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Judge Asked to Put a Stop to Montco Same-Sex Marriage


Pennsylvania is asking a judge to put a stop to same-sex marriage in Montgomery County, while lawyers for the county say they plan to put up a fight.

Thursday, dozens of people from across the state showed up at the Montgomery County Commissioners Office in Norristown for their first meeting since the county went against Pennsylvania law, which bans same-sex marriage, by issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health filed a lawsuit against D. Bruce Hanes, the county’s Register of Wills in an attempt to stop him from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses.

Hanes began issuing licenses to same-sex couples on June 23. He said he wanted to come down "on the right side of history and the law." Since last week, he's handed out 49 licenses to same-sex couples looking to wed.

"It's not a surprise to me that this is happened here in Montgomery county, I think we're only second to Philadelphia in being a progressive county in Pennsylvania and I think there's been a groundswell of this feeling in this county for some time," said Attorney David Berman, who showed up to show his support.

And he wasn't alone, the majority of people who showed up at today's meeting were in favor of what the county is doing and praised Montgomery County Commissioners.

Montgomery County Commissioner and Republican Bruce Castor wouldn't comment to NBC10 about where he stands on the issue of gay marriage, but he did say he believes Hanes is going about this the wrong way.

"If what happened today in our meeting spurs the legislature to move forward, I'm all in favor of that," said Castor. "I think that we have gotten to the point in the messiest possible way, but we have finally gotten there. I'm glad that it's going to be decided in a court of law."

The Pennsylvania Marriage law was enacted in 1990 and amended in 1996 to define marriage as a civil contract in which a man and a woman take each other as husband and wife
. It also says that same-sex marriages, even if entered legally elsewhere, are void in Pennsylvania.

Tomorrow, Montgomery County will file its response to the lawsuit filed by the state. The county's legal team will also talk about how they plan to fight back.

Autistic Man Was Kept in "Dungeon-Like Conditions": Cops


Police discovered Thursday that a 30-year-old autistic man was being kept in “dungeon-like conditions” in a Sweetwater trailer home, authorities said.

Gladys Jaramillo told police that on numerous occasions she has locked her son in his room with iron bars and a dead bolt so she could go out with her boyfriend and enjoy herself, her arrest affidavit said.

The 56-year-old mother faces charges of aggravated abuse and neglect on a mentally disabled adult and false imprisonment, police said. She was being held on $15,000 bond early Friday. It wasn't immediately known whether she has an attorney.

2 Young Girls Found Locked in "Filthy" California Mobile Home

Her son has been taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, Sweetwater Police spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree-Garcia said.

Police responded to an anonymous call about the situation at 11250 NW 3rd St. at 5 p.m. The caller said that the mother kept her son in a small gated room while she left for hours at a time, according to police.

No one was home when police arrived, and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue provided entry to the trailer.

Mom Located After Leaving Her Son and Disappearing: BSO

Inside police said they found that the man had “a small room with a blacked-out window and a rusted iron door with a lock accessible only by the outside.”

Hammontree-Garcia described the room as "dungeon-like. As soon as you walked in the door, the smell of urine and feces slapped you in the face," she said.

Police said the floor is coated with human waste. The bare room has no lighting or bathroom. Inside there is only a mattress.

Man Seeking Pardon for Abusive Parents Back in South Florida

While police were at the home, the mother and her son returned home, police said.

Jaramillo told police that she would give her son medication to sedate him so he'd sleep the whole time she was away from home. He was left without food, water, access to a bathroom or a phone, police said in the affidavit.

He is expected to be placed with the Department of Children and Families, Hammontree-Garcia said.

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Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections

Teens Arrested in Fulton Park Pool Vandalism


Police have arrested two teens for vandalizing the Fulton Park Pool in Waterbury last month.

On July 19th, one of the hottest days of the year, Fulton Park Pool was closed after vandals broke in and tossed appliances, furniture, paint and medical supplies into the water. The teens also sprayed graffiti across the pool house.

According to police, 18-year-old Jamie Bryan and his 17-year-old accomplice are under arrest after breaking into Fulton Park pool and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Head lifeguard Kara Macharelli said the two teens are regulars at the pool and she saw Bryan just hours after the alleged crime.

"It's so upsetting to see he was the one involved. He actually came back the next day and made it look like he was shocked, I'm still shocked it was him," Macharelli said.

Investigators said retaliation could have been a motive. Bryan was told to leave the pool the day before the break-in for being disruptive. His friend was also arrested for fighting. Allegedly a group of teens got together and caused extensive damage to the pool, said police.

Detectives expect to make seven more arrests in the next few days.




Hartford Councilor at Center of Ethics Review


Hartford councilor Alexander Aponte is facing an ethics review surrounding his involvement in a controversial land deal that netted the Spanish American Merchants Association, or SAMA, a half million dollars.

Recently, an anonymous complaint alleged Aponte may have acted unethically in that deal by voting in favor of it, instead of recusing himself.

In 2011, the city council voted to sell the property to SAMA for just $1.00.  The Troubleshooters learned SAMA then turned around the same day and sold a piece of the backyard to Hartford Hospital for $500,000.  It was land, the hospital needed to build its new parking garage.

Now, the city's internal audit committee and ethics commission are reviewing Aponte's involvement, including the fact that he is listed as a member on SAMA's website, although he recently told city auditors that he hasn't paid dues in 7-10 years.  Not only that, but according to the Secretary of the State's website, Aponte is also the attorney for Hispana Vision, LLC.  The park street business is currently owned by Angel Sierra, SAMA's president.

In June 27th memo, the city's chief auditor determined Aponte should have recused himself from the vote to sell 95 Park Street to SAMA, even though his vote didn't change the overall outcome.  Even so, the internal audit commission released a memo saying they "voted unanimously to refer the mater to the ethics commission for review and further action as deemed appropriate."

But the Troubleshooters dug deeper and found more.  Councilman Aponte chairs the city's Planning & Economic Development Committee.  According to the IAC's memo, auditors said it didn't appear that the PED committee either deliberated or voted on the sale of 95 Park Street to SAMA.  Yet, state law requires it.  Some say it could be because the sale wasn't like other in the city.  There were no deliberations or vote because 95 Park Street was never sent to the Planning Committee for approval.  Instead, it went straight to a public hearing and vote.

Councilman David MacDonald sounded the horn about the apparent procedural breakdown in February, but was told there was "no way to fix those problems after the fact."

During a recent meeting, the city's ethics commission postponed any discussion about Aponte's involvement in the SAMA deal saying they didn't have enough information on what happened and wanted more time to investigate what, if anything, happened.

"I think maybe we should spend sometime reviewing it and give him a letter telling him about the serious allegations that have been made here today," ethics commissioner, AJ Sierra, said.

At the end of the day though, the Troubleshooters have found the ethics commission's final opinion on the matter holds little bite.  They have no power to punish councilman Aponte if wrongdoing is found.

"Ultimately the commission simply makes a recommendation.  We ultimately don't have that power.  We simply make the recommendation," said commissioner Kurtis Dennision.

Through his attorney, councilor Aponte issued a statement saying "the allegations me are politically motivated and I will be fully exonerated at the next ethics commission meeting.  I deny any conflict of interest."

Meanwhile, Hartford mayor Pedro Segarra had no comment on the matter.

200 Dogs Seized From Denton County Rescue


At least 200 dogs living in conditions Denton County deputies described as horrendous were removed from an animal rescue Thursday.

The dogs were seized from Animal Guardians of America in the 16000 block of Celina Road near Celina after the sheriff's office received a complaint about animal neglect.

Deputies said they found dogs in various stages of neglect and possible physical abuse when they arrived at about 7 a.m.

The sheriff's office obtained additional criminal search warrants and, by the afternoon, the Humane Society of North Texas was on site to help remove the animals.

Denton County Sheriff Will Travis said many of the dogs were kept in small cages inside various enclosures on the property. The smell inside each one, including the home on the property, was unbearable and the cages were covered in filth and feces, he said.

"These are all pretty much large animals that she's gotten from other people or that she's taken in or just been strays of some sort but, like I said, it's the worst I've ever seen," Travis said.

The homeowner was on the property while several of the animals were removed but declined to comment.

Requests for comment to Animal Guardians of America headquarters in Plano were not immediately answered.

Melissa Kelley, who said she volunteered at property, said the seizure was a long time coming.

"This has been going on for eight years out here," she said. "I was out here six years ago, and she's always had 200-plus dogs."

"There was poop everywhere. Dogs were living in crates. They were being fed every other day," she said. "We saw nine dogs die out here in a year and a half."

Kelley said she personally has rescued three dogs from the site and has worked with other former volunteers for years to get the dogs taken away from the owner.

Two others finally were able to get pictures from inside the shelter to the sheriff, which she credits for finally spurring the seizure.

Kelley said she believes the owner started the rescue with good intentions but simply got overwhelmed.

"It's a hoarder," she said. "Your heart is big, and it gets too big, and it is hard to say no, but you have to."

The animals are now in the care of the Humane Society. About 65 are at a Fort Worth facility.

"We had known that this case was coming for a little while now," said Peggy Brown, Humane Society spokeswoman. "It was in the process, so we planned ahead."

The other dogs were taken to a shelter in Johnson County because the Fort Worth facility did not have enough room.

Every dog will be evaluated by a veterinarian.

"Unless the owner surrenders them to us, we have to go to court and get custody of them," Brown said. "It will be at least a couple of weeks before they are ready to go up for adoption, if and when."

After the evaluations, the sheriff's office will decide what, if any, charges will be pursued, Travis said.

The property is outside of the city limits, so no ordinance regulates how many animals can be kept, but 200 is "a lot to keep," Travis said.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/@JulieFineNBC5

Bishop Exchanged Community Service for Hugs: Cops


A Tampa bishop was arrested after he gave an undercover officer credit for serving 50 community service hours in exchange for seven intimate hugs, police said Thursday.

Charles M. Leigh, 64, is the head of the Apostolic Catholic Church, which is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. People on probation can perform community service hours at his church as part of their probation, Tampa Police said.

Police received a tip in June that Leigh was falsifying the paperwork for court-ordered community service hours. During the investigation, he falsified an undercover officer's documents twice.

On June 19, the undercover officer posed as a criminal serving probation for grand theft. Leigh gave her credit for 17 community service hours in exchange for four hugs, police said.

On Wednesday, Leigh falsified records again for the undercover officer. He gave her credit for doing 33 community service hours in exchange for "three groping hugs," police said.

Leigh had previously been arrested in 1976 for sexual battery and in 1978 for armed robbery. Both charges were later dropped, police said.

However, he did serve five years in prison for a loan scheme, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

He was arrested on six counts for falsifying public records and six counts for falsifying official records. These crimes are all considered misdemeanors, police said. 

As of Thursday morning, Leigh was being held in jail on a $4,500 bond, according to online jail records. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.

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Photo Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Boy Fearing for Life Calls 911 on Dad: Cops


A Rhode Island man accused of drunken driving and causing a serious crash was arrested in Stonington last night after his son called 911 to tell police he feared for his life, according to state police.

The 10-year-old boy called 911 just before 10:30 p.m. to report that he and his 12-year-old sister were in the car their father was driving on Interstate 95 and he was drunk and speeding, according to the police report.

The boy was so scared that he was considering jumping out of the moving car to avoid crashing at the speeds they were traveling, police said.

The call was made on the Connecticut-Rhode Island border and went to Rhode Island state police.

As Rhode Island state police were transferring the call to Connecticut state police, it was dropped, police said.

Within seconds, Connecticut state police started receiving several 911 calls reporting a crash in the area.

When police responded to I-95 South near exit 91, they found a Jeep overturned 50 feet off the right side of the road, down an embankment. The man in the vehicle suffered blunt-force trauma was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital to be treated, police said.

Police gave the driver of the other car, Owen Gilman, 49, of Warwick, field sobriety tests and arrested him when he failed, police said.

Police said the two juveniles were transported to Westerly Hospital to be treated for lacerations.

Police said they also found a “significant amount” of marijuana in the car, as well as drug paraphernalia and Gilman was charged with reckless driving, operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, illegal sale of a controlled substance, two counts of risk of injury to child, two counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle and additional charges.

He was unable  to post the $35,000 cash/surety bond and he will be arraigned today in New London.

Photo Credit: Pool Video

LA Band Blasted for "Asian Girlz" Song, Music Video


A model from San Jose dances in skimpy clothing and lingerie as five guys in a band serenade her from a bird cage. The music video for the song “Asian Girlz” has gone viral – but for all the wrong reasons. Why?

It could be the lyrics that include phrases like “slanted eyes.” The LA-based band Day Above Ground, which describes itself as a “brew” of groups like Led Zepplin, Linkin Park and The Doors, released the music video this week, posting it on YouTube. By Thursday afternoon, it had more than 325,000 views.

The video also is slammed with comments accusing the band of being racist and sexist, with sexually-violent lyrics.

"It comes from a good place. I'm sure it's hard for a lot of people to believe that, but we've all had close relationships with the Asian community, Asian people," said Joe Anselm, the band's lead singer. "There's guys in the band with Asian women. It's just, it's hard to believe we're getting this kind of backlash."

The backlash has also hit the female star of the video, Levy Tran. The model and San Jose native has more than 100,000 “likes” on her Facebook page. She took to Twitter to apologize and said the video was meant to be light-hearted and fun. She called the band members "sweet boys and not at all racist."

In an earlier tweet she wrote, “I sincerely apologize to all who feels [sic] that I set Asian women back 50 yrs. I know I lost respect from a lot of ppl. It wasn't my intention.”

Local advocates for the Asian American community said that's not enough.

"They said they want to push the boundaries, but by pushing the boundaries there are going to be thousands, if not more around the nation who are going to say it's okay for me to push the boundaries," said Rabiah Khalid, the advocacy manager for the Asian Americans for Community Involvement.

She added that women go to AACI who are afraid to speak out after falling victim to sexual attacks.

“People have groped them and it’s okay, because you’re an Asian women, we’ve been told this stuff,” Khalid said.

For Khalid, it’s time to unify Asian American voices to make sure the community doesn’t become the butt of jokes.

“It would have been different if it was another ethnic group,” she said. “I feel like media and everyone would have been on it right away.”

Day Above Ground was set to headline an Aug. 10 show at the House of Blues (Sunset Strip) in Los Angeles, but then came the social media storm.

People went to the House of Blues Facebook page and also started a Change.org petition asking the band get dropped -- a request fulfilled by the music venue by Thursday afternoon.

Anselm told NBC Bay Area the band will release a full statement soon and plans to remove the music video off of YouTube in two days.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

8-Year-Old Nearly Drowns in Washer


UPDATE, Aug. 2, 2013: The condition of an 8-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a washer was downgraded Friday from critical but stable, to critical and grave, according to Sgt. Brian Hudson with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau.

An 8-year-old Southern California boy was still in the hospital Thursday after nearly drowning inside a washing machine, authorities said.

Emergency responders arrived at a Castaic home Wednesday evening to find a boy on the ground, next to a washing machine with his father at his side, according to Sgt. Brian Hudson with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau.

The boy’s father told investigators he was outside working in the yard and went inside to check on his son. When the father entered the laundry room, he saw the boy’s feet and legs sticking out of the washing machine, his face submerged in water, Hudson said.

The incident is still under investigation, but authorities do not believe the parents will face charges.

"It appears this is nothing more than tragic accident, but again, this is still under investigation," Hudson said.

Authorities are warning parents to always watch their children, especially if the children have access to potentially dangerous equipment.

"Any time a child is using a household appliance, such as a washing machine, microwave or clothing iron, the child needs to be supervised," Hudson said.

The boy was in critical condition Thursday, officials said.

WATCH: Dramatic Moments from Ariel Castro's Sentencing


Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years Thursday after one of the three women he held for a decade faced him down in court. "You have not been a victim. You have been a victimizer," Judge Michael Russo said in handing down consecutive sentences for kidnapping, aggravated murder, rape and assault.

Earlier, victim Michelle Knight told the court "years turned into an eternity" and she "cried every night" during her more than a decade in captivity. "I spent 11 years in hell, and now your hell is just beginning," she told her captor (video shown above). Relatives for Castro's other victims, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, also spoke.

Castro, who pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts in a deal to avoid a death sentence, denied Thursday that he had beaten a pregnant Knight until she miscarried, and the judge ruled he could not have contact with the daughter he fathered with Berry.

Watch the most dramatic video from the Ariel Castro hearing:

Castro Sentencing: Photos Show How Women Lived




Cleveland Kidnapper Castro: "I Am Not A Monster" 


Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Apologizes to Victims 

Photo Credit: AP

Dr. Petit and Wife Expecting a Baby


Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor of the home invasion in Cheshire in 2007, is an expectant father.

Petit and his wife Christine have announced that they are expecting a baby.

Dr. Petit and Christine Paluf met while she was working as a volunteer for the Petit Family Foundation and they married in August 2012.

Dr. Petit set up the foundation in memory of his family, Jennifer Hawke Petite and their two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, who were killed in the home invasion on July 23, 2007.

Dr. Petit said the couple does not plan to learn the baby’s gender before he or she is born. They want to be surprised.

The family’s spokesman, Rick Healey, told People Magazine that the baby is due in December.

Photo Credit: Copyright 2012 John Benoit

Major Cruise Lines Begin Posting Crime Stats


Three major cruise lines have started posting quarterly crime statistics on their own web sites.

The underreporting of cruise ship crimes had been the subject of a congressional hearing and a recent Team 6 investigation, "Missing at Sea.”

In May NBC 6 reported on the disappearance of Jason Rappe. During a Caribbean cruise in November he went overboard. By law the U.S. Coast Guard must post on its web site cruise ship crimes and missing persons. Frappe’s disappearance was not posted and his case is not the only one because of a gap in the law.

"Only cases that are reported to the FBI and then closed by the FBI have to be disclosed on that database," said Jim Walker, a maritime attorney.

A new congressional committee report finds that since 2011 cruise lines have reported 959 alleged crimes to the FBI but the Coast Guard has publicly reported only 31. Crimes against children are not reported.

"Close to 18 percent of victims of sexual assault on cruise ships are children," said Ross Klein, a Canadian professor who independently keeps track of these cruise ship crimes and missing persons.

Judge Denies Bond for Man Accused of Sex With 15-Year-Old on Royal Caribbean Cruise

After mounting pressure from Congress, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines are now voluntarily posting crime stats. From January 2012 to the end of June 2013 Royal Caribbean reported 16 thefts of over $10,000, five assaults with serious injury, 10 rapes and 11 sexual assaults. Norwegian Cruise Line reports one theft over $10,000, four serious assaults, one rape and four sexual assaults.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, Carnival had not posted its stats yet, but spokesperson Roger Frizzell stated in an email: "I believe this is a positive step for our industry to be proactive in sharing these numbers. To my knowledge, no other industry does this today. Separately, I believe it showcases that cruising is safe, especially when you consider we have some 10 million passengers each year cruising with us. I think the crime stats on board for our four North American-based cruise lines would be an average of 41 alleged crimes per year.”

Cruise Ship Passenger Could've Been Saved: Mother

Frizzell added, “I also wanted to emphasize that we are doing this voluntarily to remove all doubt about the relatively low level of crime on cruise ships especially when compared with comparable land-based crimes. It is important to highlight that what is being posted are allegations of crime. The majority of these are never substantiated as actual crimes after the initial investigation."

The cruise lines are also posting statistics on missing persons.

Patty Davidman, a travel agent in Aventura for 25 years, does not think this will have a huge impact on demand for cruises. She says passengers seem more concerned with illnesses like the Norwalk virus which affect more people.

Click here to read about Carnival's reported statistics for alleged crimes on its North American-based cruise lines.

Get the stats from Royal Caribbean here, and those from Norwegian Cruise Line here.

Cyclospora: Answers to Common Questions


There are many misconceptions about the parasite cyclospora, which has sickened nearly 400 people in 16 states this summer. Twenty-two people have been hospitalized.

Here are the answers to some of your questions:

Is it contagious?

Dr. Edward Dominguez at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas said it's the common question he gets.

"There is no person-to-person transmission. ... It has to go through a host, usually contaminated food," he said.

Infected people do not shed infective forms of the parasite. The parasite is though to require days to weeks in favorable environmental conditions to become infective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How should fruits and vegetables be washed?

Dominguez said it’s reasonable to wash your vegetables and fruit instead of just rinsing them under water.

It's a good idea to use something with acidity, such as lemon juice or some vinegar. Premade mixes are sold. Using something with acidity brings down the amount of organisms in your produce.

"Let's say you have a million organisms on there. At that level on that orange, I'm going to get sick,” he said. "But when I wash it ... with a product like that and then wash it with warm water and dry it off and take the rind off, I can knock it down to 100 organisms and, at that level, I'm not going to get sick."

However, thorough washing may not eliminate the risk of cyclospora transmission because the parasite can be difficult to wash off all types of produce, according to the Dallas County health department. Treatment with chlorine or iodine is also unlikely to kill the parasite.

Can you get cyclospora from meat?

Dominguez said cyclospora cannot be contracted from meat because the types of organisms found in meat are very different.

But meat could be cross-contaminated. For example, putting meat on a bag of contaminated produce would contaminate the meat, as would using the same chopping board or utensils.

"I would recommend that you use a different block or utensils to prepare your meats and not cross contaminate," he said.

How is cyclospora treated?

Cyclospora is treatable with sulfa antibiotics, which are usually used to treat urinary-tract infections or staph infections. There is no effective treatment for people who have a sulfa allergy, according to the CDC.

In people with good immune systems, cyclospora can run its course and leave their bodies without treatment. The illness may last for a few days to a month or longer.

Photo Credit: AP

Anthony Weiner: Carlos Danger Name Was Private Joke


New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner says he chose the name Carlos Danger as his online sexting persona because it was a private joke with a personal acquaintance.

"It was a joke in my personal life between me and one person," he told Univision in an interview Thursday.

Weiner didn't identify the person, but then added that he wasn't going to comment on anything "that that person has chosen to release." 

Sydney Leathers, the woman who came forward last month with details of their sexting affair, has released emails, lewd photos, messages and other details about their online affair that began a year after he resigned from Congress.

Weiner has vowed he is not quitting the mayoral race, and has struggled to steer the conversation in the campaign away from his online activities. 

But he did not definitively close the book when asked by Univision on Thursday whether his sex scandal "has finally finished, is it over?"

"Well this has been behind me for some time. Many of the things that people read in the newspapers happened a year ago," he said. "So, look, I can't say that nothing from my past will ever come back to haunt me. I hope it doesn't."


Photo Credit: AP

Woman Says Raccoon Attacked, Bit Her in Central Park


A Brooklyn woman says a raccoon in Central Park pounced on her, then bit her, when she took a picture of the animal during a walk.

Taraka Larson, a musician, was taking a sunset walk by the pond near the Plaza Hotel when she spotted a pair of raccoons. 

"I was still listening to music so it just kind of seemed like they were dancing with each other," she said. 

They were too cute not to capture on camera, Larson thought. So she took out her phone and snapped a photo. 

That's when one of the raccoons fixed its stare on her.

"I froze," Larson said. 

Lumbering and almost appearing intoxicated, they approached. Larson didn't want to make a move.

"You're afraid," she said. "You don't want to run away because what if they just like pounce on you? But then one of them did." 

The raccoon sunk its teeth into Larson's leg.

"It was biting my leg, like gnawing on it," she said. 

And then, she said, "I just kicked it off and it went flying into the bushes." 

Larson then ran to the plaza, where workers told her she needed to seek treatment. 

"'Miss, you could have rabies,'" she recalled them telling her. "'You don't need Band-Aids or Neosporin. You need to go to a hospital.'"

She went to Roosevelt Hospital, where she got 21 rabies shots as a precaution. 

Rabid raccoon attacks are rare in the city, and the Parks Department said it doesn't believe those raccoons were sick, just curious. They're still investigating and in the meantime, advise people to keep a safe distance from the wildlife in the park. 

It's a lesson learned for Larson. 

"I think I'm just a lot more aware of animals that might be behaving strangely," she said. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Gas Leak in Wethersfield


Wells Road was closed at Wolcott Hill Road in Wethersfield for a short time this morning because of a gas leak, according to Wethersfield Police.

The leak has been contained and the intersection is now open.

Wethersfield police said a natural gas leak was reported at Wells and Savage roads at 9:23 a.m. and the road was closed as Connecticut Natural Gas responded.

One house and a business were evacuated as a precaution.

View Larger Map

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teens Attack Man in New Haven Park: Police


A 63-year-old man said he was attacked by a group of teens while jogging in a New Haven park last Friday afternoon.

Police said the attack happened around 5:30 p.m. near the skateboard section of the park.

The man had jogged past the group of five to seven teens, who turned back and jumped the victim, police said.

He had no wallet, no cell phone or cash on him. The teens kicked and punched him in an attack that around 20 seconds before the teens fled, according to reports.

The man suffered some a gash to his forehead and a broken arm.

Police are urging people who use the park to be on alert while exercising there, to pay attention to their surroundings and exercise in a group.

Police: Man Arrested for Trying to Rob Auto Body Shop


West Haven police have arrested the man who they say tried to rob Campbell Motor Sales early Friday morning.

According to police, Patrick Savino, 32, of 168 Washington Avenue in West Haven, was trying to break into the business at 175 Campbell Avenue when officers arrived around 2:45 a.m.

Police said Savino was carrying a large kitchen knife. He was wearing all black and black gloves.

Officers said they also found signs that Savino had tampered with the building entrance and vehicles on the property.

Savino was charged with carrying/selling a dangerous weapon, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree burglary, sixth-degree larceny and two counts of attempting to commit a crime.

He was held on $15,000 bond and is due in court today.

Savino has an extensive record of burglary, larceny and weapon charges beginning in 2004.


Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Crooks Targeting Country Clubs in Fairfield County: Cops


In the past week, two men have been stealing from unlocked vehicles parked at golf courses and country clubs in Fairfield County, according to police, and they are asking for help from the public to identify the culprits.

Police believe two men are involved.

One has a heavy build and an accent, according to police.

He is believed to be entering clubhouses to try to find unsecured lockers. When county club staff members approach him, he says he is a guest but cannot provide the name of the member.

The other man has a medium build and was wearing sunglasses and an orange golf shirt.

Police believe they are traveling in a white Nissan Maxima or Altima with a Texas license plate. Anyone who sees the men or their vehicle is asked to call a local police department.

The police departments in Darien, Stratford and Darien issued a joint news release and recommend that valuables, including wallets, purses and jewelry, be secured in locked lockers within the clubhouse or in your vehicle’s trunk.

If you vehicle does not have a concealed trunk area, avoid leaving valuables in plain view.

Lock your vehicles when they are unattended and unoccupied.

Photo Credit: Darien, Stratford and Greenwich Police

72-Year-Old Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Boy


Orange police have arrested the man who they say sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy at the Racebrook Tract park last night.

According to police, Pascual Punsal, 72, of 578 Summit Drive in Orange, approached the boy around 7:51 p.m. on Thursday while walking in the park.

Police said the victim was on the boardwalk looking for a place to fish when Punsal walked past and greeted him. Two minutes later, Punsal returned and asked to kiss the boy, grabbing his genitals, police said.

The boy said no, pushed Punsal and ran away.

Authorities said they recognized Punsal from the victim’s description and found the suspect at his home on Summit Drive.

Punsal was arrested and charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and breach of peace. He was released after posting a $25,000 bond, according to police.

Punsal is due in Derby Superior Court on Aug. 15.

Officers said the recreation area, near Racebrook Road and Derby Avenue, is designated for public use and that police presence will increase as a result of the incident. 

Photo Credit: Orange Police Department
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