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All Eyes on Molenbeek After Deadly Brussels Attacks


Tuesday's deadly blasts in Brussels shine the spotlight on Molenbeek, a poor suburb of Belgium's capital city that has long been a hotbed of Islamist extremism, NBC News reported.

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam was nabbed in Molenbeek during a raid on Friday, and on Tuesday, explosions rocked the city's metro stations and the international airport, killing at least 15 and wounding dozens more.

Young people who feel like they don't belong in Europe are turning to radical Islam, experts have warned, likely laying the foundation for the region's recent string of attacks.

"We are breeding a generation of kids who are estranged from their own societies," U.K.-based expert on radicalization Bill Durodie said.

With a population of just 11 million, tiny Belgium has the highest number per capita of militants fighting in Syria and Iraq, many of whom are from Molenbeek, according to experts.

Photo Credit: AP

Hartford Police Speaking With Feds After Brussels Attacks


Hartford police said they are speaking with federal counterparts after attacks in Belgium early this morning and police said they “have no indication of anything active at a local level.”

Hartford police said they have detectives permanently assigned to Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

“Our analysts will continue to watch and listen to local, national and global events in an effort to keep our region safe and secure," Hartford police said in a statement.

At least 16 people were killed this morning after explosions at the check-in zone of Brussels Airport, where at least one person was killed, and in the Belgian capital's subway, NBC News reports. 

Belgium's federal prosecutor said one of at least two explosions at the airport was likely caused by a suicide bomber. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel added that it was "dark moment for our country," NBC Reports.

Authorities confirmed an explosion at Maalbeck metro station killed 15 people and injured 55 others.

Back here at home, Bradley Airport said its operations have not been affected.

"Bradley Airport always maintains a heightened level of security, as the safety of our passengers is of utmost importance to us. We don't comment on changes we may make to our security protocols," the statement says. 

Officials from the MTA said MTA Police, MTA New York City Transit security and MTA Bridges and Tunnels Officers “share intelligence information and coordinate their threat response with other police and security agencies to ensure a seamless web of protection throughout the region.”

“Yesterday, we have to relaunch our 'see something, say something campaign' adding the slogan 'New Yorkers Keep New Yorkers Safe,” MTA said in a statement.

Candidates React to Deadly Brussels Attacks


The five people running for president of the United States said Tuesday if they were in office, they would take swift and aggressive action against terrorism after a string of deadly attacks rocked Belgium's capital city, killing at least 31 and injuring dozens more.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, appearing on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday morning, emphasized the importance of tightening security and working closely with European allies to "prevent terrorists from ever doing this again."

"It's going to be a long challenge because of a lot of factors, including, you know, the easy accessibility to powerful explosives and mobility of terrorists in today's world, but we've got to be absolutely strong and smart and steady in how we respond," she said.

When asked what she would do differently if in office today, Clinton mentioned a visa system and passenger record system, two initiatives she worked to implement during her tenure as secretary of state.

"It's unrealistic to say we’re going to completely shut down our borders to anyone — that would stop commerce, for example, and that’s not in anybody’s interests — but we have to do a much better job, in coordination with the Europeans, on tracking and following anyone who has any connection with terrorist activity or terrorism," Clinton explained.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump also addressed Tuesday's attacks on the "Today" show, saying he would be "very, very tough on borders" if he were president.

"And I wouldn't allow certain people to come into this country without proper documentation," he explained.

Trump also said the government should "be able to do whatever they have to do" to obtain information from Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in November's Paris attacks who was arrested just days ago in Molenbeek, the Brussels suburb targeted Tuesday.

"Waterboarding, if it was up to me, would be fine," Trump said, adding that he would permit "a lot more than waterboarding."

The billionaire businessman earlier reacted to the attacks on Twitter, recalling "how beautiful and safe Brussels was" and urging the U.S. to be "vigilant and smart."

Republican candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich also responded to the Brussels blasts on social media, as did Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders expressed his support for the victims on Twitter late Tuesday morning.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this barbaric attack and to the people of Brussels who were the target of another cowardly attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. We stand with our European allies to offer any necessary assistance in these difficult times," Sanders said in a statement. "Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy ISIS. This type of barbarism cannot be allowed to continue."

In a statement posted on Facebook, Cruz warned that "these terror attacks are no isolated incidents," and that "radical Islam is at war with us." He blasted President Barack Obama for his response to the terror threat, saying, "we can never hope to defeat this evil so long as we refuse to even name it."

"That ends on January 20, 2017, when I am sworn in as president," Cruz added. "We will name our enemy — radical Islamic terrorism. And we will defeat it." 

Kasich tweeted a statement Tuesday morning, offering his condolences.

"Along with every American, I am sickened by the pictures of the carnage, by the injuries and by the loss of life," Kasich said in the statement. "The wave of terror that has been unleashed in Europe and elsewhere around the world are attacks against our very way of life and against the democratic values upon which our political systems have been built."

The Ohio governor pledged to take action, saying, "We and our allies must rededicate ourselves to these values of freedom and human rights" and work closely to "root out and destroy the perpetrators of such acts of evil."

Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images
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Daycare Director Didn't Report Child Abuse: Police


Glastonbury police have arrested the director of a daycare just days after the arrest of an employee accused of hitting children at the facility.

Meegan Beach, 40, of Hebron, was arrested on Monday.

Beach is charged with failing to report child abuse after police say her employees at the Stork Club daycare made her aware of the abuse of children at the hands of another employee, Nicole Mayo.

Mayo, 22, was arrested on Friday after a 3-month investigation.

According to police, investigators found no evidence that Beach reported the alleged abuse to the Department of Children and Families or authorities.

Daycare providers are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities.

Beach is being held on $45,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

Facebook Lets Users Check In as Safe After Brussels Attacks


Facebook activated its Safety Check feature Tuesday morning after explosions in Brussels killed at least 31 people. The feature allows users in a tragedy or natural disaster to mark themselves as safe, and was widely used — and praised — after the Paris shootings attacks last November.

The explosions rocked the check-in zone of Brussels Airport and the Belgian capital's subway. Officials raised the terror threat level, shut down all public transport in the city, and advised locals to stay indoors after what appeared to be coordinated attacks.

The Facebook Safety-Check feature allows individuals to make sure their friends and family know they are safe, even if they cannot connect by phone or in person.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images

3 Quinnipiac Students at Brussels Airport During Attacks Are Safe


Four Quinnipiac University students who are in Belgium are safe, including three who were in the Brussels Airport at the time of Tuesday morning's blasts, which killed more than two dozen people and injured scores.

The three Quinnipiac students who were at the airport have been studying abroad in Ireland this semester and were traveling through Brussels to London on spring break, according to a news release from the Connecticut university.  

Cate Duffy, 19, of Natick, Massachusetts, Lauren Cleary, 19, of Abington, Massachusetts, and Monica Hall, 19, of Sutton, Massachusetts fled as soon as they heard an explosion in the terminal and ran into a father and son who were also fleeing the airport and offered them a ride to U.S. embassy in Brussels.

The students are now at the embassy, where they are safe.

The fourth Quinnipiac student, Madeleine Harder, a 20-year-old junior from Baltimore who is studying abroad in Belgium this semester, was not at the airport and is safe and accounted for, university officials said.

She said was at her internship for a media training company and saw what happened on Twitter. 

"I saw the story breaking on Twitter and them my boss got a phone call and we both looked at each other, and this was originally with the airport bombings, and we were really nervous and then we just sat there, glued to Twitter as everything was happening," she said.  

She had to walk home from her ownership and other people were outside as well.

"It seems pretty somber, but people weren't completely locked up in their houses or apartments," she said. 

Harder's family was visiting for the week, so she is with them and said it's comforting to have them close 

Quinnipiac University, located in Hamden, serves 6,784 full-time undergraduate and 2,884 graduate and part-time students, according to the university.

At least 31 people were killed Tuesday morning in what appear to be a series of coordinated attacks at the airport and subway, NBC News reports. Eleven people were killed at the airport, while 20 died at the subway station. More than 200 were injured.

The first blast hit the departure section of the airport around 8 a.m. local time, or 3 a.m. ET. Minutes later, a second blast shook the airport. One explosion occurred in Departure Hall 1, used by international carriers including American Airlines.

American Airlines said in a statement Tuesday all airline employees and crew members were accounted for and passengers affected by the Brussels Airport shutdown would be re-accommodated.

Less than an hour later, a subway car was hit by an explosion.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Generation Addicted: Battling the US Heroin Crisis


NBC10’s Digital Team spent five months investigating the issue of opioid addiction in the Philadelphia region and beyond.

They discovered a generation of addicted people and a public health and law enforcement system ill-equipped to save them.

Click through for a multimedia presentation featuring stories, interactives, illustrations and videos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

US Officials, Travelers on Alert After Brussels Blasts


U.S. travel officials, airlines and law enforcement officials are on alert after a bombing at the check-in zone of Brussels Airport and the Belgian capital's subway killed at least 31 people Tuesday.

The Transportation Security Administration is checking on the safety of federal air marshals who were on duty at the Brussels airport Tuesday morning or on inbound or outbound flights.

The border between France and Belgium was closed and all Eurostar train service to Brussels was halted.

However, as long as passengers weren't trying to get to Brussels, the actual ripple effect on travel appeared to be minimal with few slowdowns for American skies.

Photo Credit: AP

Fire Rips Through Vacant House in Hartford


Firefighters battled a raging fire at a vacant three-story house on Magnolia Street, near Albany Avenue, in Hartford early Tuesday morning and evacuated a neighboring home when the fire spread. 

The fire department received several 911 calls at 1:59 a.m. and firefighters arrived to find that fire had engulfed 90 Magnolia St. and extended to the neighboring home at 92-94 Magnolia St.

Firefighters evacuated 92-94 Magnolia St., displacing seven adults and one child.

As of 5:18 a.m., the house at 90 Magnolia St. had collapsed, according to the fire department.

No injuries are reported and the cause of the fire in under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hiring Freeze in Effect at State Colleges and Universities


The president of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities has implemented a temporary hiring freeze across all 17 campuses and the system office for at least the rest of this fiscal year.

“These spending control measures are necessary given our projected shortfall for the current fiscal year and the financial pressures being exerted on all CSCU institutions,” CSCU President Mark Ojakian said in a statement. “We know it is not optimal and only intend to implement these procedures for the short-term.”

The hiring freeze goes into effect today.

SUV Hits House in Hamden


Two people were taken to the hospital after a crash that sent an SUV careening into a house at Whitney Avenue and Waite Street in Hamden on Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses said a car hit the SUV at the intersection, sending the SUV spinning and into the house.

Minutes later, the porch and part of the house collapsed.

The drivers of both cars were taken to a local hospital.

Minor injuries are reported.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Officer Punches Drunk Woman: Video


Police on Long Island say they're investigating a video showing an officer punching an intoxicated woman in the head after she bit him in the hand. It happened while authorities were responding to the report of domestic dispute at her home over the weekend.

The 21-year-old woman, identified as Daniela Hernandez, is shown on video being restrained on a stretcher after Suffolk County police arrived at her husband's Brentwood home on Madison Avenue Saturday.

Police had been called there on the report of a domestic dispute, and the screaming woman is shown resisting as officers and paramedics try to put her on the stretcher. 

A neighbor recorded the confrontation between Hernandez and police from an upstairs window. 

Hernandez admitted she had been drinking but also told NBC 4 New York Monday her cries were ignored as she told police she suffers from asthma. She said she was held down and her face was covered.

Hernandez said she tried to release herself from the pressure of the officer's grip so she could breathe and bit his hand. The video shows him responding with force, punching her several times in the head. 

"Stop biting me!" he says in the footage, while hitting her.

Hernandez showed her bruises Monday, but asked that her face not be shown during the interview. 

"I was telling him, 'I can't breathe, I'm suffocating, I can't breathe,'" she said. 

"I think it was too much for just one girl and two officers. I mean, how strong can I be? You can't hold me down with one officer?" she added. 

Her mother, Maria Hernandez, said, "It was scary, very scary. My daughter, she have asthma."

The woman's brother, Marlon Hernandez, said first responders attacked her "from the beginning."

"They didn't even let her speak or nothing, they just went toward her and got aggressive with her," he said. 

Daniela Hernandez was arrested on charges of second-degree harassment and second-degree assault. 

The officer who was bitten was treated and released from a local hospital. Suffolk County police would only say in response to the video they are actively investigating the case.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY

Stamford Man Dead After Police-Involved Shooting


A 25-year-old Stamford man is dead after a police-involved shooting on Monday night and state police detectives from Western District Major Crime are investigating.

Members of Stamford Police Department SWAT responded to the area of 119 Wedgemere St. in Stamford at 8 p.m. on Monday to investigate a disturbance and at least one Stamford police officer shot their duty-firearm at some point and hit Dylan Pape, who lived at the address, at least once, according to state police.

After the police-involved shooting, more Stamford police officers and Emergency Medical Services arrived and gave Pape medical care, then EMS brought him to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.

State police detectives from Western District Major Crime responded to the scene around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, at the request of the Stamford Police Department and the Stamford State Attorney’s Office, and took over the investigation.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct a post-mortem examination to determine the cause and manner of death.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

ISIS Claims Deadly Airport, Subway Attacks


At least 31 people were killed and scores wounded Tuesday after two explosions rocked the check-in zone of Brussels airport and a third blast hit a metro station in the Belgian capital, in what appeared to be a coordinated attack, NBC News reported.  

Florence Muls, a spokeswoman for the Brussels Airport, said a third bomb has been neutralized at the airport, The Associated Press reported.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to a post by its affiliated Amaq Agency that was deemed legitimate by NBC News counterterrorism consultancy Flashpoint. 

Brussels Mayor Yvan Majeur said an explosion at Maalbeck metro station killed 20 people and injured scores of others. According to the country's ministry of health, 11 people were also killed at the airport. Belgian fire and rescue services said 212 people have been injured, including 30 critically wounded or burned. Three American Mormon missionaries were among the injured and were listed in critical condition after suffering non-life threatening injuries. U.S. military officials said a U.S. service member and four members of his family were also injured in one of the blasts. 

The attacks followed a raid in Brussels on Friday that captured Europe's most wanted man — Salah Abdeslam — in connection with the Paris terror attacks.

Photo Credit: AP
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Photo Shows 3 Suspects in Brussels Attacks


Belgian authorities confirmed to NBC News that a photo of three men at the Brussels airport shows the suspects in Tuesday's deadly bombings. 

The names of the men in the photo, which was taken from surveillance video, were not released by the Belgian federal police. Police issued a wanted notice for the suspect wearing a hat, and asking "do you recognize this man?"

Florence Muls, a spokeswoman for the Brussels Airport, said a third bomb has been neutralized at the airport after two other bombs killed 11 people there, The Associated Press reported. Twenty people also died after a blast hit a subway car in the Maalbeek station. 

Anti-bomb squads detonated suspicious objects in at least two locations — the Maalbeek subway station and close to Brussels University a few miles further away, according to the AP. Authorities said those two did not contain explosives.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks.

Photo Credit: Belgian Police
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Taxi Driver Assaulted by Passenger in Greenwich: Police


A taxi driver was punched several times after picking up a passenger in Greenwich last night, police said. 

A RC Taxi driver was dispatched to Morgan Avenue at around 4:30 a.m. A man flagged down the driver and said he was the driver's intended fare. 

After requesting a destination in Port Chester, New York, the driver was attack while the cab was in motion. Police said the passenger grabbed the driver and began punching him in the head. 

The driver lost control of the cab and subsequently slowly hit a tree. The driver was able to escape the car to a house nearby and had a resident call 911, according to Greenwich Police. 

The victim sustained minor cuts, abrasions and bruising to his head. 

The suspect fled on foot. He is described as in his 20s, between 5'5" and 5'7" tall, a scruffy beard wearing a dark hoodie and possibly a baseball hat. 

 Anyone with information is asked to contact Greenwich Police at (203) 622-3333 or tips@greenwichct.org.

Photo Credit: File Photo

Crews Respond Closet Fire in Hartford

Man Accused of Stabbing Pizza Delivery Person in Harford: Police


A man is being accused of stabbing a pizza delivery person in Hartford, police said.

On Feb. 15, police responded to reports of a stabbing after a victim was transported to the Hartford Hospital. The victim told officers that while making a pizza delivery, he was stabbed multiple times. 

An investigation led to issuing an arrest warrant for Osvaldo Vellon, 36, of Hartford. Vellon was placed under arrest on Mar. 18 for unrelated charges. He faces a first degree attempted murder charge.

Vellon remains held on bond. He is expected to appear in court on Apr. 4. 

It is not clear if Vellon had an attorney. 

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

East Hampton Town Hall Evacuates After Suspicious Package Found


East Hampton Town Hall evacuated on Tuesday after a suspicious package was found on the side of the road.

An East Hampton resident found a suspicious package on the side of the road near Town Hall on 20 East High Street. The person brought the package to the parking lot of the municipal building, police said. 

Police went to go investigate the package and found a cylindrical shaped object wrapped in duct tape with a wick. This package prompted the evacuation of buildings nearby.

Special officers later concluded the package contained an inert object but an investigation is still underway, police said. 

East Hampton Police reminds the community to not handle suspicious items but rather, request the assistance of an officer to evaluate. 

Tribute to Attack Victims in DC


Many are still keeping vigil at sites in Brussels after terrorist blasts killed more than 30 people earlier in the day.

Around the world, tributes arose, with thousands showing their support for those killed, wounded, and affected by the trio of blasts that hit the Brussels airport and a metro station. In Washington, many visited the Belgian embassy in northwest D.C.

Secret Service police swept the grounds of the embassy Tuesday evening as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke with Belgium Ambassador Johan Verbeke to address any security concerns and offer support.

“It is my desire to be here and express my condolences on behalf of the department,” Johnson said.

People brought flowers to a growing memorial outside the embassy to honor the lives lost in Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels.

“It was my mother's idea,” said high school student Danny Overcash. “We have family back in Belgium, a lot of family actually. My grandfather was an immigrant during World War II, so we are just keeping them in our thoughts and our prayers during all this horrible stuff that's going on over there right now. “

Evangelist Mary Clement, of Silver Spring, spent almost an hour outside the embassy.

"The people of Belgium were so hurt today,” Clement said. “Everybody is sad."

Verbeke thanked everyone who called, emailed and stopped by the embassy for their thoughts and prayers.

“We are a resilient people,” Verbeke said. “We’ll stand on our feet. And I'm sure that with the strength, not just of our own security service and intelligence community, but also the strength of the International community, we will overcome this, and we will survive."

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington
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