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Case Continued for Wethersfield Principal Accused of Following Children at Wal-Mart


A Wethersfield elementary school principal who is accused of following young girls around a Hartford Wal-Mart and sneaking photos of them on a phone that belongs to the school district made a brief court appearance on Tuesday and his court case was continued to Nov. 22.

John Bean, the 46-year-old principal of Highcrest Elementary School, has been placed on administrative leave during the ongoing investigation.

Bean was arrested after police responded to the Wal-Mart on Flatbush Avenue in September and store staff members said he was following children in the store and “attempting to surreptitiously photograph them,” especially when they were not with their parents, the incident report says. 

One witness said the children were girls between 6 and 8 years old and Wal-Mart staff members said Bean, who has three children of his own, was holding a small toy and using it to hide his iPhone. 

The police officer who responded to the scene asked Bean what he was doing and he responded that he was shopping, but he did not have a shopping cart, according to police.

When the officer asked Bean if he’d been taking photos and following children, Bean diverted his eyes, tried to walk away as police said they were detaining him and he tried to resist arrest, according to the incident report.

The report says Bean never asked what was happening, but asked if he was under arrest and said he did not do anything. 

During questioning, police asked Bean to unlock his phone so they could clear things up, but Bean refused, according to police. Authorities seized the SIM card and send the phone to a lab to check what's on it.

Police also reviewed surveillance from the store and said it appeared Bean was looking more at the aisles and people than the store merchandise.

The principal was charged with interfering with an officer for resisting arrest and second-degree breach of peace, according to police. 

Police said they immediately notified the Wethersfield Police Chief, as well as security for the Wethersfield Board of Education when they started to investigate and the board of education took immediate action.

Hartford police also said they notified the state Department of Children and Families as a precaution.

The last time Bean was due in court, his Bean's attorney said he has health issues and was at a local facility and unable to appear. On Tuesday, Attorney William Paetzold asked for the case to be continued and a judge granted the request.

When asked after the hearing why he asked for a continuance, Paetzold would not say.

Bean had no comment.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Firefighters Knock Down 2-Alarm Fire in New Haven


Firefighters knocked down a two-alarm fire on Chapel Street in New Haven Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 1187 Chapel St. just before 2 p.m. and video the fire department shared from the scene shows heavy smoke coming from the top of a building.

Initial reports were that there may be some people trapped in the building, but when firefighters arrived on scene they found no one trapped or in need of rescue, according to New Haven Fire Battalion Chief Bill Gould.

Check back for updates.

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Men Made Obscene Comments, Approached Children in West Haven


Police have received several reports in the last few days of men making obscene comments to people in West Haven, as well as approaching children and asking them if they wanted candy.

West Shore residents have contacted police about three incidents in the South Street area in the last few afternoons, between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. , according to police.

Each report was about two men between 25 and 35 with short hair in a gray pickup truck yelling obscene comments while driving by pedestrians, police said.

In one incident, they slowly approached children, asked if they wanted candy and drove away, police said.

Police said they have added police presence and anyone with information should contact police.

Multiple Crews Respond to Brush Fire at Nepaug Reservoir


Multiple departments are on scene at a large brush fire near the Nepaug Reservoir, according to the Burlington volunteer fire department.

The Nepaug Reservoir is located in Burlington, Canton and New Hartford.

Burlington fire, New Hartford fire, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are on scene. More information was not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

Watertown Police Seek Shoplifting Suspect


Watertown police are looking for a man accused in several shoplifting incidents around town.

Police said they have three arrest warrants for Christopher Jensen, 31, formally of Wolcott. Police allege that Jensen shoplifted energy drinks from multiple local gas stations and grocery stores. The warrants are for two incidents that occurred on October 4 and one incident on October 14.

Jensen is believed to be driving a newer model blue Ford Fusion with black rims. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Watertown police at (860) 945-5200 or Crimestoppers at (860) 945-9940.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department

Classes Canceled After Fire at UConn Life Sciences Building


Classes at UConn’s Torrey Life Sciences Building were canceled Tuesday afternoon after a fire broke out in the basement.

According to UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz, the fire happened in a small part of the basement lab of the building located at 75 North Eagleville Road. Students, faculty and staff were all evacuated. No injuries were reported.

The UConn fire department and mutual aid from Mansfield Fire, Tolland Fire and North Coventry Fire all responded.

There was a strong chemical and plastic smell in the building after the fire, Reitz said.

Classes scheduled in the building were canceled for the remainder of Tuesday and normal operations are expected to resume Wednesday, Reitz said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Store Clerk Shot and Killed in New Haven


New Haven police are investigating a fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon at the E&M Smoke Shop on Ferry Street in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.

The shooting happened around 1:36 p.m. at 545 Ferry St.

New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said the male victim, the smoke shop’s 22-year-old owner and clerk, was pronounced dead just before 2 p.m at the hospital.

Shortly after the shooting, police say a stolen Honda CRV out of West Hartford crashed into 904 Quinnipiac Ave. following a police pursuit.

Three men were taken into custody, Hartman said, but a fourth person fled from the scene.

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting in the search for the fourth person along the Quinnipiac River.

Police are not ruling out the stolen car crash is connected to the homicide investigation, Hartman told NBC Connecticut.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect in Fatal I-84 Crash Was Under the Influence: Police


A 19-year-old New Jersey woman has been arrested in connection with a crash on Interstate 84 in Middlebury last year that killed a 59-year-old Brookfield man and she has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and operating under the influence.

Police said Erica Weinman, 19, of Abderdeen, New Jersey, was on I-84 East, went off the road, crossed the median and her Ford Escape crashed into a Porsche Cayman driven by Kevin Klein just after 10 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2015. 

Klein died from injuries, police said.

He was a husband, the father of twin sons and served as vice president of enterprise innovation at Pitney Bowes in Stamford, according to his obituary.

After learning of her arrest, police in New Jersey took Weinman into custody as a fugitive from justice and she was transported to Southbury, Connecticut and charged with second-degree manslaughter, failure to  drive in proper lane and operating under the influence of drugs or drugs. 

Bond was set at $100,000 and she was released. She is due in court on Oct. 26. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Insurance Company Takes Over Yard Goats Ballpark Project


The City of Hartford has officially signed a deal with Arch Insurance for it to take over construction and management of the minor league baseball stadium project. 

Mayor Luke Bronin and Stadium Authority Executive Director Sean Fitzpatrick Monday signed the deal on Oct. 17 and Arch will assume control of the site immediately. 

The city called the bond on the project from DoNo Hartford LLC, the developer of the original stadium project. 

Centerplan, the developer’s parent company, was responsible for providing the necessary funds to complete the stadium. 

The surety bond is worth an estimated $48 million and is meant to guarantee completion and delivery of a finished stadium to the city of Hartford. 

Arch Insurance has been in talks with Whiting Turner, a construction company and design firm with experience in stadium construction, to be the completion contractor for the baseball stadium. 

Opening Day is set for April 13, 2017 and the Eastern League, along with the Hartford Yard Goats, have said if the stadium is not complete and ready for baseball by that date, then baseball will not played in Hartford next year.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Saudi Arabia Executes Prince for Murder: Official Media


A Saudi prince was executed on Tuesday after pleading guilty to killing a fellow Saudi after a brawl, official media reported, according to Reuters. Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was found guilty by the court and serves as a rare example of a ruling family member subjected to execution.

The statement made by the ministry of interior did not say how the prince was killed. Most people who face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

The ruling family is rarely faced with execution, one of the most prominent examples being Faisal bin Musaid al Saud, who assassinated his uncle, King Faisal, in 1975. While the ruling family is estimated to have several thousand members, only few hold nationally relevant government positions.

Video Shows Man Make Massive Jump Into SoCal Harbor


Don't try this at home.

A video posted by YouTube user 8Booth shows a man jump from a more than 10-story high waterfront building and into the Newport Harbor in Southern California.

The footage shows the man in fast-forward, climbing the inside stairs of the Newport Tower condominiums and plunging into the water, landing just feet away from a boat dock.

The daredevil used two GoPro cameras to capture his massive jump from the tall building.

The incident is currently under investigation. 

Police say at minimum the jumper could be cited for trespassing. 

Photo Credit: YouTube user 8Booth

Plane Crash Survivor Recovering After Surgery


The flight instructor who survived a plane crash in East Hartford last week, continues to recover in the hospital.

Arian Prevalla underwent surgery on Monday, according to Prevalla's attorney.

He was in a twin-engine plane that crashed on Main Street in East Hartford on Oct. 10.

Federal investigators called the crash an "intentional act" and said Prevalla and the other person on the plane, Feras Freitekh, struggled in the cockpit just before the plane went down.

Freitekh died in the crash.

There is no indication the incident was terror-related, according to federal law enforcement officials.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Facebook

Slow Cookers Recalled Due to Fire, Shock Hazard


3 Squares recalled nearly 175,000 rice and slow cookers Tuesday due to improper wiring that poses fire and shock hazards.

The company recalled their Tim3 Machin3 and Mini Tim3 Machin3 rice and slow cookers with fixed power cords after reports of sparking and the cookers turning themselves on, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

One shock injury was reported.

The electric cookers are stainless steel with black molded plastic and a keypad on the front. They were sold at home, hardware, mass merchandisers and department stores nationwide and online at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Costco, Home Depot, Kohl's, Target and other websites from December 2015 through July for $30 to $70.

Recalled model numbers start with 3RC and end in 3010S, 3020S, 3434, 5020 and 9010S. The model number can be found on the side of the cookers.

Anyone with a recalled cooker should stop using it immediately and contact 3 Squares for a free replacement.

For more information, contact 3 Squares at 800-390-0249 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays or visit www.get3squares.com/recall.

Photo Credit: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

SC Man's Video of 'Angel'-Like Cloud Goes Viral


When Cory Hearon looked to the sky last Tuesday, he was shocked by what he saw. 

The single cloud above Camden, South Carolina, looked remarkably like an angel in the sky. He shared what he saw in a Facebook live stream that has since been viewed more than 6 million times, the Today Show reported. 

"I almost didn't video it," Hearon, 37, told Today. "It was the first time I had seen something that remarkable with my own two eyes." 

The father of three has been amazed by the response he's getting. "It has touched so many people from across the world," Hearon said. "I can't believe it. I'm still in shock."

Photo Credit: Cory Hearon
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Vernon Police Officer Injured During Arrest


A Vernon police officer was injured while trying to take a person into custody on Tuesday night.

Officers responded to the Walgreens at 188 Union Street around 7:30 p.m. to deal with a situation involving a mother and her adult son.

The woman told officers that her 30-year-old son was mentally unstable and was off his medications.

The pair were traveling from Natick, Massachusetts to Connecticut and had made a brief stop at the Walgreens when the son took his mother's car keys and cell phone, according to police.

When police tried to detain the man, he threw one of the officers to the ground and ran across the street, police said.

He was tasered and continued to fight with police, biting the same officer on the hand, according to police.

The man was eventually taken into custody and charged with assault on a police officer and breach of peace. He was held on $50,000 bond and was scheduled to be in court on Wednesday.

The officer was taken to Rockville General Hospital to be treated for his injuries and later released.

Bristol Police Seek Convenience Store Robber


Bristol police are investigating a robbery at a local convenience store Tuesday night.

Police said around 10:18 p.m. a male suspect entered Uno Convenience at 115 School Street and demanded cash. The suspect reportedly threatened the clerk, but no weapon was shown and the clerk was not injured.

The suspect fled with an unknown amount of cash.

The suspect is described as 5-foot-7, with a medium build. He was wearing a ski mask, a gray sweatshirt and black pants at the time of the robbery.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Bristol police at (860) 584-3000.

Civilians Flee as Forces Advance on ISIS in Mosul


More than 900 civilians have fled Mosul into Syria as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces continued to advance toward the ISIS-held city, NBC News reported.

A total of 912 people are at the U.N.-operated camp in Syria, a spokesman for the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told NBC News.

More than one million civilians are still in Mosul, leaving humanitarian groups concerned. Iraqi and Kurdish authorities are almost done constructing a refugee camp that will be able to hold about 5,000 families, indicating a large number of people are expected to flee their homes.

Mercy Corps, a humanitarian aid agency, is calling for the U.S. to contribute $325 million in emergency supplemental funding to support fleeing Iraqi families.

Photo Credit: AP
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Man on Lunch Break Saves Woman, Child Trapped in Wreckage


A suburban Chicago man saved a mother and her baby trapped in the wreckage of a car accident on his lunch break.

George Wood, a technician for Mr. Rooter Plumbing, was driving to lunch when he came upon the scene of a rollover crash at National Parkway and Woodfield in Schaumburg.

Nicole Srikanti and her 16-month-old son Dylan were trapped inside.

"When I ran up to the car you could hear them screaming inside, I was just thinking 'Get them out,'" Wood told NBC 5.

Wood grabbed a tire iron from his car and used it to smash Srikanti's window. A bystander gave him a knife to cut her seatbelt.

“I told her ‘Are you hurt, anything hurt’-- she just said ‘Get me out of here, please get me out of here, please save my baby,’” Wood said.

Wood smashed a rear window to reach Dylan who was belted tightly in his car seat.

“I cut the belt off him, passed him out to the firefighter,” Wood said.

Wood said he left the scene without speaking to Srikanti—he didn’t even know her name. NBC 5 recently got them on the phone with one another.

“Hi, George, thank you so, so much, I’m forever grateful for you,” Srikanti told Wood over the phone.

“No problem, no problem. I just didn’t want you guys to get hurt or anything like that,” Wood replied.

Srikanti recalled the moment Wood showed up on the scene of the accident.

“I heard a voice saying ‘I’m here ma’m,’ and it was like God standing there, I was so happy someone was there trying to help me and my son,” she said.

Schaumburg police say the accident could have easily been fatal and credit the proper installation of Dylan’s car seat with saving his life.

Milford Police Charge 'Backpage Bandit' in Hotel Robbery


Milford police have arrested a man dubbed the “Backpage Bandit,” who is accused in violent robberies of women in local hotel and motel rooms.

Police said that Jonathan Arzu, 23, of Bridgeport, forced his way into a hotel room with two acquaintances in May and demanded property from a female victim inside the room. When the victim resisted, Arzu allegedly pistol-whipped her with a handgun then ransacked the hotel room and stole money, a purse and a wallet.

Arzu was identified as a suspect through DNA at the scene and by the victim, police said.

He is charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, and reckless endangerment.

This is the second time Arzu has been arrested for this type of crime. He is accused of entering a hotel room in July and tying up a female victim with the phone cord, then robbing her while holding a knife to her throat. He has been dubbed the “Backpage Bandit” because his victims offered services through Backpage.com, police said.

Arzu was arrested Tuesday, held on a $100,000 bond and arraigned Tuesday. He is next scheduled in court on November 22. 

Photo Credit: Milford Police

Rubio Warns GOP: Don't Talk About WikiLeaks


Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida warned his Republican colleagues not to discuss the WikiLeaks dump of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta. 

"I will not discuss any issue that has become public solely on the basis of WikiLeaks," said Rubio in a statement to NBC News, breaking with Donald Trump's approach. "As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process and I will not indulge it."

Rubio did not mention Trump by name, but he is clearly departing from his former rival on the issue. Trump has repeatedly brought up the WikiLeaks' hack, accusing the media of ignoring the stolen emails in an effort to protect Clinton.

"I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks," Rubio said. "Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us."

Photo Credit: AP
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