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Texas Pastor Goes to Mall, Tells Kids Santa Isn't Real


A widely-shared video posted to YouTube Saturday appears to show a pastor, who's well known for previous public protests, telling kids waiting in line at an Amarillo mall that Santa isn't real. 

In the video, a man identifying himself as David Grisham of "Last Frontier Evangelism" said, "We're going to tell the children here today the truth that there is no Santa Claus and that Christmas is about Jesus Christ."

Grisham has previously gained notoriety in 2010 for attempting to burn a copy of the Quran in an Amarillo park, NBC News reported. He was thwarted by a 23-year-old skateboarder who grabbed the Muslim holy book from Grisham.

In Saturday's video, Grisham walked up to a line of parents and kids waiting to see Santa and yelled, "There is no such thing as Santa Claus. Santa Claus does not exist."

The video ends with several parents confronting Grisham and asking him to leave. 

"Shut up," one parent says.

Another asks Grisham to "quit talking this mess." 

"There is a Santa," someone shouts. 

One Facebook page for Last Frontier Evangelism appeared to be unavailable Monday morning, but another page for the group had shared the video with the comment: "Mark Zuckerberg and his band of GESTAPO censors at Facebook took down the original of this post."

While not mentioned in Saturday's video, Grisham is also the director of "Repent Amarillo," according to the Amarillo Globe-News. That organization has been categorized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Photo Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
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EB Relaunches Apprenticeship Program With Plans to Hire


Electric Boat expects to hit a peak employment of 18,000 people by 2030.

To make sure these employees receive the best training and keep up with the standards and quality of EB, the company has relaunched its registered apprenticeship program.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Rep. Joe Courtney, EB staff and the Metal Trades Council and Marine Draftsmen Association made the announcement Monday.

The program gives new employees on-the-job training, as well as a classroom education. Sixty people are divided between two programs: one for shipyard workers, the other for designers.

Anne Messerschmidt, of Norwich, is joining the the apprenticeship program. She said she's currently the only female machinist at EB.

"Since I'm the only woman, I want to be a better role model and a better leader for the shop. Saying that it's not only a men's trade, it's also for women, it's for anybody," Messerschmidt said.

"If we don't train people to do this work in Connecticut, the work's going to be done elsewhere," Malloy said. "These are very high-paying jobs building the best submarines in this case, but the best jet engines in another case, the best helicopters in another case.

Since the apprenticeship training started 68 years ago, more than 4,300 people graduated from the programs.

EB is making use of the $5 million American Apprenticeship Initiative grant, and the $6 million Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Stranger Donates Wad of $100 Bills to Willimantic Salvation Army


A stranger placed hundreds of dollars in a Salvation Army kettle in Willimantic.

"I don't know who put it in," said Salvation Army soldier Envoy Philip Hostetler. "But I hope they know how grateful I am." 

On Saturday, Hostetler was collecting donations outside of a Wal-mart in Willimantic. When he started to count the money in his kettle, he came across a wad of $100 dollar bills. 

The folded and paper clipped money totaled $1,400. 

Donations collected in the red kettles fund programs and services for the homeless by providing a food pantry, social support, financial assistance and spiritual guidance. 

The Greater Windham Salvation Army serves Chaplin, Chestnut Hill, Columbia, Conantville, Eagleville, Hampton, Lebanon, Mansfield, Mansfield Center, Mansfield Depot, Merrow, North Windham, Scotland, South Windham, Storrs, Willimantic and Windham. 

Photo Credit: WireImage

New Legislation Combating Opioid Crisis Has Connecticut Talking


New federal legislation that could be signed by President Obama as soon as Tuesday is expected to provide $1 billion dollars over two years to combat the opioid crisis.

While Connecticut would only get a share of that funding, some local families who have suffered because of opioid addiction are clear as to how they want it spent.

Lisa Cote Johns of Uncasville lost her son Christopher to a heroin overdose in 2014.

His addiction began after she helped him get prescription opioids from a doctor following an appendectomy and a broken nose.

"You don't need an opioid for a tooth extraction. You don't need an opioid if you injure your knee. That's what Tylenol is for," said Cote Johns.

On Monday, Cote Johns, along with other families of overdose victims, welcomed Senator Richard Blumenthal to discuss the best ways to use newly approved federal funds from the 21st Century Cures Act.

"It means America is putting its money where its mouth is. And we need to make those investments real here in CT because we have the need for it," said Blumenthal.

Besides cutting down on over prescription of opioids, advocates, like Cote Johns' group Community Speaks Out, want more treatment and recovery programs, including prescription monitoring, as well as making Narcan more affordable.

They also want to see insurance companies allow addicts more time in rehab, with treatment more tailored to the individual.

"You wouldn't give two people the same type of chemo treatment - one for breast cancer, one for prostate - it's not heard of. Why do you feel the need to treat those that suffer with this disease the same way? That's failing," said Cote Johns.

According to Blumenthal, Connecticut saw 700 deaths in 2015 from opioid overdoses. This year is on pace for almost 900.

"I know a lot of people don't care because they think they're just junkies. But they're not. They suffer from a disease. And they're someone's child, someone's mother, someone's father," explained Cote Johns.

Once the president signs the legislation, Connecticut will then have to apply for grants to get its share of the money.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Victim Meeting Date in New Haven Gets Car Stolen


A man who thought he was going on a date with a woman he met online had his car stolen in New Haven on Saturday. 

At 7:15 a.m., police went to investigate a robbery on Winthop Avenue.

Witnesses told police that a man with a handgun began fighting the victim and pushing him toward a building. When the suspect tries to retrieve the handgun knocked from his hand, the victim was able to get away, according to police. 

When police found the 27-year-old victim from Wallingford, he told officers he went to New Haven to meet up with woman he met online for a date. The victim was instructed to wait in the ally when instead of being approached by a woman, he was attacked by an armed man.

The victim's 2000 black Honda Civic was stolen when he fled. 

Police were able to locate the stolen Honda on East Street driving toward Humphrey Street filled with people. The driver led police on a short pursuit before crashing on Sherman Avenue, police said.

Fred Adams, 21, and Shayvon Avery Bethea-Frazier, 20, were both charged with marijuana possession charges, however, no one has been charged with carjacking.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Flight Diverted to JFK After Threat: Port Authority


A Lufthansa flight has been diverted to JFK Airport following a threat to the aircraft, authorities say.

Port Authority Spokesperson Steve Coleman said Lufthansa received the called-in threat while the plane was in the air from Houston to Frankfurt.

The pilot diverted to JFK and the plane landed safely. Passengers were in the process of evacuating the aircraft at 9.30 p.m.

By 9.45 p.m. authorities were checking the threat to the plane, the airport tweeted.

It said no other flights or terminals were impacted by the plane's grounding.

More to come. 

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Southington Robbery Suspect in Custody After Large Search


A Southington bank robbery suspect that spurred a multi-jurisdiction search was taken into custody after being found in the woods near Route 8 in Naugatuck Monday.

Southington police said around 9:50 a.m. a suspect entered the TD Bank at 121 Main Street in Southington and passed a note demanding money.

The teller complied and the suspect fled in a green SUV. There was no weapon shown or implied.

Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens said his department responded when Southington police informed them the suspect was heading into Wolcott. Wolcott officers spotted the suspect vehicle and began to follow it through Woodtick Road into Waterbury, where the suspect then hopped on the highway and headed toward Naugatuck.

Police used stop sticks to stop the vehicle, at which point the suspect fled on foot. 

State police confirmed that their K9 teams were called in to assist with a search along Route 8 near exit 24 in Beacon Falls.  Just after noon police confirmed a K9 team located the suspect in the woods and officers took him into custody. He has not been identified.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Haven Assistant Police Chief Suspended Following Internal Investigation


A New Haven assistant police chief has been suspended following an internal investigation.

Assistant Chief Luiz Casanova has been ordered to one day of suspension without pay, police said. 

The suspension comes after an investigation into inappropriate comments made during a verbal interaction between Casanova and a patrol officer that happened last week. 

The suspension is for conduct unbecoming an officer, New Haven Police said in a statement.

The day off will happen before the end of the year. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Bilingual First Grade Teacher Selected as New Haven’s Teacher of the Year


In a profession dominated by women, Carlos Reyes-Couvertier is New Haven’s Teacher of the Year.

“In this profession it’s kind of difficult to find you know especially male teachers,” Reyes-Couvertier said. “So I think it’s nice for them, good for them to see someone that they can relate to.”

While he spends 80 percent of the day teaching in Spanish, this bilingual first grade teacher at Strong 21st Century Communications Magnet School said his favorite subject to teach is math.

“Because it’s such a universal language that it doesn’t matter the language you use,” Reyes-Couvertier said during NBC Connecticut’s exclusive visit to his classroom Monday afternoon. “The kids enjoy it, the kids understand it, it’s all about numbers, the kids really like it.”

Reyes-Couvertier moved to Connecticut from Puerto Rico in the early 1990s. He credits his mother and wife, who are both teachers, for convincing him to switch careers.

“I came here as an occupational therapist and I decided to change profession,” he said.

The State Department of Education recognized Reyes-Couvertier at a ceremony last month in Hartford. Late Monday afternoon, the New Haven Board of Education presented him with a plaque for his achievements.

“The kids really do look up to him as a role model,” said Strong’s principal Susan Denicola.

Reyes-Couvertier impacts the students’ lives beyond the time spent in the classroom, Denicola said.

“Not only is it important just because he does such a great teaching the students,” she said, “but he also helps the community. He helps the school, he reaches out to families where we need help sometimes doing translations, making home visits.”

For Reyes-Couvertier, the Teacher of the Year award is his to share.

“It’s an honor but I always say you know I think this award is not only for me,” he said, “it’s for all the teachers that are working in New Haven district, especially also at this school. I am who I am because of them.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Clinton Camp Calls Russian Hacking Intelligence 'Compelling'


Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has dropped its reluctance to challenge the election results because Russia "certainly succeeded in interfering" with the electoral process, a top campaign official told MSNBC on Monday night.

"Hillary Clinton conceded the election, and that has not changed," Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign's top spokeswoman, told Rachel Maddow.

Palmieri said calls to declassify U.S. intelligence on Russia's alleged connection to hacks of U.S. political institutions' email and computer systems were "compelling" enough for the campaign to break its silence and join the fray.

Earlier Monday, Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, threw his support behind a request by 10 members of the Electoral College who asked National Intelligence Director James Clapper for an intelligence briefing before electors meet next week to certify Trump's election.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Haven Converts Parking Meters Into Collection Points To Help the Homeless


Next time you’re in New Haven, you may notice a multi-color meter that’s not for parking.

Instead, they are meant to discourage panhandling and offer a new way to give back, Mayor Toni Harp announced at a press conference Monday afternoon.

New Haven is joining several cities around the country, including Albuquerque and Denver, that have repurposed parking meters.

“Give change to make change provides an outlet for those who compassionately and kind heartedly want to assist vulnerable homeless residents,” Mayor Harp said.

The Give Change to Make Change program aims to supplement the city’s funding for social service organizations working to end homelessness and feed the hungry.

With some change or a credit card, people looking to give back will be able to donate at 10 orange and yellow converted parking meters.

“I think it’s a great program, I’m homeless, I pay it forward, people help me and I help others,” said William Ohl, who has been homeless for more than three years. “I don’t panhandle and I don’t give panhandlers money, what I do is ask them if they’re hungry and if I can I go buy them something to eat.”

But panhandlers are often spotted in downtown New Haven. Sometimes the cash they collect contributes to drug or alcohol addiction.

“Police have reported that professional panhandlers can make up to $100 a day,” said Win Davis, executive director of Town Green Special Services District. “We are here today to let the public know that its ok to say “no” to panhandling and “yes” to giving.”

With the help of social workers, Ohl said he is hopeful that soon he’ll be able to move off the streets and into new housing.

“I have a multitude of people working towards that,” he said, “I’m headed there.”

Four of donation meters are already operational at these locations: Corner of Chapel and College outside INFO New haven, College Street Garage lobby, Corner of York and Chapel outside of the Yale Rep, Corner of Broadway and Elm by the pop-up Peabody Museum

City officials said they are taking suggestions where to set up the other six. Donations can also be made at www.givechangetomakechange.com.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

House Benghazi Committee Files Final Report and Shuts Down


The House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound at Benghazi, Libya, has quietly shut down, more than five months after it released its findings — timing that Democrats said proved its only purpose was to embarrass Hillary Clinton, NBC News reported. 

Four Americans were killed in the attack in September 2012, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and her use of a private email server emerged during investigations of the attack.

When it publicized its findings in June, the House Select Committee on Benghazi didn't specifically blame Clinton for what it described as bureaucratic miscues and interagency blunders that led to the Americans' deaths. 

But coming as Clinton was wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination, the findings remained a hot-button issue through Election Day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Perry Picked for Dept. He Forgot He Wanted to Ax: Sources


President-elect Donald Trump has made his pick for the leader of the Department of Energy: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who famously once forgot that he wanted to abolish the Energy Department, sources told NBC News Monday night.

Perry, a rival of Trump's during the Republican presidential nominating campaign, met with Trump for about 90 minutes earlier in the day at Trump Tower in New York, NBC News reported. 

During Perry's first bid for the presidential nomination, in 2011, he famously stumbled through a primary debate, listing the three federal departments he'd eliminate if he were elected. However, he couldn't remember the Energy Department — the agency Trump now wants him to lead. The gaffe became known as Perry's "oops" moment.

As governor, Perry supported the oil industry. He now serves on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

8M Cuisinart Food Processors Recalled Over Laceration Hazard


About eight million Cuisinart food processors are being recalled after dozens of reports of customers finding broken pieces of the blade in processed food, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Conair Corp., of Stamford, Connecticut, which is the owner of the Cuisinart brand, said it received 69 reports of consumers finding broken pieces of the blade in processed food, including 30 reports of mouth lacerations or tooth injuries.

The recall includes the riveted blades in Cuisinart food processors. The blades are silver-colored stainless steel and have a beige plastic center hub. Only food processors with four rivets in the blades are under recall.

The model numbers under recall, which can be found on the bottom of the food processors, include the following: CFP-9, CFP-11, DFP-7, DFP-11, DFP-14, DLC-5, DLC-7, DLC-8, DLC-10, DLC-XP, DLC-2007, DLC-2009, DLC-2011, DLC-2014, DLC-3011, DLC-3014, EV-7, EV-10, EV-11, EV-14, KFP-7 and MP-14.

Food processors were sold at department, gourmet and specialty stores nationwide, and on various websites from July 1996 to December 2015.

Consumers are urged to immediately stop using the food processor's riveted blade and to contact Cuisinart for a free replacement blade.

Cuisinart can be reached toll-free at 877-339-2534 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday or online at www.cuisinart.com. Click on "Product Recalls" at the bottom of the page for more information on the voluntary recall.

Photo Credit: Consumer Product Safety Commission

Ex-NFL Tight End Dies After Brain Aneurysm at 29


Former Jets and Ravens tight end Konrad Reuland died Monday after a weeks-long battle to survive following a brain aneurysm, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh announced at his post-game press conference. Reuland was 29. 

"We lost a Raven today,” Harbaugh said after his team's 20-23 loss to the Patriots Monday night. “I just want to offer our condolences to his family. We love Konrad Reuland. Every single guy in the locker room loves him and knows him." 

Reuland suffered a brain aneurysm Nov. 28 and had surgery the next day. He died in California. 

The former Stanford and Notre Dame ball player made his NFL debut as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011. Reuland then spent two years with the Jets, where he had 12 catches for 90 yards. 

Reuland played in four games for the Ravens last season, starting in one, though he didn't have a catch.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Darien Police Issue Warning After Dog Killed by Coyote


Darien police are warning residents to keep an eye out for coyotes after a small dog was killed in a coyote attack in the northern section of town.

Police said over the past two weeks they’ve received several reports of sightings and two reports of coyotes attacking small dogs. In one instance the dog was killed.

It is not uncommon for coyotes to attack small pets, particularly during mating season, January to February. Animal Control Officer Chip Stahl stressed that coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare.

Police advised residents not to feed wild animals because if coyotes associate people with food it increases the risk of run-ins.

For more information and tips on how to keep pets safe visit the Darien police website.

Video Shows Woman Being Dragged Off Detroit Flight


A woman was hauled off a flight in Detroit by her limbs Monday in an incident that was captured on cellphone video by other passengers.

Delta Flight 2083 was preparing to depart from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to travel to San Diego around 8 a.m. when officials say it was delayed due to a woman “not complying with boarding and baggage check procedures.”

Passengers say a woman had walked right past the gate agents at the terminal without showing a ticket or proper identification before seating herself on the plane, according to NBC affiliate WDIV-TV.  When Delta personnel found the woman and approached her, she refused to move or comply with the standard security procedures, authorities said.

Airport police were called in, and after repeatedly ignoring officers’ requests to leave aircraft, the woman was manually removed by local law enforcement, Delta spokesperson Anthony Black said.

Cellphone video captured from inside the cabin and provided by the Renés Points blog show the woman laying seemingly lifeless as she was dragged down the center aisle by her arms as multiple officers carried her from the back of the plane to the front exit:

Another woman was traveling with the unruly passenger at the time, WDIV-TV reports, and can be seen in the video voluntarily getting up and exiting behind her as she is hoisted away.

The passenger, whose identity has not been released, was taken into police custody, officials said. Charges were pending Tuesday morning.

Black said after the woman was removed the flight was able to continue without further incident, landing at its destination of San Diego International Airport after only a slight delay.

Photo Credit: RenesPoints.com
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Police Use of Force in Bolton Shooting Justified: Report


The New London State’s Attorney’s office has ruled that the use of deadly force by two officers during a confrontation with a South Windsor bank robbery suspect in Bolton in Aug. 2015 was justified, according to a report released Tuesday.

The New London’s State’s Attorney was called in to investigate after a state trooper and a Manchester police officer fired shots at the suspect, Christopher T. Anderson, 53, of Hartford, during a confrontation on Aug. 14, 2015. Anderson eventually died from his injuries.

According to police, the incident started when Anderson handed tellers a note demanding money at First Niagara Bank at 481 Buckland Road in South Windsor.

A South Windsor police officer saw him fleeing the bank and get into a Toyota Matrix. The officer chased after him into Manchester and a group of Manchester police officers joined in on the pursuit at about 3:30 p.m. The suspect refused to stop for South Windsor and Manchester police.

State police from the Troop K barracks in Colchester responded to the area of routes 384 and 6 in Manchester to help South Windsor and Manchester police with the pursuit at about 3:30 p.m.

The chase ended on Route 44 in Bolton, where the Anderson crashed on the right side of the roadway, according to state police. The suspect started driving again and made it 200 yards before his vehicle broke down near the intersection of Routes 44 and 6, east of Bolton Notch.

As State Trooper Brian Contenta and police officers approached the vehicle, state police said Anderson got out of the car and was brandishing a box cutter in his hand when he got out of the car and disobeyed authorities' commands to stop. He advanced toward the trooper and officers, state police said.

Manchester Police Officer Jason Wagner deployed a Taser, but it didn't stop Anderson, who ripped the probes out. Anderson continued advancing on the officers with the weapon, prompting Contenta and Manchester Police Officer Layau Eulizier to open fire on him simultaneously and shoot him, state police said. It's unknown how many times Anderson was shot.

According to the State’s Attorney’s report, Contenta fired four shots and Eulizier fired one shot.

Anderson was immediately treated on scene then taken to Hartford Hospital in an ambulance, but died at the hospital. Contenta, Wagner and Eulizier weren't injured, but they were taken to the hospital to be evaluated.

Contenta was temporarily assigned to administrative duty pending the completion of the investigation, per state police policy. Wagner, the officer who deployed the taser, has been with the Manchester Police Department for 13 years. Eulizier, the Manchester officer who fired the gun, has been with the department for one year.

Detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime squad and the state's attorney's office in New London responded to the scene.

Anderson was shot once before by police during a New Haven police investigation into another bank robbery back in October of 2006. New Haven police located him inside a home at 74 Fowler Street and determined he might be armed, police said. When Anderson confronted officers during a lengthy standoff, police were "forced" to fire their guns at him, seriously wounding him, state police said. He was hospitalized after that.

In the conclusion of the State’s attorney report, dated Dec. 7, 2016, the office ruled that given Anderson’s refusal to follow verbal instructions to drop his weapon, and his “aggressive and threatening” manner which continued after the use of a Taser, both officers reasonably believed they had to use deadly force to protect themselves and others from the suspect.

Photo Credit: Storm Parker

Fake Solicitors Stole Delivered Packages: West Hartford PD


West Hartford police have arrested two people accused of stealing packages while posing as energy company representatives.

Police said that on Tuesday a resident in the 1300 block of the Boulevard reported two people came to his door claiming to be soliciting for a Comcast. The resident said he found the pair suspicious and they did not have solicitor badges. He also noticed that the suspects did not have packages when they first came around but were carrying some a short time later.

Officers responded and found the two suspects, identified as Justice Eugene Johnson, 24, of Waterbury and Deanna Naomi Gordon, 20, of Waterbury, with stolen items.

According to police, the pair was walking around with an Eversource clipboard when they were located. They told police that they were employed by Starion Energy in Middlebury and that they were working as subcontractors for Eversource. However, when NBC Connecticut reached out to Eversource a company spokesman said they do not contract with Starion Energy and are not associated with the company.

Starion Energy said the suspects are not their employees.

Johnson and Gordon were both charged with sixth-degree larceny, interfering with an officer, and simple trespass.

All solicitors are required to have permits in West Hartford. Any suspicious activity should be reported to police.

Eversource warned customers in the past of impostors who go door-to-door pretending to represent for their company. They released a statement which read in part:

"The two individuals arrested in West Hartford are not affiliated with Eversource. Unfortunately, our customers across Connecticut continue to report receiving unsolicited phone calls and home visits from individuals selling 'discounted power' and claiming to be 'representatives' or 'partners' of Eversource. In light of this, the company is warning customers that these individuals are not affiliated with Eversource and are most likely either scammers or third-party suppliers choosing to use deceptive marketing tactics."

The company added that all Eversource employees carry company-issued identification, and any electrical contractors working with the company carry documentation. Customers can call Eversource at 1-800-286-2000 to verify this information.

A spokeswoman for Comcast said:

“All Comcast employees are required to carry identification. If a customer suspects a potential scam or anything suspicious, they should request that identification be presented prior to allowing anyone into their home. Also, anyone who has suspicions about a representative at their home should call 1-800-COMCASTimmediately to verify the legitimacy of a service call.”

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police Department

Former New London Police Officer Found Dead in Car


A former New London police officer was found dead in a car in Griswold Monday afternoon.

Russell MacDonald, 35, of Jewett City, was found dead inside a car on I-395 near exit 24 around 4:30 p.m., accoriding to state police.

MacDonald was hired to be an officer for the New London Police Department in March 2008 but resigned in August 2015. MacDonald, a property officer, was being internally investigated by the department for issues related to the evidence room by the time of his resignation, police said. 

The investigation started in March 2015 and the New London Police Department told NBC Connecticut that MacDonald was involved in missing and tampered evidence, such as drugs and cash. As far as they know, those drugs and cash have never been recovered.

The case was eventually handed over to the state's attorney's office and Connecticut State Police. Due to the nature of the investigation, federal agents got involved in the probe, New London police said. 

Tom Carson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said no charges have been filed in the MacDonald case but his office cannot confirm nor deny an investigation.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct a post-mortem examination to determine MacDonald's manner of death. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the office said the autopsy of Russell MacDonald is pending further study. The office is waiting for test results to come back which will take several weeks.

Police said there is no foul play suspected and no threat to the public. 

NBC Connecticut spoke with former New London Mayor Daryl Finizio, who served during the time MacDonald was investigated and resigned.

"Obviously when you hear of the death of an officer or former officer who served the city, especially a death that's the result of tragic circumstances, then my thoughts and prayers go out to his family," he said.

Current New London Mayor Michael Passero released the following statement on MacDonald's death.

"It is with a sense of sadness to learn of the untimely death of former New London Police Officer Russell MacDonald. During this difficult period, the city wishes to expresses our condolences and thoughts to Mr. MacDonald’s family."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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