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Images: Violence Erupts at White Nationalist Rally in Va.


Hundreds of white nationalists and counter-protesters chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. But more violence continued two hours later when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, injuring multiple people. The rally had been planned to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. One night earlier, fights broken out when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.

Photo Credit: Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Federal Investigators on Scene at New Milford Plane Crash


National Transportation Safety Board investigators on Saturday arrived in New Milford to begin the investigation into a plane crash that left a flight instructor dead and a student and passenger seriously injured.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna C-172 that left Danbury Municipal Airport crashed at the end of runway 17-35 at Candlelight Farms Airport in New Milford at 9:47 a.m. on Friday.

The NTSB and FAA have begun their investigation into the crash.

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“The airplane, as far as we know, had been airborne for about an hour at the time of the accident,” said Ralph Hicks, a Senior Air Safety Investigator with the NTSB.

Officials said a 17-year-old student sat in the front seat, flying the plane with her instructor, while a relative, sat in the back. A 57-year-old flight instructor, Anthony Morasco of New Milford, perished in the plane crash. The teen is now listed in serious condition, up from critical. Her relative, 44-year-old Peter Jellen, is now stable.

New Milford police said both are expected to survive.

Police said Jellen walked hundreds of yards from the site of the crash to ask a stranger for help. 

“I’m at Border Lane and Hubbell Mountain Road in New Milford. We have a man here with a head injury. He thinks he was in a plane crash, but I don’t see any planes,” the caller can be heard saying on the 911 recording.

The runway at Candlelight Farms Airport reopened today, as federal investigators documented the compact debris field.

“All of the major structural components of the airplane have been located,” Hicks told media on Saturday.

Federal agents said Saturday morning that they planned to be on scene investigating until dusk and then they expect to remove the plane Sunday at noon. The plane will be taken to Delaware where they’ll do a mechanical inspection.

New Milford Police said it could be months before they have answers.

“There’s no eyewitness accounts to this crash. No one in the area saw it and the only accounts we have are from the survivors,” said Sgt. Lee Grabner of the New Milford Police Department.

They also have a handheld GPS.

“Generally if they’re turned on they collect data from the flight. So, we’re optimistic that we may have the actual flight captured,” Hicks said.

Hicks explained that the airport didn’t have a tower to monitor the flights, so there is no information from that.

“It’s an uncontrolled field which means there’s no tower to talk to so pilots are on their own to clear from other airplanes,” he said.

Investigators are still waiting for what may turn out to be the most important piece of evidence - the accounts of the two survivors, who have yet to be interviewed.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Witnesses Describe Car Attack: "This Is War Downtown"


A car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday afternoon, injuring several people, according to authorities and witnesses who posted to social media. 

The incident capped off a day of violence and chaos that began when white nationalists gathered for a rally, waving confederate flags and chanting Nazi slogans. Counter-protesters soon arrived, and violence broke out soon after. Police in riot gear tried to quell the crowd with tear gas, and the governer declared a state of emergency.

At about 1:45 p.m., a car turned towards a crowd counter-protesters and drove straight into it before driving off, according to witnesses. 

"This is war downtown," Robert Grier tweeted just after the incident.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer tweeted that one person died in the day's violence. It was not clear if that person was killed by the car.

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The Charlottesville Police Department reported multiple injuries, but gave few details.

"Charlottesville Police and Virginia State Police are on the scene of a three vehicle accident at Water and 4th Streets in Downtown Charlottesville," the Charlottesville Police Department said in a statement. "Multiple injuries are reported. People should clear the area to allow emergency medical personnel to respond. We will release more information as we are able

Warning: Some video in the below tweets is graphic. 

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Photo Credit: AP
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Vehicle Drives Into Counter-Protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia


Footage shows a vehicle appear to drive into a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters had been ongoing on Aug. 12.

I-95 South Reopens in Old Lyme After Motorcycle Crash


Interstate 95 south has reopened near exit 71 in Old Lyme after a motorcycle crash, according to state police.

Police said the crash involved a car and a motorcycle and injuries were reported.

The highway was closed while police investigated but reopened as of 5:30 p.m. There were residual traffic delays in the area. 

More information was not immediately available. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: CT Department of Transportation

8 Displaced After Fire at Multi-Family Home in Norwalk


Eight people are displaced after a home in Norwalk was damaged when fire broke on the second floor Saturday afternoon.

Fire officials said they responded to 67 Fair Street around 12:15 p.m. Initially a bystander reported that someone may be trapped on the second floor, but when firefighters searched the home they only found one person out of the first floor and found two in the basement apartment. No serious injuries were reported.

The fire was quickly brought under control, but the house sustained enough damage that it was determined uninhabitable. The American Red Cross responded to assist the residents.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Fire Department

CT Leaders React to Violence at Va. White Supremacist Rally


Connecticut leaders are joining voices across the country in denouncing the violence that broke out in Charlottesville, Va., when white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters Saturday.

At least one person was killed and nineteen injured when a car plowed into a crowd of people who were peacefully protesting a “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in downtown Charlottesville.

The incident happened about two hours after violent clashes broke out between white nationalists, who descended on the town to rally against the city's plans to remove a statue of the Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others who arrived to protest the racism.

Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays. At least 15 people were injured and one arrested in connection to the earlier violence, officials said.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, and police dressed in riot gear ordered people out.

Connecticut leaders are responding to the situation with strong words condemning the display as an expression of hatred and racism.

Gov. Dannel Malloy tweeted that "there is no place for hatred, bigotry, or violence" in our nation.

Later he released a detailed statement:

“As an American, I am disgusted by the violence incited and perpetrated in Charlottesville. The hatred and xenophobia of white nationalists is sickening, and the loss of a life is beyond tragic.

What’s also tragic and unacceptable is the silent complicity from the highest office in our land. This horror is not being wrought from ‘many sides,’ as the President says. It is coming from one side, and the President has never unequivocally denounced that side throughout his campaign or presidency. Instead, he has incited violence in his speeches, sought to divide people, diminished the rights of minority groups, and instigated fear.

Compassionate, sensible individuals cannot remain silent in these moments. We must combat this hatred in every form.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) released a strongly worded statement against President Donald Trump's press conference held earlier in the day.

“President Trump's words today were nothing more than a dog whistle to the people whose hateful ideologies spurred violence that left one dead and many more injured. Our leaders must condemn hate and bigotry in no uncertain terms, consistently, repeatedly and unequivocally. President Trump’s failure to specifically denounce the racist, bigoted, white supremacist groups who organized today’s rally speaks volumes. Hate and violence have no place in our democracy. I stand with all Americans against today's disgusting display of bigotry. That is not who we are.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D) also spoke out against the violence with an official statement.

"What has happened in Charlottesville over the last 24 hours should be a call to action for every American who has grown complacent under the assumption that our nation's moral arc naturally bends toward inclusion and tolerance,” wrote Murphy. “Racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia are tragically alive and well in America today. And make no mistake – these insidious psychologies have been given license to be brought out in the open air by a president that openly seized upon these hatreds during his campaign, and continues to traffic in divisive rhetoric and hateful policies in the White House.

Today, every leader of national or local significance must condemn the neo-Nazi rallies in Virginia, and the attack on counter-protesters, in the loudest and most unconditional terms. Ours is a nation whose greatness has been forged in the tough work of binding together peoples of different skin color, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation into one great powerful whole. Silence or weak condemnation will be rightly read as complicity with this newly emboldened racist movement. Further, as images travel the globe of what are reportedly anti-black, anti-Jew militias patrolling the streets of Charlottesville who are masquerading as law enforcement and brandishing military grade tactical weaponry, we need to take stock of whether our laws meet the new public safety challenges that confront our nation.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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NJ Fugitive, on FBI's 10 Most Wanted List, Captured


One of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives, who was accused of a 2011 killing in New Jersey, was arrested in Virginia, authorities said. 

Walter Gomez was arrested without incident in Virginia on Friday evening, the FBI said. 

The FBI says Gomez and a co-conspirator in Plainfield struck Julio Matute in the head with a bat, sliced his throat and stabbed him in the back 17 times with a screwdriver because he was suspected of socializing with a rival gang. The co-conspirator was convicted in the slaying.

The FBI had offered a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Gomez. 

"Tips all along had generated interest in the Washington, D.C., area and a tip from the general public placed him in northern Virginia," said Tim Gallagher, FBI Newark Director. 

Gomez is expected to be extradited to Newark, Gallagher said. 

Photo Credit: FBI

James Alex Fields Jr.: Suspect in Va. Car Incident


Charlottesville Police have identified the suspect authorities say plowed into a group of counter-protesters against a white nationalist rally in Virginia as James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio.

Fields Jr. has been charged with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of failing to stop, according to the official.

Fields Jr. allegedly killed one and injured over a dozen others in the incident. He is being held at the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail according to jail Superintendent Martin Kumer.

Col. Martin Kumer, superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, said Fields was in custody there Saturday night. Kumer says he doesn’t believe Fields has obtained an attorney yet.

Kumer said he doesn’t believe Fields has obtained an attorney yet.

In Ohio, Fields Jr. was recently charged for expired or unlawful plates, according to Maumee Municipal Court documents.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Virginia Police

Protest Erupts Across the Country Against Violence in Va.


Groups have gathered across the nation in solidarity against the violence that occurred at a planned white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

James Alex Fields Jr., who is now in police custody, allegedly plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the white nationalist rally Saturday in a Virginia college town, killing a 32-year-old woman, hurting dozens more and ratcheting up tension.

In New York City, Union Square was packed with people holding signs, some of which read "No To Racism and Bigotry" and "Impeach." 

The city's Mayor Bill de Blasio called the violence by white supremacists "domestic terrorism."

In Philadelphia, a candlelight vigil and demonstration was held at city hall Saturday night. A group of people were seen holding a sign that said "RACISM is the disease. REVOLUTION is the cure."

In Boston, Massachusettes, protesters held signs that read "Unite against racist hate & sexist bigotry." A banner spray pained with "Black Lives Matter" was hung from Parkman Bandstand, a famous landmark in the city.

In Oakland, California, a flier for the solidarity event circulated on social media reads, "Charlottesville, We Got Your Back" and "Bay Area United Against White Supremacy."

Later this month, alt-right groups are planning to hold two rallies in Berkeley and San Francisco. Counter-protesters say they will attend the events and "shut them down."

More solidarity protests against the violence in Charlotteville are planned for Sunday in Washington State and Maryland.

Union Square was packed with people holding signs, some of which read "No To Racism and Bigotry" and "Impeach." Union Square was packed with people holding signs, some of which read "No To Racism and Bigotry" and "Impeach." 

Photo Credit: GaryRidesBikes via Twitter

'Security Incident' Triggers Delays at SJC


A "security incident" at San Jose International Airport on Saturday prompted departing and arriving flights operating out of several gates to be delayed up to two hours, according to an airport spokesperson.

Transportation Security Administration agents around 3 p.m. realized that some prohibited items might have made it into the Terminal A gate area, according to airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes. As a result, all travelers in the Terminal A area were asked to navigate through security once again for rescreening.

In addition to scanning travelers and their belongings, officials thoroughly checked other areas in the terminal to make sure no prohibited items were found, according to Barnes.

Approximately 200 passengers in total were asked to leave the terminal and go through security for a second time, according to Barnes. 

Airport officials announced just after 5:30 p.m. that the terminal was back to normal operating status.

Terminal B was not impacted by the incident, Barnes said.

Travelers were encouraged to check with their airline for flight status information.

Photo Credit: XiangYu Guo via Twitter

CT Water Issues Warning About Stolen Company Car


Connecticut Water Company is asked the public to be on the lookout for a company vehicle that was stolen from Windsor Locks last week.

The company said that a white 2009 Nissan Versa branded with the company logo, Connecticut plate 9766CX was stolen out of Windsor Locks late last week. Police have yet to recover it.

The company wants to warn customers to be vigilant before letting anyone in who says they are from Connecticut Water. All employees carry photo IDs and customers may ask to see them before letting anyone in.

If someone claims to be a Connecticut Water employee without an appointment, customers are encouraged to call the 24-hour customer service hotline at 1-800-286-5700 to confirm their identity. The company stresses that customers should not let someone in from any utility company if they seem suspicious and the customer does not have an appointment.

The company offers more tips here.

Anyone who spots the stolen vehicle should contact Windsor Locks police or their local department.

Photo Credit: CT Water Company

Charlottesville Mayor Chides Trump for Campaign Rhetoric


A day after a tense white nationalist gathering in his city turned deadly, Charlottesville, Virginia, Mayor Michael Signer identified the civilian casualty — and expressed his displeasure with how President Donald Trump carried himself during the 2016 presidential campaign, NBC News reported.

“Old saying: when you dance with the devil, the devil doesn’t change, the devil changes you,” Signer said on Sunday’s “Meet The Press,” explaining why he previously said on Saturday that he hopes President Trump “looks himself in the mirror and thinks very deeply about who he consorted with.”

“I think they made a choice in that campaign,” Signer continued. “A very regrettable one, to really go to people’s prejudices, to go to the gutter.”

Singer said "these influences around the country, these anti-Semites, racists, Aryans, neo-Nazis, KKK," people who were "always in the shadows" have "been given a key and a reason to come into the light."

The mayor also named Heather Heyer, 32, as the woman who killed when a driver rammed his car into a group of anti-racist protesters demonstrating against an alt-right and white nationalist rally.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber

Hartford Man Charged with Murder in Fatal July 4th Shooting


A Hartford man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a 25-year-old East Hartford man on the Fourth of July.

Hartford police have arrested 26-year-old William Coleman in the death of Victor Millian.

Police said Victor Millan was shot at least three times in the neck/head, torso, and leg near the intersection of Park Street and Wadsworth Street on July 4.

The incident appears to have started as a dispute over prescription glasses, police said. Multiple guns were involved. Millan was pronounced dead on scene.

Millan had no criminal history in Hartford, according to police. Family members said Millan was visiting his grandmother for the Fourth of July.

Coleman was arrested Friday and charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment. His bond was set at $1.5 million.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

NSA Chief on Charlottesville: ‘Of Course it was Terrorism’


President Donald Trump’s national security adviser in an interview Sunday clearly labeled Saturday's deadly car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, as terrorism, NBC News reported. 

“Certainly I think we can confidently call it a form of terrorism,” the adviser, H.R. McMaster, said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

“What terrorism is, is the use of violence to incite terror and fear, and of course it was terrorism.”

Trump has been widely criticized by members of both parties for pitting blame Saturday on “many sides” for violence that was sparked by a white nationalist rally, and for not specifically naming and condemning the racist groups involved.

McMaster said the president intended to denounce the racists.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

2 Hurt in Shooting Incident in Stratford: Police

5 Teens Accused of Stealing from Mall, Fleeing in Stolen SUV


Trumbull police have arrested five teenagers accused of stealing a bag from the Westfield Trumbull Mall then fleeing in a stolen vehicle.

Police said a mall employee reported that she was sitting in her car with the window open when a teenager grabbed her bag off the passenger seat and took off in a waiting 2017 BMW SUV.

The SUV had been reported stolen out of New Canaan, where it had been sitting unlocked with the keys inside it.

The teens raced out of the parking lot, nearly hitting several other vehicles, police said. An off-duty officer saw the speeding car and phoned in its direction to dispatch. Police pursued the SUV down Main Street into Bridgeport on and off Route 25, and back into Trumbull, according to police. Officers eventually stopped it on the highway near the Daniels Farm Road exit.

An 18-year-old passenger, identified as Johnny Aspiliare of Hartford, was arrested and charged with first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, and interfering with an officer. He was held on a $10,000 bond.

Four juveniles in the car were each charged with the same. The driver, a 15-year-old from Waterbury was also charged with reckless operation, engaging in pursuit and other motor vehicle charges.

Three of the juveniles were released to parents. One of them was released to the Waterbury Police Department, which had an active warrant for 16-year-old’s arrest.

Police said the suspects may be involved in similar crimes in the area. The investigation is ongoing.

CT Residents to Rally Against Violence at Virginia Protests


People in Connecticut are rallying to support those who stood up to white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va. after one person was killed and dozens of others were injured when counter-protesters clashed with the nationalists during a rally Saturday.

Several events are planned Sunday, including one in New Haven.

Community activists in New Haven spoke with NBC Connecticut about the events in Virginia, and a local pastor who was actually at the event recounted his experience.

“We are really alarmed by the extent, that someone was actually killed,” said Elias Estabrook of the group Showing up for Racial Justice.

In New Haven, members of Showing up for Racial Justice were stunned by the horrific violence which unfolded in Charlottesville. Their thoughts are with those who lost their lives or were hurt.

“The main reaction has been empathy and sympathy to all the people that have been affected,” member Roberto Irizarry said.

Among the crowd in Virginia was there was Reverend Anthony Bennett, the pastor of the Mount Aery Baptist Church in Bridgeport.

“What we hope to come out of it is an awareness that it will not be tolerated and white nationalism will not be normalized as it is becoming normalized,” Rev. Bennett said.

In July in New Haven, activists organized to break up a rally organized by the Proud Boys, a self-described western chauvinist group, on the Green. Some are worried about what they see as a growing concern in the country. No one was seriously injured during that incident.

“It’s important to speak out publically and confront these people and let them know that their hateful rhetoric and the effects of their rhetoric are not welcomed,” Estabrook said.

That’s why they say the president needs to go further to condemn what unfolded in Virginia. But they won’t let that stop them from taking a stand.

“If I don’t do anything to stop this from continuing it will expand and multiply,” Irizarry said.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, who is President of the 

African American Mayors Association, relesed a statement on the violence.

“As President of the African American Mayors Association and the Mayor of New Haven, CT, I condemn bigotry and hatred in all forms. We will learn more about the details of what occurred in Charlottesville, but it is clear—what we have seen this weekend is a reminder of a dark chapter in American history. The car that plowed through a group of peaceful civilians appears to be an act of domestic terrorism. If that proves to be the case, we call on city, state, and federal officials to pursue that offender with the full force of the law. We also express our condolences for the lives lost from the crash of a state police helicopter monitoring the situation.

Those of us who work in politics debate over policies, tactics, and priorities everyday. That is not what the mob in Virginia was engaged in this weekend. This white nationalist movement by— the ‘Alt-right,’ Neo-Nazi, and white supremacists—challenges the very foundation of our civilization. Will we value every citizen? Will all Americans have a chance to participate in the benefits of our country? How we choose to answer these questions will determine the future of American life. The African American Mayors Association stands with those on the side of freedom, justice, and equality and against those rallying for hate.”

There will be a demonstration protesting the violence Sunday at Church and Chapel Streets at 6 p.m.

Solidarity vigils are also scheduled at the corner of Farmington Avenue and Main Street in West Hartford at noon, McLevy Green in Bridgeport at 6 p.m. and the Danbury Library at 6:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Reverend Anthony Bennett

Connecticut State Trooper Injured in Motorcycle Accident


A Connecticut State Police Motorcycle Trooper was taken to the hospital following a crash Sunday morning.

According to New Britain Captain Thomas Steck, the trooper was traveling in the area of 375 Farmington Ave. around 8 a.m. when he collided with a sedan. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The male trooper was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police said the driver of the car was sent to the hospital for evaluation.

New Britain police said the trooper was on duty at the time.

The New Britain Police Traffic Safety Bureau is investigating. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

West Haven Police Search for Suspect in Threatening Incident


West Haven police are looking for a possible suspect after a man reported being threatened with a handgun by another male, according to police.

Police said it happened in the area of Campbell Avenue and Captain Thomas Boulevard around 12:30 p.m. Officers are searching the area and investigating whether the report is accurate.

A K9 unit has been called in.

More information was not immediately available. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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