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Jury Acquits Tulsa Cop in Shooting Death of Terence Crutcher


A jury on Wednesday acquitted the white Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer who was charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man last year, NBC News reported.

Officer Betty Shelby fatally shot Terence Crutcher in Sept. 2016 during an encounter that began with a stalled vehicle in the road.

Shelby's attorney, who had called attention to the fact that Crutcher was on hallucinogenic drugs during the encounter, said the officer is "elated" by the jury's decision.

Crutcher's family, who had stressed that he had his hands up and was not aggressive in the encounter, expressed disappointment after the verdict.

Photo Credit: AP/ Tulsa County Inmate Information Center

One Person Dead After Car Hits Light Pole

Officials ID Person Struck and Killed By Amtrak Train in Branford


A 22-year-old Branford man was hit and killed by a train on Tuesday afternoon.

The victim, identified as Dennis Ryan Jr. was struck by an Amtrak Acela Express train near Bridge Street and North Harbor Street in Branford just after 2 p.m., according to an Amtrak spokesperson.

The train was travelling from Boston to New York with 171 passengers on board, according to Amtrak, and no one on the train was injured.

The Acela train was held at the scene as police investigated the incident, but was eventually allowed to continue on to New York.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Companies Stashing Bitcoin in Anticipation of Cyberattacks


Companies are stockpiling bitcoins in preparation of future "ransomware" attacks, which have grown exponentially over the past few years, NBC News reported. 

According to cybersecurity experts and firms, about a third of British companies in 2016 retained a cache of digital monies as part of a strategy to "regain access to important intellectual property or business critical data." 

They keep Bitcoin on hand — which currently exchanges for about $1,800 per unit — because government agencies don't necessarily have a fix for institutions once hackers have taken hold of their files, and its cybercriminals' preferred payment method.

The most recent cyberattack, known as "WannaCry," took hundreds of thousands of computers' data files hostage unless users paid a $300 to $600 ransom via Bitcoin.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Large Tree Limb Lands on Cars in New Haven

Truck Crash Caused Delays on I-95 North in Stratford


A crash involving a tractor-trailer and a car on Interstate 95 North in Stratford caused heavy delays Thursday morning.

Police said the crash was near exit 32 and the delays are back to exit 25. 

No injuries are reported. There was a fuel leak, so crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were called.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Pence Creates PAC ahead of 2018, 2020 Elections


Vice President Mike Pence is launching a fundraising PAC of his own, the "Great America Committee," to advance his political interests, like helping Republican candidates ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, NBC News reported.

It is the first time a sitting vice president has formed such a separate political arm. The paperwork was filed with the FEC Wednesday.

The PAC will be used to cover the costs of Pence's travel aboard Air Force Two to campaign for his party's candidates around the country.

A source close to the vice president dismissed the notion that the PAC is laying the groundwork for Pence to run for president in 2020: "Don't read into 2020 as anything other than his running for re-election as vice president in 2020 and supporting other candidates."

Photo Credit: AP

Cubs Fan Dies After Falling Over Railing at Wrigley Field


An Illinois man who fell over a railing at Wrigley Field Tuesday, hitting his head, died a day later at the hospital, authorities said. 

Richard E. Garrity, of Wheaton, was pronounced dead at 3:33 p.m. at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

The 48-year-old attended the Chicago Cubs game against the Cincinnati Reds with his wife and colleagues Tuesday night, according to his father, Richard Garrity Sr, the Chicago Tribune reported. Police said Garrity was leaving the ballpark when he fell over the railing at about 11 p.m. and suffered head trauma.

"The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with his family during this difficult time," the statement read.

His father told the Tribune Garrity was a lifelong Cubs fan.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

Facebook fined $122 million by EU Over Whatsapp Information


Facebook has been fined 110 million euros ($122 million) by European regulators for providing "misleading information" about its acquisition of instant messaging service WhatsApp.

The social media giant bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said that Facebook told it that there was no possibility to establish "reliable automated matching between Facebook users' accounts and WhatsApp users' accounts" that year.

The Commission's issue centers around the U.S. social networking giant linking Facebook accounts to WhatsApp user identities.

But last year, Facebook released an update to its terms of service that raised the possibility of linking accounts from both platforms.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Investigating 27 Car Break-Ins in Farmington


Police are investigating 27 car break-ins reported at three different apartment complexes in Farmington.

Police said the break-ins were reported at Lakeshore Apartments, Farmington Village Apartments and at 314 Scott Farm. Most of the cars were unlocked and windows on one of the cars were smashed, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File

Meriden Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash


A 44-year-old Meriden man was killed in a motorcycle crash Wednesday night when his head hit a guardrail, according to police.

Police said the crash happened on Hanover Road around 11:30 p.m. and officers who responded to the scene found 44-year-old Lamont Williams lying between the sidewalk and guardrail.

Investigators said Williams was going south on Hanover Road and his Suzuki motorcycle hit a guardrail several times while going around a bend in the road.

Williams was knocked off the motorcycle and his head hit the guardrail, according to police who said he was not wearing a helmet.

Williams was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are investigating the crash and ask anyone with information to call Acting Captain Thomas Cossette at 203-630-6216.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Video Shows Stolen SUV Crashing Through Deli, Nearly Striking Pregnant Clerk


Surveillance video shows an SUV that police say was stolen, crashing through a Philadelphia deli and nearly striking a pregnant clerk. 

In the video, 19-year-old Genesis Dejada Torres, who is 5-months pregnant, and a co-worker are seen sitting behind the counter of the Frankford Deli at Frankford Avenue and Tioga Street around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Suddenly, a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder crashed through the wall, causing shelves of merchandise to rain on top of them.

Miraculously, Torres and three other people in the store escaped serious injury. Torres told NBC10 her unborn baby was not harmed. 

"Really crazy though," she said. "I was so nervous yesterday. Like what the heck happened here?"

Torres said she had sat up at just the right time and avoided a more serious injury.

"If she had been sitting down closer [to the counter] it could have pushed her onto the register," co-worker Israel Maldonado told NBC10.

Police say an 18-year-old man was behind the wheel of the Pathfinder, which was reported stolen in Philadelphia Monday. The suspect was allegedly driving about 100 mph northbound on Frankford Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into several other cars before slamming into the deli.

The driver was arrested at the scene, but police are still searching for other suspects who may have also been inside the stolen vehicle.

As police continue to investigate, Torres is thankful both she and her baby are okay.

"It's like I won the lottery," she said.

Workers say the deli will likely be closed for several more days as they continue to make repairs.

Photo Credit: Store Surveillance

Police Found Nothing Suspicious After Report of Man in Woods Near Terryville School


Police investigated a report of a suspicious person in the woods near a school playground in Terryville, but said they did not find anyone suspicious. 

Police said students at Fisher Elementary School told teachers and monitors they saw someone walking in the woods who was “dressed weird” when they were in the playground Wednesday, so school staff called police. 

Police responded to the school to investigate, but did not find anything suspicious.

George W. Bush Photobombs Reporter During Baseball Game


Former President George W. Bush took in a Texas Rangers game in Arlington Wednesday night.

And he had a little fun with a TV camera during the game.

Fox Sports reporter Emily Jones was reporting on Mike Napoli during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies when Bush — once a part owner of the Rangers — slid onscreen behind her to say "Hey."

"My most favorite photo bomb ever!" Jones tweeted afterward.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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12-Year-Old Found After Walking Away from Wilton School


Police were searching for a 12-year-old Norwalk girl who walked away from school in Wilton Thursday morning and they said she has been found and is OK.

Administration from the Montessori School on Whipple Road in Wilton called police around 10:15 a.m. to report Charlotte Berliet, of Norwalk, had left.

Police from Wilton and Norwalk Police searched for her and she was found in Norwalk.

Photo Credit: Wilton Police

Teen Assaulted at Knifepoint Inside Barnes & Nobles Bathroom


Police arrested a man accused of filming a teen girl and then attacking and tying her up at knifepoint inside the bathroom of a Barnes and Noble store in Berks County, Pennsylvania. 

The 14-year-old girl told police she was visiting the Barnes and Noble in the Broadcasting Square shopping center in Wyomissing with her boyfriend and his mother around 8 p.m. Tuesday. The girl said she entered the women’s restroom inside the store and noticed a man holding a cellphone over the top of the bathroom stall she was in. The girl told investigators she believed the man was using it to photograph or record her.

Police say the man then attacked the girl as she walked out of the stall. He allegedly forced her at knifepoint into another stall, threatened her and bound her with zip ties. The girl struggled with the suspect, causing him to cut himself with the knife and bleed, police said.

The girl told investigators the man continued to hold her inside the stall while he bled on the floor, but eventually agreed to cut the ties from her wrists. The girl said her boyfriend’s mother then went into the bathroom to check on her and she broke free from his hold. The suspect then fled out of the bathroom, police said.

Responding officers apprehended the suspect who they identified as Dustin Cornelius, 19, of Richland, Pennsylvania. Police found him in possession of the knife and they also recovered his cellphone and zip ties. Cornelius was treated for a cut at a local hospital and committed to the Berks County Prison after failing to post bail.

Cornelius was charged with unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, simple assault and harassment. 

The girl told police she had never seen or met Cornelius prior to the incident.

Photo Credit: Berks County Jail

Enjoying Summer Weather in May


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Consumer Reports Ranks Top Sunscreens of 2017


If you think all sunscreens are created equal, think again.

Consumer Reports has released its annual list of top sunscreens as well as a warning about the SPF number on some bottles: If you put too much faith in them, you could be putting your skin at risk.

SPF, which stands for sun protection factor, measures how well a sunscreen guards against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, the chief cause of sunburn and a contributor to skin cancer.

For the fifth year in a row, Consumer Reports found some sunscreens during testing failed to provide the level of protection promised on the package. In fact, of the more than 60 products that were tested, 23 were found to have less than half of their labeled SPF number.

The Food and Drug Administration requires manufacturers to have their products tested to determine the SPF because sunscreens are classified as over-the-counter drugs. However, the agency doesn’t routinely test sunscreens itself and manufacturers don’t have to report their results to the FDA unless the agency requests them.

According to Consumer Reports, an FDA official at a public meeting in June 2016 said the agency only had the resources for 30 employees to cover more than 100,000 over-the-counter drugs, which limits what they can do to oversee sunscreens.

"Manufacturers test sunscreens for SPF before their products hit the market, but unless they are reformulated, that may be the only testing they do. That’s one reason CR tests sunscreens," Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports Health Editor, said.

The agency found a number of sunscreens that provide solid protection against sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles and are also a good value.

Below are 14 recommended sunscreens that received excellent overall ratings:

  • LA ROCHE-POSAY - Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk, $36
  • EQUATE (Walmart)- Sport Lotion SPF 50, $5
  • PURE - Sun Defense Disney Frozen Lotion, SPF 50, $6
  • COPPERTONE - WaterBabies Lotion, SPF 50, $12
  • EQUATE (Walmart)- Ultra Protection Lotion, SPF 50, $8
  • OCEAN POTION - Protect and Nourish, SPF 30, $8
  • AVEENO - Protect and Hydrate lotion, SPF 30, $8
  • UP and UP (Target)- Sheer Dry-Touch Lotion, SPF 30, $5
  • COPPERTONE - Clearly Sheer Lotion, SPF 50, $7
  • NEUTROGENA - CoolDry Sport Lotion, SPF 30, $9.50
  • NEUTROGENA - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Lotion, SPF 45, $9.50
  • HAWAIIAN TROPIC - Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Lotion, SPF 50, $10.50
  • WELL AT WALGREENS - Baby Lotion, SPF 50, $3
  • COPPERTONE - Sport High Performance Lotion, SPF 50, $12

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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1 Dead, 22 Hurt After Car Slams Into Crowd in Times Square


An 18-year-old woman died and nearly two dozen people were hurt when a wrong-way driver slammed into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square Thursday, senior officials familiar with the investigation tell NBC 4 New York.

The driver, 26-year-old Richard Rojas of the Bronx, was taken into custody after barreling into the lunch-hour crowd near 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue shortly before noon, according to police. Officials and sources say Rojas, a former member of the Armed Forces with a history of DWI arrests, made a U-turn on Seventh Avenue near and started speeding down the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians for three blocks before crashing into a traffic pole.  

A cause of the crash is under investigation, but authorities say it's believed to be an "isolated incident" with no nexus to terror. Law enforcement sources Rojas appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he was taken into custody. Test results are pending, but given his history, sources say DWI is investigators' leading theory for the cause of the crash. 

In one of his two previous DWI arrests, Rojas was driving faster than 99 mph in a 50 mph zone, sources familiar with his record say. He was most recently arrested this month, on a charge of menacing. He allegedly tried to flee cops, then tried to physically fight them, as they brought him into custody Thursday. 

Mayor de Blasio said in a briefing at the scene that a total of 23 people, including the woman who died and her 13-year-old sister, were hit by the vehicle. Four of the survivors were taken to hospitals in critical condition. Many had traumatic injuries, including open fractures, officials said at a news briefing, adding those four victims were expected to live. It's not clear if the dead woman's sister was among the critically injured victims. 

Social media erupted with fear and concern as witnesses described screaming and abject chaos in the Crossroads of the World. Someone tweeted a photo of a maroon-looking sedan halfway on its side after appearing to crash into a traffic pole. Smoke emanated from the hood as pedestrians stood by in horror.

Police radio captured the urgency of the response.

"Times Square, we got a car running people over on 42-7, going northbound on 7th ave, running people over," one NYPD dispatcher said, according to audio clips from Broadcastify. "Multiple people injured. Notify everyone."   

Witnesses said the vehicle was speeding -- one said up to 80 mph -- at the time of the crash. Many said it came out of nowhere.

Kristen Boyce said she was seconds away from being hit; now she can't get the sound of it mowing down victims out of her head. 

"I was in shock, I was screaming," she said. "No one even saw it coming.""All of a sudden I heard this boom and a car is barreling down Seventh Avenue hitting people, just, 'Boom! Boom!' And everyone just starts running," Boyce added. "We start running, we don't know if another one is going to come, we don’t know what's happening, everyone is panicking."

Live traffic cameras showed a gigantic emergency response in the area; at least five fire trucks cordoned off the intersection immediately near the scene and a line of police cruises, alarms and lights blaring, blocked off traffic near the TKTS booth. The city later announced a series of road closures; it wasn't clear how long they'd be in effect. Nearby subway entrances and exits were also closed.

Gov. Cuomo had been about 15 blocks away at a separate event at the time of the crash and hurried to the scene. He released a statement Thursday afternoon calling the crash "nothing short of horrific." 

"I was briefed at the scene by Commissioner O'Neill and saw firsthand the professionalism and diligence of New York’s first responders," Cuomo said in a statement. "As facts continue to emerge, my heart goes out to the victims of this terrible tragedy, as well as their families."

Photo Credit: FDNY
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3 Waterbury Houses Destroyed By Fire to Be Torn Down Today


Three of the four three-story multi-family homes that were badly damaged in a fire in Waterbury Wednesday night will be torn down today.

Flames tore through home after home on Lounsbury Street just before 7 p.m. Wednesday as Waterbury firefighters and crews from surrounding towns poured thousands of gallons of water on the structures.

Despite all those efforts, Waterbury Fire Chief David Martin said, the four buildings are a total loss. Thirty two people from 20 families have been displaced and three of the homes will be torn down Thursday.

Martin said the home in the middle caught fire first and the blaze spread to both houses next door before embers lit the house across the street on fire. By the time firefighters arrived, three of the homes were already fully involved. 

The house affected are 58-60 Lounsbury St., 64-63 Lounsbury St., 50-52 Lounsbury St. and 43-45 Lounsbury St., according to the fire marshal. 

While fighting the fire, five firefighters were injured. It appears the injuries included exertion, exhaustion and a hand injury.

Two firefighters were kept overnight for observation. They are expected to be OK.

The cause of the fire is not clear. Lounsbury Street will be closed until at least noon Friday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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