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Tenant 'Stomps' on Hamden Resident Inside Home: Police


A tenant is accused of attacking a Hamden man when he and his wife came home on Sunday.

The 34-year-old man and his wife were returning to their home on Bagley Avenue at 4 p.m. when they were approached by their tenant, Otis Bowens, in the driveway. 

Hamden Police said Bowens immediately started attacking the victim, striking him several times in the face and allegedly "stomping" on him when he fell to the ground. 

The victim had an injured eye, bloody nose and lacerated lip. The man told Hamden Police the assault placed him in "an altered mental state."

The victim was transported to the hospital and Bowens fled the scene in a motor vehicle.

Bowens later turned himself into Hamden Police. 

The 39-year-old was charged with second-degree assault and his bond was set at $5,000.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Netanyahu, Trump Speak in Israel About Regional Stability


U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship, the international nuclear deal with Iran and Middle Eastern stability at a joint press conference in Israel on May 22, 2017.

Teen Builds Suspicious Device Found in East Haven Group Home


A 16-year-old built a suspicious device found at a group home in East Haven on Monday, police said. 

East Haven Police were called about a suspicious device found at the facility around 12:53 p.m.

A teen resident of the home allegedly built the device, police said.

The New Haven Police Department Hazardous Device Unit worked with East Haven officers to determine that there was no threat to the public.

The teen is a student at the East Haven High School, however, police stress that the device was found at the group home. 

East Haven Police said there was no known threat made regarding the device. 

Since the suspect is a juvenile, their identity has not been released.

An investigation is ongoing. 

Man Accused of Exposing Himself to Woman, Girl in Oxford


A man is accused of exposing himself to a woman and a girl at a reservoir in Oxford last week. 

Gordon Whitehouse, of Waterbury, was arrested at on the scene May 16 when Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) police were called to Seymour Reservoir #4.

DEEP said the man exposed himself on the trails in front of the adult woman and female juvenile. 

The 55-year-old was charged with public indecency, breach of peace and disorerly conduct.

Whitehouse's bond was set at $500.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Money, Fidget Spinners Stolen From Convenience Store


A person broke into a West Hartford convenience story early Monday morning and stole money, cigarettes and fidget spinners.

Police responded to 956 New Britain Avenue around 3:45 a.m. and found the front door had been damaged. The store was closed at the time of the incident.

The owner told police the person got away with some cash, cartons of cigarettes and an entire case of fidget spinners.

A state police K9 was brought in to search for the suspect, but the dog lost the scent in the adjacent parking lot.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

DOJ Narrows Possible Sanctions for Sanctuary Cities


Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday that local governments refusing to cooperate in deporting convicted criminals risk losing their Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security grant money, NBC News reported.

Sessions issued a memo in response to an executive order issued by President Trump in late January directing the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that sanctuary cities will not be eligible to receive federal funds.

A federal judge last month issued a nationwide injunction on enforcing that part of the executive order after San Francisco said it could lose all its federal grant money.

But in his memo, Sessions said the order "will be applied solely to federal grants administered by the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security, and not to other sources of federal funding." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Man With Prosthetic Leg Asked to Give Up Exit Row Seat


A San Francisco man with a prosthetic leg claims he was discriminated against after an Asiana Airlines representative asked him to vacate his exit row seat.

Tim Seward, a self-described professional skateboarder and action sports enthusiast who leads a "highly active" lifestyle, was traveling from China to South Korea Sunday and bought a seat in the exit row near the front of the plane. But he was asked to move to a new seat because, as the representative said he "cannot prove [Seward's] leg is functional."

"It's not safe," a flight representative told Seward. "You're not a normal person. It's for the safety of the passengers."

Before the incident, a female flight attendant checked to see if Seward, who said he paid extra money for the seat, was willing to help the crew in the event of an emergency. Seward said yes. But moments later, an airline representative arrived and demanded Seward move. 

He pulled out his phone and began filming the incident. A back-and-forth conversation about the airline's policies and Seward's abilities ensued before the San Francisco man was escorted to a new seat.

"So the company told you to move a disabled person because in this seat, according to your policy, you do not allow a disabled person to sit in this seat, because I wear a prosthetic leg," Seward can be heard telling the representative.

The representative tells Seward to run and jump to prove his physical capabilities.

"Oh my god," Seward said in response. "But if you're asking me to move, that proves I can move, right? I don't need a wheelchair to move to another seat, right? Your reasoning doesn't make much sense."

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NBC Bay Area has reached out to Asiana Airlines to comment about the incident and clarify the airline's exit row policies.

Once he found his new spot, Seward said he was questioned by other passengers as to why he eventually folded to the airline's request. Seward said he didn't want to end to up in jail.

Since losing his leg to cancer at the age of 11, Seward claims he hasn't had any trouble while sitting in a plane's exit row. The "pretty embarassing" episode with Asiana was a surprise.

"For anyone to judge me based on my prosthetic alone is absolutely insane," he said.

Seward admitted that a deeper issue lies with the treatment of disabled people.

"I'm not really that upset with the airline," he said. "I feel more disgusted in people that are not aware of this kind of discrimination and not understanding that this is pure discrimination against someone that is disabled."

The 10-to-15 minute incident caused the flight to be delayed roughly one hour, according to Seward. He said he wasn't refunded for changing his seat.

Photo Credit: Tim Seward
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British Police: Fatalities in Manchester Arena Explosion


British police on Monday said they were responding to an explosion at Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert that left an unknown number of people dead and wounded.

In a tweet, police confirmed that there were fatalities.

On social media, people shared videos of people rushing from the arena and ambulances arriving.

The Guardian newspaper reported the incident happened at an Ariana Grande concert.

“I just heard a loud bang right after the concert," Ivo Delgado told NBC News. "Only heard one. People started screaming and going to the other side of the arena. When we left [the main arena] there was smoke and people lying on the floor."

Photo Credit: Courtesy Peter Bendicho
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World Reacts to Manchester Arena Explosion


After a deadly explosion went off at a concert at Manchester Arena in England Monday night, famous figures took to social media to react. 

The explosion occurred toward the end of an Ariana Grande concert. British police said that 19 were confirmed dead and about 50 were injured. No one is in custody and the motive is still unknown. Police are treating it as a terrorist incident until their hear otherwise. 

There are still few details of what happened during the concert by the American singer, but witnesses reported hearing a loud bang coming from near the arena's bars.

Celebrities, politicians and others took to Twitter to offer their thoughts.

Photo Credit: AP
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Witnesses Describe Chaos After Manchester Arena Explosion


A possible suicide blast during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester left witnesses stunned Monday night.

Ivo Delgado, who attended the show at Manchester Arena, told NBC News a loud bang occurred after the event had ended and he was waiting in line to leave. Then he saw smoke, people lying on the floor and someone with a blood face.

Another witness, Robert Tempkin, described confusion after the bang, told BBC that some people said they'd seen blood, while others believed the sound was the popping of balloons.

"It was chaotic," attendee Catherine Macfarlane said. "Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out."

Photo Credit: AP

Explosion Reported at Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester Arena


British police responding to reports of an incident at Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, confirmed that there are at least 19 people dead and many more wounded.

Photo Credit: Goodman/LNP/REX/Shutterstock via AP

Not All Phone Chargers are Created Equally


The cause of a fire that left a West Hartford home damaged on Valentine's Day is "undetermined", but the town's fire marshal believes it may have to do with the compatibility between a cell phone and the charger it was plugged into.

In the aftermath of Lillia Brown’s home catching on fire, she told NBC Connecticut she’s just happy to be alive.

"Guess what, we (are) all okay," Brown said. "And we are together. That’s the greatest."

Firefighters saw the device plugged in and sitting on top of the bed that they believe started the fire. Officials said because the charger was not designed specifically for that phone, it may have overheated.

A fire that happened in Southington over Easter weekend appeared to have similiar elements; officials there believe a phone, plugged into a tablet charger, sparked the flame.

Both of those incidents haunt Wethersfield’s Kim Joanis, because she knows she could’ve been next.

Her charger and iPhone 5 were plugged into an outlet right next to her 5-year-old grandson’s bed. As she was on her way out the door for the day, she realized she almost left the phone plugged in.

"Thank god I needed it," Joanis said. "Thank god I needed to plug the charger into my car because I never would’ve gone into my grandson Mason’s room."

As soon as she walked into her grandson's room, she said, she smelled burning.

"I smelled something burning, and it burned my hand right here to a bubble," Joanis said. "And I pulled out the plug and it was melted."

The charger’s manufacturer, Belkin, told NBC Connecticut product safety is the company’s first priority, offered Joanis a replacement charger and asked that she send hers to their labs so they can analyze the problem.

As she waits for the results, tech expert Liron Segev points to a possible contributing factor for both of the fires and Joanis’ close call: Amperage, or the strength of the current.

"There's a difference between the tablet one and the phone one," Segev said. "But the problem is they look the same."

That’s true for any phone maker.

Apple, for example, the standard iPad chargers use 2.1 amps, as do many aftermarket iPhone chargers, including Joanis’.

But the standard iPhone charger, made by Apple, uses just one amp.

Segev said it’s generally not great for a battery to take in a different current than what it's used to because it forces the battery to work extra hard.

The different current, combined with other hazards like letting phones charge on the bed or the couch, where heat can’t escape, makes an even more dangerous scenario.

"I wouldn’t go running around the house unplugging everything," Segev said. "What I would do is look at each of the chargers. Look at them individually."

Understanding where the charger comes from, whether it has third party certifications like a 'Made for iPhone' or United Labs logo, and evaluating the chargers condition are all best practices, according to Segev.

"Read that minute, microscopic etching that are actually on the charger itself," Segev said. "A charger isn’t just a charger. You need to get the right one for your phone."

The amperage will vary, but regardless of what kind of phone someone has, Segev suggests knowing what kind of current it’s supposed to take in by looking at the charger it comes with and sticking with that amperage.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

'Don't Engage': Mystic Aquarium Experts Talk Sea Lions After Viral Video


Cellphone video of a young girl getting snatched from a dock by a sea lion in Canada has gone viral over the internet and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Mystic Aquarium, which houses several sea lions in its facility.

The video shows a group of people in Richmond, a community in British Columbia, Canada admiring a sea lion from a pier.

In the video, the sea lion inches closer to the group and a young girl sits on the pier’s edge. Shortly after, the sea lion snatches the girl’s dress and pulls her down into the water. She is then rescued by a family member and it appears neither were hurt by the animal encounter.

The viral video hit home for staff at the Mystic Aquarium because they have six California Sea Lions, the same type of animal shown in the video.

Laurie Macha, curator of marine mammals and birds at Mystic Aquarium, said sea lions are curious animals and told NBC Connecticut what may have been the reason for the sea lion’s reaction.

"Maybe the animal was protecting its territory- it could have been agitated- but it definitely was not going to eat the person,” said Macha, who told NBC Connecticut sea lions only eat fish.

While there are a few more boundaries at the Mystic Aquarium compared to that Canadian pier, she wants to remind people that while the sea lions may be cute, but they’re still wild animals

“(A) good rule of thumb is to stay about 100 yards away. Enjoy the beauty. Use your binoculars. But to be very clear: don’t engage with animals,” Macha said.

A witness says the people in the video were feeding the sea lion bread crumbs shortly before it snatched the child.

Macha said it is against the law to feed or attempt to feed any marine mammal.

Photo Credit: AP

911 Calls Reveal Chaos of Fatal Fiery Manchester Crash


Police have released the 911 call made after a car rammed in to an utility pole and then caught fire on Center Street in Manchester.

"Yes it’s a car on fire with people in it in front of my house," the 911 caller said. "It’s people out here screaming and there’s people in the car and it’s catching onto a building."

The accident happened early Saturday morning and of the five passengers inside the car two escaped, while the remaining three died.

"The car is on fire," a 911 caller said. "There’s somebody in the car...yo hurry up, hurry up!"

Mourners on Monday visited the area of the fatal car crash to pay their respects Monday.

"Each and everyone of them was great," said friend of the victims Freddie Diaz.

Police did not release the identities of any of the passengers. But Manchester High School confirmed the three deceased were students and former students.

The crash happened the same day as prom and the school held a moment of silence.

Some students friends say couldn't bare to go to the prom after the deadly crash.

"You can't go to prom and be happy when you have this pain inside of you," said friend, Chelsey Michaud.

Monday school administrators brought in therapy dogs and counselors for students.

Police said the two surviving passengers were taken to the hospital and are expected to be OK.

Authorities said they are waiting on the medical examiners office to identify the victims.

But friends who know the victims say they're sending their condolences to their families.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Malloy, Unions Close to Concessions Deal


The Malloy administration and the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition, known as SEBAC, are close to a deal that could act a safety valve for the state’s dire fiscal situation.

NBC Connecticut obtained a draft of the concessions that have been the subject of negotiations between the unions and the governor’s office since last year.

A spokesman for Gov. Dannel Malloy declined to comment on the details of the draft.

Overall, the two year savings of the concessions would total $1.6 billion, but are projected to yield savings worth more than $1 billion annually by 2019.

State employees would be asked to pay more for health insurance premiums and co-pays, have frozen wages for three fiscal years, and all current employees will be asked to pay two percent more for their retirement plans.

State employees would receive wage increases in 2020 and 2021 of 3.5 percent each year. The savings from three straight years without increases total more than $380 million.

In addition, all new state employees would be entered into a new tier of retirement, known as Tier IV, which would be a hybrid of a defined benefit plan and a 401k, like those found in the private sector. Once again, the target for the Malloy administration is to save money in future years.

In return for those givebacks, SEBAC units would receive a five year contract extension starting in 2022 for all benefits that would terminate June 30, 2027. Wage agreements would remain intact through June 30, 2021, remaining unchanged.

The politics of the five year extension are significant. By moving the end of the contract past 2027, it ties the hands of future legislators with an agreement struck in the past, and it does the same for future governors.

Malloy has already announced he would not seek reelection, meaning a new chief executive, possibly three since there are elections in 2018 and 2022, and 2026, would have to live with the implications, good or bad, of the deal struck in 2017.

Republican Sen. Len Fasano, the GOP president pro tem, had asked for even more concessions and says he will reserve judgment until he’s seen the entire proposal.

“An extension of a bad deal is a bad extension. An extension of a good deal is a good extension so you have to look at the numbers and see where this thing falls out and what are you getting for that bargain and consideration,” Fasano said.

The two sides first have to come to an agreement before the next steps can be taken. Each SEBAC union would need to approve opening their contracts for renegotiation, and would then need to approve the modifications agreed to with the Malloy administration.

Since those processes could take as long as 30 days, the Malloy administration is looking for an agreement very soon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hartford City Council Passes FY2018 Budget


The Hartford City Council adopted a budget for the 2018 fiscal year Monday night. But the budget battle is still far from over, as the budget passed relies on union concessions and tens of millions of dollars from the state.

“We have done our job now. We passed a budget that has a flat mill rate,” said Hartford Common Council President TJ Clarke.

There are no tax increases in the budget, and while most of Mayor Luke Bronin’s originally proposed budget stands, Hartford Public Access TV now receives partial instead of zero funding. A good chunk of funding for senior centers and Dial-a-Ride was also restored.

“This budget process wasn't easy, and it was filled with a lot of discussion and compromise,” said Common Council member Glendowlyn Thames.

What started out as a $65 million deficit for the fiscal year is now plugged on paper, but far from guaranteed. It still depends on about $40 million in new revenue from the state.

“When you have half of a city's property as nontaxable and less than what you get in suburbs like West Hartford, it's not built to work,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “Our budget is bare bones, but it relies on a new partnership with State of Connecticut,” he added.

The budget also depends on millions in givebacks from organized labor, which just got that much tougher after members for one of the biggest unions in the city rejected a contract last week that would have saved $4 million of several years. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Hartford-Union-Rejects-Contract-Offer_Hartford-423228784.html

But with news today that the state is closing on a union deal that could save more than a billion dollars, there is optimism in the capital city. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Malloy-Unions-Close-to-Concessions-Deal-423756304.html

“I hope our unions pay attention to that and I hope they step up and do what needs to be done,” Bronin said.

If the city can show it has its fiscal house in order, then the three largest insurance companies in Hartford will kick in a combined $10 million each year for the next five years – something else the budget depends on.

New Haven Board of Alders Passes Body Camera Resolution


The New Haven Board of Alders has adopted a resolution paving the way for police body cameras in the city.

City spokesperson Laurence Grotheer said the body camera resolution was adopted an a unanimous vote Monday night. The vote means that the city can move forward on the body camera initiative and apply for state reimbursement with the Office of Policy and Management.

Right now the plan calls for body cameras to become part of the uniform for more than 450 officers on the force. The cost for those cameras is just over $650,000.

If all goes as planned, the police chief said officers will be equipped with cameras as early as September or October.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Colchester Schools Without Power After Car Hits Pole


A car accident has knocked out power to the Colchester Elementary School and William J. Johnson Middle School Tuesday morning, according to fire officials.

Fire officials said a car struck a police in the area of 379 Norwich Avenue, taking down the pole and some wires. Ever source is currently on scene working to restore power to the schools.

As of 7:45 a.m. classes were still on for the day, and fire officials said they were optimistic that Eversource would get the power back on shortly.

Norwich Avenue is closed in the area, but there is a detour set up for drivers so school traffic can access the building.

It is unclear if anyone was injured in the crash.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company

Air National Guard Members Return from Deployment to Southwest Asia


One hundred Air National Guard members returned to the state Monday and rushed into the waiting arms of loved ones at the Air National Guard base in East Granby. 

The airmen from the 103rd Air Control Squadron, based in Orange, had just wrapped up a long deployment to Southwest Asia and hundreds of people lined up on the tarmac to welcome them back. 

There were lots of hugs and tears for the 100 service members who were deployed last November and managed the military aircraft flying in the region. 

Now, six months later, their mission is complete and they were homeward bound. 

Ryan Walsh, an Air National Guardsmen, from Portland, became a father hours before having to deploy and he reunited with his family Monday. 

“I never thought this day would come. He was born the day before I left, so I didn’t get to see him the first night. So it’s great to see him. He’s gotten so big!” Walsh said. 

Several more homecomings, with hundreds of more guardsmen from the state, are planned for later this year. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

No Injuries After Car Rear-Ends School Bus in Newington


No injuries were reported after a car rear-ended a school bus in Newington Tuesday morning, according to police on scene.

Police said the bus was stopped letting a student on when it was rear-ended by a car at Main Street and Welles Drive, according to officials on scene. The boarding student, and two others that were already on the bus, were not hurt.

The children were elementary school-aged, police said. Their parents were notified and the students were placed on another bus and taken to school.

An NBC Connecticut crew on scene said there was no visible damage to the bus and minor front-end damage to the car.

The driver of the car was cited for following too closely.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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