way they police.

I think 90% of the time it does and in a town like Berlin that's pretty much predominantly what we do and we do provide that coverage but sure we're going to miss some things."

McGuire says in due time, police will see the benefits of extra video and evidence for the sake of officers.

"The point that I can't make strongly enough is that this is a golden opportunity for police to regain the public's trust.

"If they were to get this footage and just randomly audit just ten pieces of footage every week, I guarantee you that the vast majority will show officers doing their job appropriately and effectively and that's a way that the public can begin to trust police again."

10-Year-Old Girl Dies in New Haven Crash


A 10-year-old girl died after her mother hit a parked car in New Haven, police said. 

After 9:30 pm on Jan. 3 Sabrina Tillman, 33, of New Haven crashed into a parked truck, according to police. 

The driver's daughters were in the back seat of the car. One was found unresponsive at the scene and later died of her injuries at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Tillman's 6-year-old daughter sustained minor injuries.

“For me to just find out that the little girl passed away. I didn't know her, but it hurts," said Malicia Hopes, who lives on Shelton Avenue where the crash happened after 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Hopes said she ran towels and tissues to paramedics to help with one of the girls' bleeding.

“She's only six and she had to be in that accident and then to find out she lost her sister, that's too much for anybody," said Hopes.

Neither child was secured in a safety seat, according to police.

Police said they are waiting for TIllman's blood tests from the hospital to determine if she was intoxicated. No charges have been brought against the mother.

“I really just want to give my condolences," said neighbor Tommy Gibson. "It's a tragedy.”

Grief counselors are expected this week at Amistad Academy Elementary School, where the ten year old victim was a student.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of one of our students, whose beautiful life was ended far too early,” wrote Amanda Alonzy, the school's principal in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Accused in Strip Club Bat Attack Arrested Again


A Louisiana woman who was arrested nine days ago for allegedly damaging a strip club with a bat has been arrested for the second time in Willimantic, Connecticut, police said.

Shantel Jones, 28, is accused of criminal mischief, threatening and breach of peace after she allegedly stormed a CVS in "a fit of rage," Willimantic police said.

On Monday at around 5:20 pm, Jones began pounding on the pharmacy window at the CVS drive-thru window, police say. She then parked in a handicapped spot, went inside the store full of shoppers and began screaming threats and obscenities at the pharmacist working, according to their account.

A CVS employee was almost hit with a plastic placard that Jones threw, according to police.

Nine days prior, Jones got into an argument after refusing to pay a cover charge at the Ultra Violet Gentlemen's Club in Willimantic, according to police. She left, then returned with a wooden baseball bat and got inside the club.

Police said Jones demolished the cash register and damaged other property with the bat.

"This type of belligerent behavior is grossly unacceptable and will not be tolerated within the City of Willimantic," police department spokesman Stanley Parizo Jr. said in a statement after that incident.

Jones has been arrested again and is being held on a $250 bond. She is expected in court Tuesday morning, but it wasn't immediately clear if she was being represented by an attorney.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police Department

Standoff Over After Woman, 11 Kids Held Hostage in Ga. Motel


A standoff at a Georgia motel, where a woman and 11 children were held hostage for hours, is over after a SWAT team entered the motel and the suspect stabbed himself, according to a tweet from local police.

The man has been taken to a hospital in critical condition, NBC station WXIA reported.  

Authorities responded to the Rite 4 Us Inn and Suites in DeKalb County around 2 a.m. Tuesday after receiving a domestic dispute call from the woman, according to WXIA. 

DeKalb County Police Major Tonya Dedrick told WXIA earlier that officers made contact with the man inside the motel, but he refused to open the door. Dedrick said before dawn Tuesday that officers were negotiating with the man, "trying to hopefully resolve this with a peaceful end to it."

DC Patient's Death Ruled Homicide


The death of a patient following a struggle with security guards at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. has been deemed a homicide. 

James E. McBride, 74, died from blunt force injuries to the neck, including damage to his spinal cord, the medical examiner's office announced Monday.

McBride, a husband and father, was a patient at MedStar Washington Hospital Center when he left the hospital on the evening of Sept. 29 without having been formally discharged, Dr. Arthur St. André, the clinical director for Surgical Critical Care Services, said at a press conference after McBride's death.

McBride was then spotted at the nearby MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and was being escorted back to the hospital's main entrance when he encountered two MedStar Washington Hospital Center security guards.

A police report said McBride "became non-compliant and resisted," and was pulled to the ground. He became distressed and was resuscitated by a nurse who had been escorting him back to the hospital, St. André said. 

McBride died two days later. He was "a loving husband to his wife of 40 years, and a wonderful father to his son and daughter," the hospital said in a statement issued in September on behalf of McBride's family.

The hospital has not said what sparked the clash and has not identified the security guards, who sources tell News4 no longer work there.

In the wake of McBride's death, the hospital has examined what happened, they said in a statement issued Monday.

"Immediately following the tragic event, we conducted a series of analyses to gain a complete understanding of the situation," the statement said. "We have integrated several new initiatives, including enhanced communications and training with all care teams and security officers. We also identified a unique multi-disciplinary team to respond to certain high-risk situations."

The hospital is cooperating with an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the hospital's statement said.

"As always, our commitment is to provide the highest quality, safest care to every patient, every day, and our post-event evaluations were focused on ensuring that nothing like this ever happens again," the statement said. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Police Seize 9,000 Bags of Heroin, Cash


Police arrested four people and seized 9,000 bags of heroin over the weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The heroin, labeled "Hollywood," is the same type responsible for multiple overdose deaths in the area in the last few days, according to police. In a statement, Commissioner John Barbieri praised the department's work to find the source of the deadly batch.

Springfield Police say they started an investigation at 10 p.m. Saturday and stopped several deliveries, culminating in one at the intersection of Sumner Street and Ormand Street in which 8,000 bags were found in a fake bumper on a vehicle.

In total, 9,000 bags were recovered, along with $20,000 in cash.

Police arrested Francis Willor of North Adams, Elvis Luckham of Chicopee, Elvin Resto of Holyoke and Juan Perez of Springfield. Willor and Luckham each face a charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin. Resto faces two counts of that charge, and Perez will be charged with trafficking heroin.

It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys.

Photo Credit: Springfield Police

Bloomfield Gas Station Evacuated Due to Car Fire


A Mobil gas station in Bloomfield has been evacuated and part of the road is closed after a car caught fire and flames spread to a gas pump, as well as the awning above. 

An employee at the gas station, located at 985 Blue Hills Ave., acted quickly to turn gas off from inside the station and officials are crediting the worker for taking action that might have prevented a tragedy.

Fire suppressants did not go off, the fire hydrant was frozen, which further complicated efforts to put out the blaze, but no one was injured.

Officials said the incident could have been much worse if not for the quick-thinking worker.

Route 218 was closed at Blue Hills Avenue, but has reopened. Now, the southbound side of Blue Hills Avenue is closed at Rockwell Avenue while firefighters gather the hoses.  The northbound side is open.

Drivers can take a detour at School Street or Matianuck Avenue. 

The gas station is expected to reopen, but it's not clear when.

No further information was immediately available. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticu.com

Greene-Hills School Closed in Bristol Due to Water Main Break


Greene-Hills School is closed in Bristol due to a water main break. 

The water main break happened at the school, which has students in kindergarten through eighth grade. 

Crews are working to repair the issue. 

Repairs are underway. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Shot When Confronting 3 Home Invaders: PD


A man was shot in his Southington home when three masked intruders forced their way in Monday, police said.

Daniel Morin, 43, was shot in the arm after getting in a "scuffle" with one of three home invaders at his home on the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. He called police at 6:41 p.m. on Monday to report the incident in the 700 block of the street.

He was home with a female when three individuals wearing all black, masks and gloves broke into the home. All three intruders were armed with handguns. 

Morin confronted them and got into an altercation with them, prompting one of the home invaders to fire two shots, hitting his upper arm. 

The intruders moved through the house a little longer and then ran away, Lt. Michael Baribault with the Southington police said. Officers responded and searched the area with the help of a K-9 unit. They didn't find the home invaders. 

Morin's injuries are considered non-life threatening, police said.

The suspects are currently at large and police say it is too early to tell if the suspects knew Morin while the crime is still being investigated. 

It's unknown whether the home invaders stole anything from the home. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Robbers Steal $20,000 Worth of Smart Phones, iPads from Verizon


Two men robbed a Verizon store in Norwalk and got away with $20,000 worth of smart phones an iPads.

Police said the robbery happened on Saturday at the Verizon Wireless store at 561 Connecticut Ave.

One of the two men had a gun, police said, both wore hoods and one was wearing a ski mask.

Anyone with information should call Detective Fitzmaurice at (203) 854-3180 or email dfitzmaurice@norwalkct.org.

You can also call the Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111, send an anonymous Internet tip to the Norwalk Police website.

Anonymous text tips can be submitted by typing "NPD" into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (274637).

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

Woman Found With Nearly 100 Bundles of Crack Cocaine in Hotel: PD


Police found nearly 100 bundles of crack cocaine in a hotel after responding to a call that initially came in as a woman being attacked and arrested the person staying there. 

Shaquina Privott, 36, of Middletown, is facing multiple charges including possession of narcotics, possession with intent to sell and other possession-related charges.

West Haven police responded to Ecno Lodge at 370 Highland Street at about 4:30 a.m. upon receiving a complaint that a woman was screaming and being assaulted, police said. 

When officers got there, they didn't find anyone under attack. They went door to door checking on rooms to make sure no one was hurt or needed help. 

In one room, Privott answered the door and officers saw drugs. They seized 94 bundles of crack cocaine and arrested her. 

Police arrested Privott and held her in custody on a bond. 

Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Officer Guilty of Burning Inmate


An inmate badly burned in his cell when a South Florida corrections officer threw scalding hot water on him three years ago said there's finally justice after the officer pleaded guilty to battery last week.

Joshua Wiggins, who was 18 years old when the incident occurred in his cell at the Miami-Dade Pre-Trial Detention Center, suffered burn marks across his upper torso. He was being held on a drug charge in his first time behind bars. 

"A person like that in a position like that... Yeah, I was shocked," said Wiggins.

Officer Charlise Daniels-Wadley, who pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor battery, is no longer employed by the county. Wiggins said he still may sue the county over his injury.

Wiggins exclusively told NBC 6 he had gotten into an argument with Daniels-Wadley, who came back with scalding water.

"When she dropped the flap, she threw the water on me. The pain started really setting in through the jumper. It started setting in. I got on my knees, you know. I yelled before she even walked off. I told her, 'You are not going to get away with this,'" Wiggins recalled.

Daniels-Wadley pleaded guilty three years later. As part of a plea deal, she resigned from her job and was given a year probation and 50 hours of community service. Daniels-Wadley quickly left the hearing after entering her plea.

"The conduct of this officer is obviously unacceptable. The duty of a correctional officer is to keep all inmates safe and not put them in any kind of danger or any kind of harm's way. And again, this behavior should not be tolerated," said David Kubiliun, Wiggins' attorney.

Wiggins said he thought it would all get swept under the rug.

"I figured they just forgot about it, you know? I figured everybody forgot about it," Wiggins said. "I felt like I didn't forget, and that's what I told her in the cell, that I wouldn't forget. I felt like I had to follow up on it myself."

He said he was surprised when Corrections Investigator Sgt. Burke traveled to North Florida to speak with him. It gave him hope something might come of the complaint he filed.

Miami-Dade Corrections Internal Affairs and the State Attorney's Office investigated, which ultimately resulted in Daniels-Wadley's guilty plea.

The corrections department told NBC 6 the incident "does not condone conduct that undermines the trust of the community. It is disheartening when a corrections officer betrays his fellow officers and the community."

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office

1 U.S. Service Member Killed, 2 Wounded in Afghanistan


One American service member was killed and two U.S. service members were wounded during counter-terrorism operations near Marjah in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.

American defense officials earlier told NBC News that U.S. Special Operations Forces were involved in an operation when they came under attack.

According to officials, U.S. Special Operations Forces had been involved in a counter-terrorism operation against enemy forces near Marjah. A U.S. medevac helicopter had been called in to recover the casualties but it came under mortar and small arms fire and was disabled, one defense official told NBC News. 

Its not clear whether the helicopter was struck by enemy fire and whether any U.S. forces suffered casualties there, or only in the counter-terrorism operation.

U.S.-backed forces have been battling the Taliban in Marjah. A spokesman for the Taliban — which frequently exaggerates its claims — said Tuesday the group had shot down a U.S. transport helicopter in Helmand.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Passersby Pull Partially Clothed Man From Water in New Britain


Passersby pulled a partially clothed man from water at a boat ramp off Alexander Road in New Britain around 9:30 a.m. 

New Britain police responded after receiving reports of a person in the water. The man was taken to an area hospital after he was rescued from the water. 

The scene has since cleared.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Investigate Mass Sexual Assault in German City


Police in western Germany's city of Cologne are investigating reports that roving packs of men sexually assaulted dozens of women on New Year's Eve, NBC News reported. 

Police said the attackers — who struck in pairs and groups of up to 20 men — appeared to be part of a larger, 1,000-strong group that had gathered in one of the city's main plazas for New Year's celebrations.

Cologne's police spokesman Thomas Held told NBC News that authorities had responded to about 90 complaints of pick-pocketing, groping and at least one of rape.

Police on Monday had said the suspects appeared to be of "Arab or North African descent," sparking fears on social media they were among around 1 million asylum seekers who have flooded Germany this year. Held told NBC News that it was too early to tell if the suspects were recent arrivals.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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