A man and his friend were sentenced on Friday in the home invasion of his own grandmother.
On March 3, around 10:30 a.m., Gregory Drobish, 27, along with his friend, Christopher Brunkel, 31, drove to the home of Drobish's grandmother on the 2800 block of Unruh Avenue in Mayfair. Brunkel knocked on the door, forced his way inside and threatened to harm the 94-year-old woman with something that looked like a syringe.
"This male pushed her inside, assaulted her by punching her and secured her with duct tape," said Lieutenant Michael Gross.
Brunkel stole jewelry, valuables and the victim's purse while her grandson waited in the car. The two then fled the scene.
The victim was taken to Torresdale Hospital where she was treated for facial injuries. Police also say her medical alert necklace was torn off during the attack. She was treated and later released.
Investigators say the victim's family called police after hearing she was attacked, suspecting that Drobish was involved. Detectives say he's borrowed money from her in the past and never paid it back.
Investigators later arrested Drobish and Brunkel at a home on the 3200 block of Tyson Avenue. Police also served a search warrant at that home where they say they found the stolen items. While they were in custody, police say the two men implicated each other in the crime. Both men lived in Northeast Philadelphia and had a history of drug arrests.
On Friday, Drobish was sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison while Brunkel was sentenced to 13 to 26 years.
Photo Credit: NBC10.com
Three people have been injured in a porch collapse at 623 Garden Street in Hartford.
The house is a three-family, according to assessor's records, and the porch on the top level collapsed.
One victim is an occupant of the second floor.The other two are roofers who were working when the collapse happened, fire officials said. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
The news continues to get better for a 6-year-old boy who was buried for three hours under sand at the Indiana Dunes last week.
According to Dr. Rachel Wolfson of the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, Nathan Woessner is now able to get out of bed and walk with assistance, and is also eating for the first time. The boy remains in serious condition.
Woessner fell into a sinkhole sometime after 4 p.m. July 12 at Mt. Baldy in Michigan City, Ind.
Woessner's grandfather, Pastor Don Reul, said the boy was walking to the top of the popular dune with his dad, an adult friend of the family and another boy when he fell.
"They immediately went back, and he was nowhere to be seen," Reul said. "The ground had swallowed him up."
Doctors said Monday they expect the boy to be released from the hospital within 10 to 14 days. His condition had been listed as critical before Thursday.
A mother of three was arrested Thursday after her 10-year-old son was found with a chain locked around his ankles, crying and in pain, Santa Ana police said.
Police were called about 11:40 a.m. for a welfare check at an apartment complex in the 700 block of S. Lyon Street, where they found the boy lying on the ground in the courtyard with a long aluminum chain wrapped four to five times around his ankles with a padlock fixed to it.
"She basically left him in his underwear with the chain around his feet. She took the lock with her, but she left him food; she left him games to play with," Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
The chain had to be clipped with bolt cutters. Officers said they noticed slight bruising and redness around the child's ankles.
The boy said his mother, Irma Jacobo Navarro, had shackled him before she left him home alone and went to work.
Navarro told police she was having disciplinary problems with her son and placed him in chains while she was away because he would often leave the home without permission and not return home until after dark.
Neighbors called Navarro a good mother who works hard cleaning homes. They described her middle son as rebellious and say he's been caught breaking doors and windows in nearby apartment buildings.
Bertagna said the mother of three is worried her son will join a gang or get into trouble.
"She's trying to do the right thing, but he’s not cooperating," Bertagna said.
"He gets frustrated, cusses at her," he added. "She feels like she’s losing control of him, so this is basically a last resort."
Navarro has two other sons, one of whom was with a babysitter and another who was at school at the time, police said. All three of her children were placed into protective custody by social services.
Navarro was booked for willful cruelty to a child.
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Photo Credit: Santa Ana Police Department
Suffield Police are investigating after a man’s body was found in a large duffel bag near Phelps and Quarry roads.
Two teenage hikers smelled a strong stench and located the bag Friday afternoon, police said.
The body appears to be a white male in his 20s or 30s, according to police. It was wrapped in a garbage bag and then stuffed into the duffel bag. The body had started to decompose, police said.
Investigators believe the man was killed somewhere else and that the body was then dumped where it was found in Suffield.
A state police forensics team was processing the crime scene Friday evening.
"At this point hopefully we can get some sort of identification on the individual and then work the case backwards from there," said Suffield Police Chief Michael Manzi.
Medical examiners will conduct an autopsy Saturday.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A man was taken into state police custody after a nearly 12 hour standoff at an elderly living complex in Southbury.
State police responded to Heritage Village on Friday night at around 8:30 p.m. after a man called them to say he had barricaded himself inside one of the apartment units.
When troopers arrived at the scene, they immediately evacuated all adjacent units in the area. Heritage Village is a living complex for people 55 and older.
Police did not release the identity of the man but said they did not believe he had any weapons inside the unit.
The man was taken into custody around 8:15 a.m. on Saturday. He was seen leaving in an ambulance which state police said is "standard procedure" in these types of incidents. The scene was cleared and all residents were allowed to return to their homes.
It was not clear why the man barricaded himself inside the unit.
Photo Credit: Seth Lemon
There’s no rest on day seven of the high heat and humidity for high school field hockey players.
“I think it’s really great because it’s a team sport. We have both team and individual sports in the Nutmeg State Games,” said site director Jackie Shea. “But [in] the team sports, you really see a lot [of players] come together.”
Shea says many parents kept their young players home Friday because it was just too hot. But Saturday morning, the games kicked off at Conrad High School in West Hartford. And players were ready.
“You definitely have a sense of accomplishment after working in the heat all week,” said Lindsay Jenkinson from Bethel. She was relaxing on the sidelines in the shade of a tent, saving her energy for the game later on and enjoying today’s temperature. Meteorologist Darren Sweeney said the heat was still dangerous, but not as extreme.
“You know this heat so far hasn’t been too bad considering it was topping the 100s earlier this week,” said Jenkinson.
While doctors say the two groups most at risk in this hot weather are young children and the elderly, heat stroke can affect young and healthy people. Many times people suffer heat-related illnesses after disregarding precautions.
“We have towels, and their t-shirts now are on ice,” said Lisa Freebairn, mother of Bethel team player Reese. “So they can use that after the games.” Freebairn said she appreciates that the organizers took the heat very seriously. “It seems to be really organized, which is always very important. And they seem to be concerned about the heat for the girls.”
And Reese’s teammate Lindsay Jenkins says she opts for this weather over a winter blizzard. “I really don’t like the cold. I’ll take the heat over it any day.”
Photo Credit: Seth Lemon
A man and a woman were taken to the hospital after they collided while riding jet skis on Lake Lillinoah on Saturday.
A spokesperson for the D.E.E.P. said the accident happened on the lake near the boat launch in Bridgewater around 11:00 a.m.
Both people were transported to Danbury Hospital but there was no information on the severity of their injuries.
Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
State police have pulled a body from the Connecticut River not far from the area where a man went missing last night while fishing.
According to a police, two people were fishing on the East Hartford side of the river Saturday evening when one went into the river to cool off and never reappeared.
At the time, police said that there was a strong current in the area.
Police say the man that went missing was in his 30s.
Both Hartford and East Hartford police activated a search. The Hartford dive team was also on scene. The search was terminated last night when state police discovered the body.
The body was transported to the office of the State Medical Examiner who will work to positively idenitfy the body.
Police expect an identification sometime Monday.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
The Hartford Police Major Crimes Division is investigating after a heavy object fell onto a toddler at a home on Garden Street, crushing the child, authorities said.
According to police, a 2-year-old boy was struck by a falling object on the second floor of a home at 431 Garden Street in Hartford.
Police said they believe adults were inside the home at the time of the incident and the incident appears to be accidental.
According to Lt. Brian Foley with the Hartford Major Crimes Division, the child was transported to Connecticut Children's Medical Center and is currently listed in critical condition in the ICU as of Sunday morning.
The incident is still under investigation.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Coast Guard crews in Miami offloaded 2,300 pounds of cocaine at the Miami Beach base Saturday.
The $35 million worth of cocaine was recovered last week from a go-fast vessel with suspicious packages on board, according to a Coast Guard press release.
Boat and air crews followed the boat after an Air Station Miami crew saw the packages from overhead, officials said. When the suspected smugglers realized they were being chased, they jettisoned 42 bales that later tested positive for cocaine, the release said.
Four people were detained and transferred to law enforcement officials in Tampa, authorities said.
Among the boats that responded was the Robert Yered, a Fast Response cutter homeported in Miami and the fourth of its kind for conducting maritime drug busts.
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Photo Credit: Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard
A confirmed case of measles in Ventura County has health officials emphasizing the importance of immunization against the highly contagious disease that has been mostly eradicated in the U.S.
A European tourist is confirmed to have the disease, the Ventura County Public Health Care Agency said Friday. Another tourist, also from Europe, is suspected of having the disease.
Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and a rash all over the body.
Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is so contagious that any child exposed to the virus who is not immune will likely contract the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Because the virus is so easily spread, anyone with measles-like symptoms should call their doctor’s office or clinic before visiting in person so they can be separated from other patients, health officials say.
Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, according to the CDC.
About 60 cases of measles are reported yearly in the country. But in 2011, the number of reported cases was higher than usual at 222. Of those patients, nearly 40 percent contracted the virus in other countries.
Worldwide, there are about 20 million cases and 164,000 deaths from measles every year. More than half of those deaths occur in India, according to the national health agency.
Children should get two doses of a vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella, also known as MRR, the CDC recommends.
The first dose is administered between the ages of 12 and 15 months; the second dose is given between ages 4 and 6.
Anyone who needs an MMR vaccine is asked to call the Ventura County Public Health Care Agency at 805-981-5221 or 888-285-5012.
A man is in custody after he allegedly murdered his transgender lover and then dumped her body parts in a vacant lot in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia.
On Wednesday, police received a call from a woman who claimed that her boyfriend had killed someone, according to law enforcement sources.
Sources say that in her statement to police, the woman claimed she returned to her home on Sunday where she heard her boyfriend, 43-year-old Charles Sargent, making noise on the second floor. The woman says Sargent then confronted her while naked and with blood on his leg and threatened to kill her if she said anything about the noise she had just heard.
The woman said in her statement that Sargent then brought a body wrapped in bed sheets and then once again threatened to kill her. The woman told police he later grabbed plastic bags to wrap up the body. Sargent also allegedly had an axe in his possession.
According to the woman, Sargent told her that the body was that of a person he had relations with. Sargent allegedly killed the victim after finding out she was a transgender woman, identified as Mark Williams of Philadelphia. Sargent allegedly used a hatchet and screwdriver to kill Williams and then dumped her remains in a vacant lot at the intersection of Sedgley Avenue and York Street. (Pictured on Right, Mark Williams)
The woman said that Sargent threatened to harm her and her children if she told anyone, according to sources. That didn’t stop her from telling police however, who arrested Sargent and took him into custody. Once in custody, he allegedly confessed to the murder.
Sargent is charged with murder, possession of an instrument of crime, abuse of a corpse and making terroristic threats. According to court documents, he has a criminal record and was charged with rape and aggravated assault in the past.
Investigators say police recovered a six-inch pocket knife as well as screwdrivers from the home Sargent shared with his girlfriend on the 2100 block of North 32nd Street. Investigators searched the vacant lot on Sedgley and York where they found Williams' body parts. According to police, Williams was arrested previously for prostitution.
Sargent's girlfriend is currently staying with her mother. She says that the home she shared with him "smells like death" and that she likely won't return.
Editor's note: Despite previous reports that the 52-year-old woman was the girl's grandmother, police said it is not clear how or if the two are related.
A Chicago 6-year-old girl remained in critical condition Saturday after she was seriously wounded in a shooting Friday night while at a vigil with her family in the Roseland neighborhood.
Police sources told NBC Chicago Saturday a person of interest is in custody in connection with the shooting.
It happened at about 7:40 p.m. in the 300 block of West 105th Street, according to Fire Media Affairs.
Quianna Tompkins and at least 40 others were at the home for a memorial for 24-year-old Brandon "Bones" Snipe, who was killed five years ago, when gunfire erupted.
"She ran from the sidewalk up to the grass and she collapsed," said Vanessa Ross, who hosted the memorial. "She just laid there."
Tompkins was shot in the chest and was listed in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
A 52-year-old woman was also shot in the leg and listed in serious but stable condition.
The shooting reportedly stemmed from an altercation between two groups of men earlier in the day.
"You have two family members who took a bullet for no reason at all, didn't know anything about what was going on, just because someone had an altercation," community activist Andrew Holmes said.
No one was in custody for the shooting as of Saturday. Police are investigating.
"What's the purpose?" said witness Tasha Moore. "Whoever you want, you go up to them. You don't shoot in no crowd with kids and women."
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New Haven police have charged a father accused of prompting an Amber Alert on Monday afternoon.
Rickardo Rhoden, 33, of New Haven, was charged with risk of injury to a child, reckless endangerment in the first degree, interfering with an emergency call, assault in the third degree, threatening in the second degree and breach of peace in the second degree, police said.
Officers said Rhoden is accused of kidnapping his girlfriend, Sarah Burton, 26, and the couple's 11-month-old daughter, Azryrah, at knifepoint rom an apartment on Norton Street on Monday and driving them in the direction of Bridgeport.
Police issued an Amber Alert and searched for Rhoden's 2002 blue Buick Century with Connecticut license plate 410-ZVD.
Azryrah was found at Rhoden's home on Colorado Avenue in Bridgeport, according to police. She child is safe.
Rhoden been taken into custody and was being held at the New Haven Police Department.
According to the grandmother, Rhoden and Burton were fighting before the kidnapping.
Two other children were present at the time of the kidnapping. Their grandmother ushered them to safety during the fight, police said.
Rhoden has an extensive criminal history that includes arrests for car jacking and first-degree assault, said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department.
Photo Credit: New Haven and State Police
Deputy Police Chief of the South Windsor Police Department, Richard A. Riggs, will retire after 34 years with the department.
Riggs, 55, has announced that his last day will be Aug. 9.
As Deputy Chief, Riggs is currently second in command and is executive officer of the department.
He has previously served the SWPD as Division Commander of Patrol Operations, Public Information Officer, patrol officer and agent, sergeant, lieutenant, criminal investigator, manager of the department’s public information and technology section and coordinator of the department’s field training and evaluation program.
He was one of the first leaders of the department’s Honors Guard.
Riggs has also been a member of the South Windsor Ambulance Corps Board of Directors. He served in the Glastonbury and East Hartford Police Departments prior to joining South Windsor.
He has served as a duty officer with the Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee and law enforcement liaison with public health emergency organization Mass Dispensing Area 31.
Riggs has received the Special U.S. Congressional Recognition Official Certificate and has been locally recognized on several occasions.
Photo Credit: South Windsor Police
South Windsor police have arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with a number of recent car break-ins.
Travis Carlson, 18, of 75 Chase Farm Road in South Windsor, was arrested after allegedly stealing credit cards from people’s cars. Surveillance video shows Carlson using the stolen cards at a local pharmacy, police said.
According to police, Carlson confessed to being involved in the incident.
Carlson was charged with two counts of burglary in the first degree, four counts of burglary in the third degree, fifth-degree larceny, two counts of larceny in the sixth degree and credit card theft.
He is being held on $100,000 bond and is due in court today.
Photo Credit: South Windsor Police
A New Britain couple was arrested Monday after an argument about the woman’s alleged infidelity turned physical, police said.
Jose Ramos and Barbara Aponte, both 22, of 174 Grove Street in New Britain, were each charged with third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace.
The two were reportedly arguing over Aponte’s infidelity when Ramos pushed and shoved her and bruised her forehead, police said.
According to police, Aponte retaliated by hitting Ramos over the head with a 2x4 and a sheathed machete.
The couple’s four-year-old child was in the room at the time of the incident.
Photo Credit: New Britain Police