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Teen Killed in Hamden Crash


A 15-year-old boy from New Haven was killed in a two-car crash in Hamden.

The head-on collision happened on Dixwell Avenue at Lexington Street this morning when a Volkswagen driving southbound crossed the center line and hit a Honda driving northbound, authorities said.

The 15-year-old who died was riding in the Volkswagen, along with a 27-year-old Hamden man, who received facial injuries in the crash, police said.

The driver of the Honda, a 31-year-old man, suffered back and chest injuries, according to police.

Police are looking at surveillance video to determine whether a third vehicle was also involved.

Police said speed may have been a factor and that the driver of the Volkswagen could be facing charges. The investigation is ongoing.

The victims' identities won't be released until their families are notified. Three people were taken to Yale-New Haven hospital, according to police.

The road was closed for a time but reopened around 11:30 a.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

XL Center Future Plans


The idea of replacing Hartford's arena, the XL Center, is nothing new, but authorities are considering a study of the XL Center's future, given its present as a venue for minor league ice hockey, shows and sports events, such as the recent P&G Gymnastic Championships.

One woman, Feleg Weldeabzgi, suggests apartments could be a better use of the heart of downtown Hartford.

"That way the people who work and live here can rent over here and they don't have to buy a car," she said.

But others believe the XL Center is just fine as it is.

"I think it's great family entertainment for the Wolfpack and you've got other concerts," said Kelly Granatek, of Marlborough. "I think to take that out of Hartford, you're gonna ruin the restaurants, the people who have parking, things like that.  I think that they should leave it alone."

Leading her 1-year-old son Grayson by the hand, Mandy Palmer of Easthampton, Massachusetts headed for the XL Center door, somewhere she hasn't been before.

"We're gonna go for a show," she said. "We're gonna see Drake in October.  We drove down here to pick up tickets."

That's reason enough to keep the show going, said Paul Taylor, of Hartford.

"Bring it out bigger and better than ever, you know? We have a lot of great things to offer in Hartford," he said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Arrested For Spraying Bodily Waste at Cops


A 41-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in Chicago after allegedly spraying bodily waste at a pair of police officers in Uptown.

The incident happened when the officers approached Derrick Ray for a trespassing complaint at a building in the 4600 block of N. Broadway shortly before 10 p.m.

Police say when the officers tried to remove Ray, he sprayed two bottles filled with bodily waste at the officers, along with pepper spray.

Ray was charged with three felony counts of aggravated battery against a peace officer, three misdemeanor counts of resisting a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass. He's expected in bond court Thursday.

The officers were transported to a local hospital for observation and treatment.

Ald. James Cappleman posted on his Twitter feed that Ray is a homeless man who's been living in the Broadway/Wilson area for three years, and suffers from severe mental illness issues.

Cappleman also tweeted, "For years, people have expressed fear of getting harmed by him."

Car Slams Into Waterbury House


Authorities are investigating after a car crashed into a home on Wolcott Street in Waterbury, striking a gas meter and causing a leak.

It happened around 4:15 p.m. at 551 Wolcott Street, according to police.

Three people were in the living room when the car struck and were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to resident, who was upstairs at the time.

"I was walkin gup the stairs and as soon as I got to the top of the stairs... I had just walked into my house and the car had hit through the front hallway," said resident Lishara Parks.

Parks said she tried to run back downstairs with her baby, but the smoke was too thick.

"It was actually like being in a car accident," Parks said. "The house was shaking. It was like, I had to grab ont othe wall, grab my baby. It was scary."

Parks said the car must have been traveling at least 50 mph and it didn't look like the driver hit the brakes.

She said that maybe a tire had blown, because the driver didn't appear to be drunk.

Parks said the car took a sharp right-hand turn and ended up in their living room.

Wolcott Street was closed while gas company workers repaired the leak. It has since reopened and the gas has been shut off, police said.

Authorities are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.

Photo Credit: Jamie Mirabilio

Hasan Dishonorably Discharged, No Longer Major


Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan has been dishonorably discharged from the United States Army, according to military officials.

NBC 5 DFW Investigates spoke with Chris Haug, Chief of Media Relations at Fort Hood.

Haug said, according to the Senior Judge Advocate General at Fort Hood, Hasan is “no longer a military serviceman. He has no rank and is dishonorably discharged from the Army" following his court martial and sentencing for the mass shooting at Fort Hood in 2009.

Haug said going forward, Hasan will be called simply “inmate Nidal Hasan" at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

Haug detailed that it will technically take some time until the paperwork is signed removing Hasan from the Army’s ranks. But Haug said the order will eventually be signed and backdated to the date of conviction, effectively removing Hasan from the Army as of his conviction date.

A military panel also ordered that Hasan be stripped of his military pay. However that order will not take effect until place 14 days following his sentencing. Hasan will continue to receive his full military salary until Sept. 10.

Earlier this year, NBC 5 Investigates was the first to report that the Department of Defense showed Hasan had been paid about $300,000 after his arrest for the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting.

After the NBC 5 investigation aired, three U.S. Representatives have drafted legislation that would stop military payments to soldiers awaiting trial for major crimes.  The money would be returned to the solider if they are acquitted but if they are found guilty the money would go to the victims.

The $300,000 in payments already made to Hasan are unlikely to be returned to the military.  However, Army officials could consider launching  a "line of duty" investigation to determine if Hasan is liable for the payments incurred for treatment of the injuries he sustained when police responding to the attack shot him. Victims of the attack are also pursuing a civil lawsuit against Hasan.

Major Improvements To Be Made At West Haven Park


At Veterans Memorial Park in West Haven, the helmets for youth football hang in a storage locker behind the fields, portable toilets are the only bathrooms and a small concession stand feeds hungry mouths.

That is all about to change, though, thanks to a $500,000 state grant.

"This will be the final phase of a three-phase,10-year project and it will enable us to put in ADA-compliant restrooms, locker rooms, equipment rooms and a large concession stand," said Michael Last, President of Ray Tellier Midget Football League.

It's a big improvement for the children who play at the field. Right now, the field is used for Pop Warner football and cheerleading, youth soccer and Notre Dame of West Haven sports.

The improvements will expand the number of games played at the field and the number of people who get to use the complex.

"It will give us an opportunity to host regional and state games," said Last. "We did a game last year, and we ended up filling both the hotels across the street. We brought in about 2,000 people for the weekend."

State and regional competitions would bring in even more people, resulting in a great boost for the local economy.

"There’s people who come from around the region to play here," said West Haven Mayor John Picard. "It’s a beautiful field. So they’ll go out to dinner; they’ll stay at some of the hotels, do other events here."

The city will soon put the project out to bid.

According to Gov. Dannel Malloy, who presented the grant to West Haven on Thursday, the city could be in the running to host the annual New England region Pop Warner championship games as early as 2014.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teen Slices Own Head With Toy Helicopter, Dies


A 19-year-old man playing with a remote control helicopter in Brooklyn lost control of it, sliced off the top of his own head and died Thursday afternoon, law enforcement officials said. 

The helicopter enthusiast, identified by officials as Roman Pirozek Jr., and his father were in Calvert Vaux Park at Shore Parkway and Bay 44th Street in Gravesend.

Pirozek also sheared off part of his shoulder, officials said.

Witnesses told detectives Pirozek was performing a trick with the model helicopter when something went wrong, according to law enforcement officials.

The model helicopter was worth about $2,000.

Sources said friends of the victim told investigators he often performed risky tricks with model helicopters.

Pirozek's neighbors in Woodhaven, Queens said he worked at Kennedy Airport and was a quiet but "really good kid." They said he and his father flew model helicopters almost every weekend.

Pirozek's social media accounts were filled with references to his hobby of flying remote control helicopters. On Aug. 25, he wrote on his Facebook page, "Great day for flying, the new frame brace is working great, breaking in some new packs I just got, they are the best that I have flown so far and loving them." 

Pirozek graduated in 2012 from the High School for Construction, Engineering and Architecture in Queens, according to his Facebook page. 

-- Brynn Gingras contributed to this report. 


Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York/Facebook

Live Wires Down After Granby Crash


Police are responding to the area 330 North Granby Road in Granby after a car crashed into a phone pole, splitting the pole and causing live wires to fall.

The 37-year-old driver was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, according to police at the scene.

Connecticut Light & Power officials are on scene working to fix the pole. No power outages have been reported.

The cause of the crash is unknown.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Chappelle Bashes Hartford, City Responds


Comedian Dave Chappelle is probably best known for pushing the envelope. But his comments at a Tuesday night show in Chicago about letting Hartford serve as a nuclear bull's-eye made him a target for the city mayor and many others.

"F*** Hartford," Chappelle said onstage. "I would never go back. I wouldn't even go to Hartford to get f****** gas."

The 40-year-old comedian took the stage in the Windy City days after walking off during a performance in Hartford on Aug. 29. This time, Chappelle used the rocky course of events at the Comcast Theater as comedic material.

"I don't want anything bad to happen to the United States," Chappelle said. "But if North Korea ever drops a nuclear bomb on this country, I swear to God, I hope it lands in Hartford, Connecticut."

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra responded to those comments in the following statement:

"I wasn’t at the show, so I can’t comment on it specifically. But his recent remarks were immature and inappropriate. Dave Chappelle should stick to his job, give the fans what they paid for and not disparage the good people of Hartford."

Segarra added that the comedian should give fans what they paid for. The mayor also tweeted, "Dave Chappelle should quit whining, do his job and try some yoga. #HartfordHasIt."

Hartford residents like Lesli-Ann Lewis said Chappelle's comments had racial undertones targeting both the crowd and the city itself.

Lewis has spent most of her life in Connecticut. She attended that Thursday night performance and wrote an article about the incident for Ebony magazine about what she witnessed.

"Anytime a black person expresses any kind of anger toward racial issues," Lewis said, "it’s always characterized as unrighteous anger or unjustified anger. And it’s not.”

Other residents, though, say race shouldn't be a factor.

“Everybody paid green money for their tickets at the end of the day," said Ant da Barber of the J.A.W.S. barbershop on Sisson Avenue. "So white, brown, black, or yellow, at the end of the day he was supposed to perform."

Chappelle walked off the stage in Hartford without finishing the show.

Scot X. Esdaile, president of Connecticut's NAACP branch, told the Hartford Courant he was deeply saddened by Chappelle's comments. Esdaile said he's met Chappelle several times and hopes to one day lure him back to the Nutmeg State.

Lewis said she is not upset or offended by the comments.

“I hope that people are going to consider what he's saying a little bit more," she said.

Lewis said she hopes his comments detonate a greater conversation on race relations.

Motorcycle Crash Closes Route 8 in Torrington


Route 8 is closed near exits 43 and 44 in Torrington due to a motorcycle crash, according to state police.

Authorities said the motorcycle driver was transported by LifeStar to a Hartford Hospital. The motorcyclist's condition is unknown.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Danbury Hospital Staff Member Charged With Sex Assault


Danbury police have arrested a patient care technician at Danbury Hospital accused of sexually assaulting a patient in his care.

Police said the assault happened on June 12 and they arrested Michael Wilmot, 47, of Waterbury, after a lengthy investigation.

Wilmot has been suspended, according to hospital officials.

Hospital spokesperson Anrewa Rynn said, in a statement:

"Since this involves an active legal matter, we cannot comment in detail. We can say that the involved employee has been suspended. We want to reassure the public that the well-being and security of our patients is our top priority, and that we are fully committed to providing a safe environment for their care."

Police said the victim, a married woman, had gone to to the emergency room that night and was feeling weird after receiving Dilaudid for her pain. 

She told police that Wilmot, a married father of five, started flirting with her.

He said he wanted to kiss her, but she told him that would be taking advantage of her because of the drugs.

Over the time she was admitted, Wilmot went in and out of her room several times and performed sex acts on her, including oral sex, she said.

Despite her asking him to stop, he continued, according to the warrant application.

On June 13, Wilmot agreed to a voluntary interview, police said, and first denied any sort of sexual contact with any patients on the night in question.

Later, he said the woman kissed him when he was taking her vital signs and he kissed her back.

He also admitted to touching her breast and performing a sex act, but denied performing oral sex, according to the police documents.

Attorney Ray Lubus is representing Wilmot and said his client is the father of five young children and has never had any run-ins with the law.

“I have read the same reports the allegations are troubling but my client does have an opportunity to defend himself,” Lubus said.

He said his client has worked for the hospital for 11 to 12 years, is a volunteer for EMS and other agencies and seems to have a "very reputable history."

"Anyone who is on any drug that may impair their judgment or ability to have cognitive reasoning, I think, is a factor," Lubus said.

Other people working in the hospital the night of the alleged sex assault did not notice anything suspicious, but a nurse told police he recalled the woman saying that Wilmot had been bothering her, so he said he’d turn off the lights and draw the curtain to discourage Wilmot from going into the room.

The victim told police Wilmot also told her he knew a lot about her and she thought he was referring to her mental health records at the hospital.

She suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, which she compared to multiple personality disorder, and had been treated at the hospital before for cutting after being sexually abused by her therapist, she told police.

However, police learned from hospital officials that Wilmot would not have access to the woman’s full patient record. 

Wilmot is next scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 22.


Photo Credit: Danbury Police

Hartford Officer Being Investigated Has History of Problems


One of the Hartford police officers under investigation for failing to find a body at a crime scene has had disciplinary problems in the past.

NBC Connecticut obtained Officer William Smith's personnel file from the city, which details a prior suspension and other reprimands.

Smith responded to reports of shots fired on Linnmoore Street in August, and his actions are now part of an ongoing internal affairs investigation regarding the overall police response that night, according to a police source familiar with the probe.

Smith was one of two officers who responded to the scene and failed to discover a dead body. Residents called 911 again the next day after locating the body in a yard on the 300 block of Linnmoore Street.

In his police report, which is now part of his extensive personnel file, Smith claims he "canvassed the area for any shell casings, evidence, witnesses or suspects" and that he and another officer "knocked on a few doors."

The internal probe is investigating to determine whether Smith lied in his report, according to a police source.

"Right now, as far as I know, there's no action taken against any officer that responded to that scene," said Sgt. Richard Holton, president of the Hartford Police Union.

Smith's file shows it's not the only time he's run into problems on the job.

According to records in his personnel file, Smith returned to duty in June after Chief James Rovella handed him a 200-workday suspension for three prior incidents.

Because he didn't fight the penalty, and for other reasons, the records indicate he was allowed to return to work after 100 work days.

In the first incident that led to his suspension, Smith ended up with a misdemeanor criminal conviction for second-degree breach of peace. Records show he admitted to sending a threatening letter to another man that included a bullet and a note saying, "don't mess with another man's wife. Watch ur back [sic]."
Records show he could have been fired for the offense.

The second incident happened in April 2012. Records show that Smith failed to properly wear his uniform, read comics and repeatedly used his cellphone during a private-duty job at Stop & Shop.

In September 2012, Smith left the body of a homicide victim and evidence unattended at St. Francis Hospital and then lied about it, records show.

The question now, after the latest incident on Linnmoore Street, is why does Smith still have a job?

"If there's a question as to why he's still here, that's something you'd have to ask the chief," said Sgt. Holton. "The chief made an offer as far as his last discipline case goes, he accepted it, he took his discipline and now he's back at work. I think he's learned from it."

Records show that Smith has also received at least five oral or written reprimands for other issues.

Smith has not returned a request for comment. Hartford Police Chief James Rovella declined an interview.

The mayor's office declined to comment on the case.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Found Bloodied, Unconscious in Portland


Authorities are investigating an active crime scene on Riverview Street in Portland after a man was found unconscious and injured on the side of the road, according to police.

Police arrived at the scene after a man was found lying injured on the side of the road. Authorities said the man's face is swollen and bruised. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

His identity is unknown.

Portland police and the State Police Major Crimes Division are investigating. Authorities said they are calling the situation suspicious.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

5-Month-Old Dead, 11-Month-Old Critical After Manchester Crash


A five-month-old baby girl has died and an 11-month-old is in critical condition after being injured in a two-car collision on Spencer Street in Manchester, authorities said.

The children had to be extricated after the car they were riding in rolled over and hit a telephone pole, according to fire officials. A 17-year-old was driving, according to police.

Manchester Police Capt. Christopher Davis said both children were properly fastened in child safety seats.

Officials said they were taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Two women were also inside the car, but managed to free themselves.

Police said the car was headed north on Hillstown Road and collided with another car traveling west on Spencer Street.

It happened around 1:20 p.m. Thursday, fire officials said.

The Manchester fire chief said neither driver was injured.

The exit 1 off-ramp from Interstate 384 west and the Hillstown Road entrance to Manchester Community College were shut down after the crash, officials said.

An accident reconstruction team arrived at the scene to investigate and determine the cause of the crash.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Manchester Police Officer Aaron Calkins at 860-645-5560.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

I-691 East in Meriden Reopens After Motorcycle Crash


Interstate 691 eastbound, in the area of exit 5 in Meriden, has reopened after a motorcycle collided with a car on the highway, fire officials said.

According to the Meriden Fire Department, the driver was found unresponsive in the roadway just past the footbridge to Hubbard Park. The driver's condition is unknown.

The eastbound side of the highway was shut down for a few hours and traffic was getting by on the shoulder, according to state police.

No additional information was immediately available.

Man's Body Chopped Up After Botched Tryst, Robbery: PD


Philadelphia Police say a pimp and two prostitutes killed a Northeast Philadelphia man, chopped up his body and tossed it into the Schuylkill River after a botched robbery.

Keith Tolbert, Angel Weston and Stephenie Foulke were charged Thursday with the murder of Frank Zarzycki, police said.

Zarzycki's torso was found by fishermen near the 1300 block of Schuylkill Avenue in the Grays Ferry section of Philadelphia around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. The 40-year-old's head, arms and legs had been chopped off and were missing.

Using a distinctive tattoo on Zarzycki's upper back, investigators on Wednesday were able to identify the man who had been reported missing by family a week before.

Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit Capt. James Clark said Zarzycki, who lived in the Somerton section of the city, went to Apartment 26 inside 220 South 11th Street last Monday, August 26 to have a sexual encounter with prostitutes.

The man allegedly began a sexual act with Weston, 21, and Foulke, 22, in the second-floor apartment's living room when Tolbert, the 34-year-old alleged pimp, came in to rob Zarzycki.

During the struggle, Zarzycki was beaten, tasered and then suffocated. He died as a result of the fight.

Capt. Clark said investigators believe the trio panicked and dragged the man's lifeless body to the bathroom. There, Tolbert allegedly used a hatchet to dismember Zarzycki.

His torso was then placed into a bag and thrown into the river, police said.

Investigators are still searching for Zarzycki's other body parts and are leaning on the suspects to share where and how they were disposed.

"We're still talking to them," Capt. Clark said of the suspects. "We have detectives back out at the scene. We will probably still have the Marine Unit go back out to certain locations along the river. The investigation is still on going."

The trio were arrested on Saturday, before Zarzycki's body was found, after the department's Vice Unit held a sting at the apartment.

The housing unit, which is listed in Tolbert's name, is located in Center City, just south of busy Market East near the campus of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. The apartment building has a mix of Section 8 and mixed-income units inside. Investigators say Tolbert paid only $30 a month in rent to live there.

Capt. Clark said the home was a known prostitution spot and that phone and computer records showed the victim had frequented the place.

"My understanding is he had been there before and obviously he wasn't robbed, but for whatever reason, this time they chose to rob him and it escalated to him being killed," Capt. Clark said.

Neighbors who live in the apartment building tell NBC10.com they saw plain clothed officers visit the same apartment last week and arrest a man and woman for alleged prostitution.

Since then, a police officer had been guarding the apartment, neighbors say. Investigators then came back to apartment on Wednesday to collect evidence.

Capt. Clark said crime scene investigators were back out at the apartment on Thursday to search for additional evidence.

Sources close to the investigation tell NBC10 crime scene techs found large pieces of flesh inside a bathtub drain pipe. That pipe was removed and taken into evidence.

NBC10 visited Zarzycki's family in Northeast Philadelphia on Thursday, but they did not want to speak with the media.

Tolbert, Weston and Foulke have been charged with murder, robbery and related offenses and all, police say, have criminal histories.

Keith Tolbert (L) and Angel Weston (R) pictured. A mugshot for Stephenie Foulke was not available.

Frank Zarzycki pictured in this undated photo.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police Department

Teacher Suspended After Leno Appearance


A teacher who dropped his towel on "The Tonight Show" was suspended from a Southern California Christian high school.

Steve Endemano bared his backside during a bit in which "The Tonight Show" puts together a "sizzle reel" to dramatize an audience member’s life.

Centering on Endemano as an 64-year-old avid cyclist, the skit poked fun at age and steroid use. The scene, embedded below, culminated in a scene showing Endemano’s pixelated rear in a locker room.

Endemano told Jay Leno he teaches Bible study, physics and calculus.

A Facebook page titled “Justice for Mr. Steve Endemano” reported Thursday night that the teacher will be allowed to return to his classroom at Whittier Christian High School.

Calls to Endemano and the school district for comment were not returned by the time of publication.

After last week's suspension, Endemano’s students and their parents have taken to Facebook.

Some said the skit’s ending wasn’t all that funny. Others commented that the teacher looked great without a shirt.

But most said they supported the veteran teacher of 34 years. And his suspension was too harsh of a punishment for a late night joke.

More Southern California Stories:

Photo Credit: The Tonight Show

49er Named in Second Lawsuit Over 2012 House Party


San Francisco 49ers' All-Pro Linebacker Aldon Smith and his former teammate, Delanie Walker, are facing another lawsuit.

The second lawsuit filed this week in Santa Clara County comes from an attorney for Aaron Reyes, who is a friend of Ronndale Esporles, the plaintiff in the first lawsuit filed earlier this week.

Both lawsuits stem from a 2012 house party Smith hosted at his San Jose home.

MORE: Aldon Smith Named in Lawsuit Over 2012 House Party Shooting

Reyes said, like Esporles, he received serious, catastrophic and permanent injuries.

The pair of lawsuits paint a similar picture of the events during Smith's party.

In the lawsuit filed for Reyes, he claims Smith and Walker knew of gang members at the party. It goes on to report during the course of the party, both players became aware that there were gang members and persons armed with weapons on the premises.

RELATED: Harbaugh on Smith: Team is Handling It

The lawsuit also claims Smith had recently hosted similar parties at his home.

"Defendant Smith has already established a pattern of having wild and boisterous parties at his home," the lawsuit said.

The legal document said the party was advertised widely, including on the Internet. It also claims "drugs were used in an open and notorious fashion at the party."

Reyes also claims in his lawsuit Smith and Walker charged patrons for drinks, including serving an alcoholic concoction named "jungle juice."

Smith's legal team told NBC Bay Area they have no further comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crash Causing Backups on Route 8 South


If you have to travel on Route 8 South at the Naugatuck/Waterbury line, expect delays.

There is a crash between exits 30 and 29.

The left lane is blocked and delays are building.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT Traffic cameras

5 Taken to Hospital After School Bus Crash in East Hartford


Five people were taken to local hospitals after a crash involving a school bus in East Hartford.

State police said the collision on Interstate 84 West, in the area of exit 51 was minor.

Four people are being taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center and one is being taken to Saint Francis Hospital, according to the Ambulance Service of Manchester.

The crash caused heavy traffic backups, but the scene has since cleared.

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