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Police Investigate Rash of Burlgaries in Litchfield County


State police are investigating a rash of home burglaries in the area of Thomaston and Northfield.

Two of the break-ins happened Monday and Tuesday on Old Northfield Road and Jackson Street in Thomaston. Both burglaries happened during daylight hours, according to police.

Jewelry, cash and electronics were stolen from the homes. Police said a motorcycle was also taken from the house on Jackson Street.

Investigators are looking for a gold or tan-colored midsize pickup truck in connection with the burglaries.

Police said they believe the incidents are linked to at least five other recent burglaries in the Thomaston and Northfield area.

They’ve responded to the break-ins by increasing patrols on residential streets and asking residents to remain alert and report suspicious activity right away.

Anyone with information about the burglaries is urged to contact police.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Electric Boat Gets $152M More to Build Submarines


A Groton submarine company is getting $152 million toward the development and design of nuclear-powered attack subs at the New London Naval Submarine Base.

Rep. Joe Courtney announced the contract modification on Wednesday. With this addition, the total value of the contract with Electric Boat of Groton will amount to nearly $1 billion by the project’s completion in 2014.

That’s good news for the Navy. The new Virginia-class fast-attack submarines will be specially designed for shallow-water warfare and will allow for attacks both in the water and on shore.

“This investment shows that even in times of fiscal uncertainty, the work that Electric Boat employees are doing each day remains absolutely crucial to the strength of our submarine fleet,” Courtney said in a press release.

The original contract was awarded in April 2012 for the construction of three Virginia-class submarines.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

FBI Video Shows "Delusional" Navy Yard Gunman During Attack


Carrying a sawed-off shotgun etched with haunting phrases about his emotional misery — including the belief that his mind was under the influence of electromagnetic waves — Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis picked his victims at random in the hallways and stairwells of Building 197 before law enforcement officers shot him dead, authorities said Tuesday.

Alexis, 34, a government contractor from Ft. Worth, Texas, who'd started an assignment at the Navy Yard only a week earlier, didn't appear to be motivated by any kind of workplace dispute, the officials said in their fullest account of the Sept. 16 massacre. Rather, Alexis "held a delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency, or ELF, electromagnetic waves," Valerie Parlave, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field division, said in a news conference outside her office.

The FBI also released chilling video that showed Alexis pulling into the Navy Yard parking garage in a rented blue Toyota Prius and moving through the cavernous Building 197, crouching around corners and through doorways with a shotgun wrapped with purple duct tape. Authorities have described their chase of him through the building as a “tactical nightmare.”

Scrawled onto the shotgun, purchased legally at a Northern Virginia gun shop two days earlier, were several phrases, including, "End to the torment," "My ELF weapon," and "Better off this way," Parlave said.

In documents recovered after the attack, Alexis indicated that the electromagnetic waves drove him to commit the hourlong morning assault, in which a dozen workers died and several more were injured.

"Ultra-low frequency attack is what I've been subject to for the last three months," Alexis wrote in a document obtained by authorities, Parlave said. "That is what has driven me to this."

Those clues represent a significant part of the picture that authorities are trying to assemble in an attempt to explain how and why Alexis committed one of the deadliest attacks on a U.S. military installation. Many clues came from belongings Alexis left behind in a Washington hotel and in a backpack recovered in a bathroom on the fourth floor of Buliding 197, according to court documents and authorities. Those items included a cell phone, laptop and thumb drives.

The clues indicated that Alexis had planned the attack for days, and expected to die in it, but told no one, Parlave said.

Alexis, a contractor for a private information technology firm called Experts IT, arrived in the Washington D.C. area on Aug. 25 for an assignment at the Navy Yard. He stayed in hotels and began work on Monday, Sept. 9, Parlave said.

That Friday, Alexis was the subject of an employee review in which a “routine performance-related issue” was discussed, Parlave said. But there is no indication that the results of that review motivated him to carry out the attack, or that he targeted people he worked for or with, she said.

Nevertheless, the day after the review, Alexis went to a Northern Virginia gun shop and bought a Remington 870 shotgun and ammunition, Parlave said. He also went to a home improvement store and bought a hacksaw.

The following Monday, at a few minutes before 8 a.m., Alexis drove a rented 2013 Toyota Prius into a Navy Yard parking garage. Using a security pass, he entered Building 197 at 8:08 a.m. Video footage released Tuesday showed him walking calmly through the entrance, a bag over his shoulder.

Moments later, he began his assault. The FBI video does not show Alexis shooting anyone. But it captures him at various moments in between — moving down a long, white-paneled hallway, looking into rooms, bounding down steps and through a doorway.

At one point — authorities did not say when, or how — Alexis obtained a Beretta pistol, possibly from one of his victims; many workers at the Navy Yard are permitted to carry handguns.

When he was finally killed on the building’s third floor, the pistol beside him, 12 of his victims were dead and four were injured, including a Washington D.C. police officer who was hit in the legs during a volley between Alexis and law enforcement agents. A Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent carried the wounded officer to safety.

Alexis' shotgun and identification badge were later recovered on the first floor, according to court documents.

In the chaos, there were initial suspicions that there was more than one gunman. That turned out to not be the case. Parlave confirmed that fact on Tuesday, saying Alexis acted alone and warned no one he knew.

“There are indicators…that he was prepared to die during the attack and accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions,” Parlave added.

She would not comment on Alexis’ mental health, beyond his references to the electromagnetic waves.

Extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves are used for naval communications, but are also a popular subject for conspiracy theorists who suspect the government uses them for mind control and to manipulate “unsuspecting citizens,” Parlave said.

Ronald C. Machen, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, called Alexis “a mentally unstable individual” who was nevertheless able to buy a gun.

Neither Machen nor Parlave commented on whether there were any breakdowns in the way various government agencies handled troubling episodes involving Alexis in the weeks and years before the Navy Yard attack.

Alexis, a Navy reservist, had once been arrested in Seattle for shooting out a neighbor’s tires, and was questioned for shooting through the ceiling of his apartment in Fort Worth. While in Rhode Island last summer, he created a stir at a hotel when he claimed to be hearing voices.

Metro-North Repairs Could Take Weeks


Commuters traveling between Connecticut and New York are facing a transportation nightmare after a feeder cable serving the Metro-North New Haven Line failed this morning, halting service for an hour and a half.

Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon that repairs could take "as long as three weeks or more."

In the meantime, limited service will be offered via diesel train to about 30 percent of the New Haven Line's daily ridership.

The diesel service will run from Stamford to Harlem 125th Street and Grand Central Station at the rate of one train per hour in each direction, according to Malloy.

He encouraged commuters to stay home, stay in New York, carpool or take the Harlem Line whenever possible.

New Haven Line tickets will be honored on the Harlem Line during this period of "extremely limited service," Malloy said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Yankees fans who planned to ride Metro-North trains to the stadium tonight will need to make other arrangements.

Amtrak's Acela service from Boston to New York is also canceled through Thursday.

Amtrak released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

"Due to the ongoing commerical power problem in the New York area affecting Metro-North Railroad territory, Amtrak Acela Express service will not operate on Thursday, Sept. 26 between New York and Boston. However, Amtrak Northeast Regional service will operate under diesel power through the affected area."

Officials said it's not clear how long it will take to repair the system, but Malloy told commuters to expect "a substantial disruption for a substantial period of time."

He said he is coordinating with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make repairs and accomodations.

The problem started when a feeder cable failed just before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. A second cable servicing the line hsa been undergoing routine maintenance at the Mount Vernon station, so now both cables are out of commission.

Maintenance work has been ongoing for a couple months and is not related to today's problem, Malloy said, adding that one line "was expected to be sufficient" to support regular Metro-North service.

Repairs on the second cable are scheduled to be finished by Oct. 14, but Malloy said officials are working to accelerate the timeline. This would ideally have the cable back in service by Oct. 7.

But the governor cautioned commuters to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

"Plan on long-term lack of service or being underserved," he said.

He said the extent of the problem is still unknown because the line is super-heated and must be cooled with liquid nitrogen before crews can take a closer look.

Malloy said tree-cutting on Interstate 95 will likely be halted to keep traffic from jamming up as more commuters take to the roads.

He sympathized with commuters.

"Needless to say, I am frustrated," he said on Wednesday. "An outage of three weeks or more is completely unacceptable."

Two trains were in service this morning — one leaving Stamford and the other leaving Grand Central on the hour —  to help alleviate crowding during rush hour. The trains made all local stops.

The MTA cautioned that service would be extremely slow and the trains will be crowded.

In an effort to get to work, many commuters hopped in their cars and took I-95 into the city, backing up traffic for more than 20 miles.

Amtrak's Acela service was also disrupted between New York's Penn station and New Haven, according to Tweets from Amtrak Northeast.

Regional service is operating with delays.

To check the map of the Metro-North lines, click here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Alternate Routes Offered After Metro-North Malfunction


In the wake of a cable failure that could take weeks to fix, Metro-North commuters are getting ready to navigate long lines and major delays in the coming days.

Right now the biggest question for Connecticut commuters is how to get to work tomorrow and how to get home.

There are a few options available. The power problem is primarily affecting the Metro-North New Haven Line, so train service to and from the New Haven station will be limited.

A.M. Peak

Starting Thursday morning during peak hours, MTA will provide shuttle buses and trains from New Haven to Stamford and back. Electric trains will run from New Haven to Stamford every 20-to-30 minutes during peak travel time.

From there, commuters can take a diesel train to Harlem 125th Street and Grand Central Station.

Another option is to take a local train from Stamford to Rye, then take an express bus to White Plans and catch the Harlem Line to Grand Central. New Haven Line tickets will be honored on the Harlem Line while the problem persists.

Commuters can travel from Grand Central to Stamford via diesel trains, which will run every 30-to-40 minutes throughout the morning and during the day. The diesel trains will make all local stops between the New York and Stamford stations.

Hourly connections are available from Stamford to New Haven during peak hours.

A map posted to the MTA website highlights travel options for the morning commute.


Service into New York will slow down during off-peak hours. An hourly shuttle will run from New Haven to Stamford, departing 45 minutes after the hour.

Trains traveling from Grand Central to Stamford will depart every 30 minutes at :04 and :34 after the hour.

P.M. Peak

In the evening, limited direct service will run from Grand Central to Stamford, with connections to New Haven every 20-to-30 minutes. Trains from New York to Stamford will not make local stops.

Commuters can also take the Harlem Line to White Plains, then take an express bus to Rye and transfer to a local train to Stamford. Trains from Rye to Stamford will run every 20-to-30 minutes.

More Information

Shuttle trains and buses will also operate on the New Canaan, Waterbury and Danbury branches beginning tomorrow morning.

The feeder cable failed around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. A second cable has been undergoing routine maintenance and is also out of service, leaving the New Haven Line without electric power.

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Dannel Malloy said repairs could take weeks, but crews are working to put the second cable back in service by Oct. 7 instead of Oct. 14, as originally planned.

MTA officials said they are working with Con Edison to come up with alternate sources of power while the problem is being fixed.

Travel options are outlined on the MTA website.

Robber Stole Pills from South Windsor CVS


A man with a gun stole pills from a South Windsor CVS last night and police are asking for help to identify him.

The man entered the CVS on Buckland Road around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, went to the pharmacy, showed and a gun and fled with a bottle of painkillers, according to police .

He spoke in a gruff manner and appeared to be about 60 years old, police said.

The robber was wearing a red Boston Red Sox hat and a green pullover jacket.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Anyone who was in the area or who has information on the perpetrator should call South Windsor Police at 860-644-2551.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

Car Fire Caused Problems on I-91 South in Windsor


Three left lanes of Interstate 91 South in Windsor were closed near exit 35B this morning when a sedan caught fire on the highway.

A photo from the scene shows intense flames from the front of the car.

Whether anyone was injured is not known.

The delays extended for about two and a half miles as crews responded.

No additional information is available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Arrest Suspect in Stabbing Death of Dodgers Fan


Police arrested a man - and are seeking two more - in the killing of a 24-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers fan who was fatally stabbed after the team's Wednesday night loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Michael Montgomery, 21, of Lodi, Calif., was arrested Thursday in connection with the homicide, which San Francisco police said was sparked because of a rivalry-fueled fight that broke out near AT&T Park at 11:49 p.m Wednesday - about four blocks away from the park and 90 minutes after the game.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said an 18-year-old was questioned, but released. And authorities are still looking for two suspects involved in the stabbing of Jonathan Denver, who had traveled to San Francisco from Fort Bragg, Calif., to be with his father, Robert  Preece, Jr. - ironically, a security guard for the Dodgers who lives in Alhambra, Calif. -  to root on the Los Angeles-based team. 

"There is no place at these games for violence," Suhr said, adding that he is a big Giants fan. "Nobody's life should be at stake...Be respectful of everybody wanting to root for whoever they want to root for."


Denver - a plumbing apprentice with two recent arrests in connection with drinking - his father, his father's girlfriend, his brother and another friend had left the game during the eighth inning, at about 10 p.m., to go to a bar for drinks, Suhr said at a Thursday news conference. An aunt said they were there to celebrate the father's birthday.

RAW VIDEO: SFPD Chief on Dodgers-Giants Stabbing

 At around 11:30 p.m., Denver's group bumped into the suspects' group at Third and Harrison streets and the two groups exchanged some sort of "Dodgers-Giants" comments, Suhr said. The suspects'  group had not been at a game, but at a nightclub.

After the heated exchange, the two groups parted ways, but moments later a second fight erupted, and Denver realized he had been stabbed. One of the suspects was wearing a Giants hat. Denver, his brother and his father were all wearing Dodgers blue. The two suspects were detained a short time later at Second and Howard streets - although one was let go after questioning. Denver died later at San Francisco General Hospital. Police are now looking for the weapon.

"It's just senseless," Suhr said. "We have zero tolerance for violence. Be respectful. Nobody needs to be hurt."

MORE: Fans Decry Violence Between Dodgers, Giants

Many fans agreed. People said in person and on Twitter that team rivalries should be left on the field. On NBC Bay Area's Facebook page, Lorenzo Madrid wrote: "Pathetic, it's a game!"

Denver's death prompted the police to step up security for Thursday night's game between the Giants and Dodgers, the teams' last meeting of the season. The Giants, which will observe a moment of silence honoring Denver at the game, sent out a statement saying the team was "deeply saddened to learn of last night’s horrific incident that occurred several blocks from the ballpark ....  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

The news took those who knew Denver by surprise. Fort Bragg is a small city on the northern coast of California  in Mendocino County where Denver attended Fort Bragg High and was well-known around town, even if he had some struggles.

"He was a hardworking kid," Cas Smith, owner of North Coast Plumbing in Fort Bragg, told NBC Bay Area by phone from Fort Bragg, a three-hour drive to the north of San Francisco. "He made some mistakes in his life, but in the last 90 days, he had made a 180-degree turnaround."

Jonathan+Denver++Booking+for+Work+Release+Program+as+a+result+of+DUI+arrestMendocino County jail records show that the California Highway Patrol arrested Denver in July for allegedly drinking and driving in  Ukaiah, Calif. He was arrested again Sept. 14, for being drunk at a the Mendodino County Fair in Boonville, according to Sheriff's Capt. Gregory L. Van Patten. In that arrest, his mug shot shows he was wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers T-shirt.

Smith called Denver a "nice, quiet  kid" who was an apprentice plumber at the shop and not the type of person to get involved in a fight.

"They were just there for a rendezvous," Smith said.

NBC LA’s Kim Baldonado spoke with Denver’s aunt, Janet Alvarado, at her home in Covina, Calif.

"It never dawned on us to worry or be frightened for them,” Alvarado said. “I wish I could tell you how this happened and why this happened. I have no clue why anyone would do this to my family."

Wednesday's fight wasn't the first time a meeting of the rival teams has been marred by violence.

A little more than two years ago, Giants fan Bryan Stow of Santa Cruz, Calif. was brutally beaten in a parking lot outside of the Dodgers' stadium in Los Angeles. Stow survived the March 31, 2011 attack but suffered permanent brain damage. He returned home after two years of rehabilitative treatment earlier this year. Stow's alleged attackers have pleaded not guilty and Stow's family is suing the Dodger Stadium. The Giants held a fundraiser for Stow on Tuesday, and have two more planned for Thursday and Sunday.

MORE: Slain Dodgers Fan Was Celebrating Dad's Birthday

Stow's sister, Erin Collins, in an interview with NBC Bay Area called the fatal stabbing senseless.

"We're heartbroken for Jon's family, and truly, we're keeping them in our prayers," she said.

In 2003, San Francisco Giants fan -- Mark Allen Antenocruz, 25, of Covina, Calif. -- was shot to death in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles during the eighth inning of the game. Police at the time said the shooting was triggered by the decades-old baseball rivalry.

The Giants-Dodgers rivalry is regarded as one of the most competitive in baseball, stemming in part from decades ago, when both teams used to play in New York before moving out West. 

It's not just Dodgers and Giants fans, however, who have struggled with violence. A teenage football fan was attacked Sept. 22 at San Francisco's Candlestick Park during the San Francisco 49ers 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Anyone with information - especially video of the fight - is urged to call San Francisco police at 415-553-1146.

NBC Bay Area's Kim Tere, Lori Preuitt and NBCLA contributed to this report.


Firm that Employed Alexis Fired


The Fort Lauderdale-based computer firm that employed Washington Navy yard gunman Aaron Alexis on behalf of Hewlett Packard was fired by the tech giant Wednesday over "its failure to respond appropriately" to the shooter's mental health issues.
In a letter obtained by NBC News, an HP executive informed The Experts CEO Thomas Hosko Wednesday that the tech firm "has lost all confidence in The Experts ability to meet its contractual obligations and serve as an HP subcontractor." HP said it was terminating its contract with The Experts within 30 days as a result.

"HP has strict policies in place that require contractors and their employees to adhere to the highest standards of business practices and ethics," the company said in a statement. "Based on what we now know about The Experts' conduct, including its failure to respond appropriately to Aaron Alexis' mental health issues and certain incidents recently reported in the press, HP has terminated its relationship with The Experts."
A spokeswoman for The Experts said the company was disappointed by the decision.
"The Experts is disappointed in H-P's decision, as we have continued to meet all of our contractual obligations," the spokeswoman said in a statement. "The Experts had no greater insight into Alexis' mental health than H-P, particularly given that an H-P site manager closely supervised him, including during the events in Rhode Island."

The development came as the FBI released chilling surveillance video that showed Alexis pulling into the Navy Yard parking garage and running through a building with a sawed-off shotgun.
Alexis, 34, a government contractor from Ft. Worth, Texas, who had started an assignment at the Navy Yard only a week earlier, didn't appear to be motivated by any kind of workplace dispute, officials said in their account of the Sept. 16 massacre. Rather, Alexis "held a delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency, or ELF, electromagnetic waves," Valerie Parlave, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field division, said in a news conference outside her office Wednesday.
Scrawled onto the shotgun, purchased legally at a Northern Virginia gun shop two days earlier, were several phrases, including, "End to the torment," "My ELF weapon," and "Better off this way," Parlave said.

In documents recovered after the attack, Alexis indicated that the electromagnetic waves drove him to commit the hour-long morning assault, in which a dozen workers died and several more were injured.
"Ultra-low frequency attack is what I've been subject to for the last three months," Alexis wrote in a document obtained by authorities, Parlave said. "That is what has driven me to this."
Rhode Island police had said last week it had reported raising concerns with the Navy last August after Alexis called them to complain he was "hearing voices" and believed he was under surveillance while working on another job for The Experts in that state.
Last week, The Experts said a recent background check and security clearance confirmation showed no major issues for Alexis. A minor traffic violation was the only issue in Alexis’ late June background check and security clearance confirmation, according to the company.

Photo Credit: FBI

Police Find Marijuana Grow Operation During Raid


Authorities have arrested a Branford man after finding marijuana growing at his home, as well as steroids, guns and a dummy grenade.

On Aug. 30, Branford police detectives and agents from the New Haven Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Task Force raided William Cooper’s home at 131 Leetes Island Road and found an elaborate marijuana growing operation, police said.

“During that search, our search teams found marijuana, steroids, rifles, ammunition, inert hand grenades, and an elaborate system for the cultivation of marijuana.” Detective Lieutenant Arthur Kohloff said.

On Monday, Cooper, 38, turned himself in to police and was charged with  possession of marijuana greater than four ounces, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, cultivating of more than one kilo of marijuana, operating a drug factory and illegal possession of a controlled substance.

Cooper posted a $25,500 cash bond and is scheduled to appear in New Haven Court on Oct. 1.

Photo Credit: Branford Police

Massive Recall of Deli Foods Underway


A variety of ready-to-eat salads, cole slaw and dips sold in 14 states are being recalled due to possible Listeria contamination.

The products sold by Garden-Fresh Foods in various sizes – from 6 to 18 ounces – may contain Listeria monocytogenes, the company said in a news release Tuesday.

This week’s announcement expands an initial voluntary recall and applies to pasta, tuna, egg, chicken and potato salads, and various dips and spreads sold under these names:

  • Market Pantry
  • Archer Farms Steakhouse
  • D'Amico and Sons
  • Roundy's
  • Grandpa’s
  • Maggie's
  • Finest Traditions
  • Chef's Kitchen
  • Weis
  • Garden Fresh
  • Spartan
  • Portillo’s

They were sold in California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

So far, there have been no reports of illness related to this recall, the company said.

Symptoms of Listeria in healthy individuals are typically short-term and include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

The bacterium can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women, and can be fatal in young children, the chronically ill and elderly, or others with weakened immune systems.

For a complete list of the recalled salads and their UPC codes, click here.

More Southern California Stories:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Real Estate Agent Took Deposits and Never Delivered: Cops


Bridgeport police have arrested a local real estate agent accused of keeping thousands of dollars in fees and deposits for apartments that he never delivered on.

Maurice Earley, 48, owns Earley Real Estate, which is located at 1785 Boston Ave., according to Bridgeport Police.

Investigators said they have identified four victims and police are asking any other victims to come forward.

One victim is a disabled woman who paid Earley $1,600 for a unit, only to find that someone else was living there, according to police.

When the woman went into the unit and used the real estate access code Earley provided, the residents confronted her, police said.

Earley promised a refund, but didn’t provide one, according to police.

Two other victims received refunds after detectives started investigating.

“A lot of these victims were down on their luck and he took advantage of them,” Detective Frank Podpolucha said in a news release from police. “He would take their money for a bogus apartment that he would never deliver.”

Podpolucha said, in several cases, Earley contacted victims and offered a refund if they would drop their criminal complaint.

Earley was charged last week with second-degree larceny and has since posted bond.

Police said Earley has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau. http://www.bbb.org/connecticut/business-reviews/real-estate/earley-real-estate-in-bridgeport-ct-87070636

Police ask any additional victims to call the police department financial crimes unit at 203-395-6359.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

4 Friends of Woodbridge Teen Arrested After His Death


Four more teens have been arrested in connection with an attempted robbery gone wrong that led to the fatal stabbing of Virginia teen Kenny Joseph Diaz, authorities said.

The four arrested Wednesday were friends with Diaz, police said. Eight other people have also been charged in connection with what became a deadly confrontation between two feuding groups in a Washington, D.C. suburb.

Police say that Diaz, a varsity football player and student at Woodbridge High School, and his group planned to rob Diandra Janae Samuels, 19, in retaliation for a previous armed robbery against one of Diaz's friends.

Diaz's group -- including three of the four teens now charged -- went to Samuels' Woodbridge home Saturday afternoon, where they got into a confrontation with her and her friends.

The crowd dispersed when the situation escalated, but Diaz couldn't get away. Police said Samuels assaulted him and, with the help of friends, forced him into a car and drove him to a park where she stabbed him.

Samuels has been charged with murder, aggravated malicious wounding, abduction, armed robbery and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Diaz was found bleeding from an apparent stab wound to the stomach around 3:15 p.m. Saturday. He died at a local hospital.

"He was really friendly, like I would never see him upset.... He wasn't the person getting in fights," said childhood friend Joaquim Santos. "He was like the average good kid. I wish he was still with me. I wish I could see his face again, talk to him, tell him I miss him."

A funeral mass for Diaz is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The four teens who were friends with Diaz have been charged with attempted armed robbery, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Police say they were arrested without incident and are being held at the Juvenile Detention Center. They have not been publicly identified because they are minors.

One of the four teens was not present at the encounter at Samuels' home but was still connected to the incident, police said Thursday.

Eight suspects in Diaz's abduction and death (pictured right) are already in custody, including Samuels.

Dominic Glenn Smith, 26, of Woodbridge, allegedly pistol-whipped one of Diaz's friends and was charged with abduction and possession of a firearm.

Four others, all from Woodbridge, were charged with abduction: Deneen Antoinette Williams, 29; Renee Claytor Caples, 22; Teena Marie Gerbozy, 24; and Gregory Allan Bonds, 22.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more.



Cory Booker Defends Twitter Conversations With Stripper


Cory Booker, the Newark mayor and U.S. Senate candidate with a massive Twitter following, has been engaged in a seemingly innocuous online flirtation with a Portland, Ore. stripper who once asked to be his first lady if he ever becomes president.

The exchanges, which took place in public and private messages, don't appear to be the kind of career-damaging activity that brought down former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. Booker, 44, is single. And the messages made public don't include pictures of his privates — although the stripper has shared plenty of her own. Her main Twitter page includes a photo of her topless on a couch.

Booker, who has 1.4 million Twitter followers and in turn has followed nearly 76,000 of them, said at a campaign event Thursday in Newark, that he doesn't pay attention to the occupations of the people he communicates with, and that he didn't plan to change.

"When somebody like this person extends kindness my way ... I respond in kind," Booker said.

Booker's online relationship with the woman who calls herself Lynsie Lee has been going on for months, but was only recently brought to light by the website BuzzFeed. The two apparently know each other from their participation in a documentary about Twitter called "Follow Friday the Film."

Lee is a dancer at Casa Diablo, which calls itself a vegan strip club. She told The New York Times that after the film, she developed a "slight crush" on Booker.

"will you be at the ‪#ffthefilm‬ premier? :)," she asked him in March.

"I have a diner but I'm going to try and go late," he responded.

"yay! :)," she wrote.

At another point, she talked a bit of politics, asking if she could be first lady if he were ever elected president.

Booker joked that he may end up the president of a New Jersey Star Trek club.

Later, when another female admirer boasted that she regularly exchanged direct messages with Booker, Lee posted a screen shot of her own prior private conversation with him.

"And the East Coast loves you and by the East Coast, I mean me," Booker wrote to Lee in February, according to her post.

"Well now I'm blushing :)," she responded.

"It's only fair," Booker wrote back.

The exchanges made national news on Thursday, and Lee found herself fielding calls from reporters all over the country.

She seemed to be basking in all the attention. But on her own terms.

On Thursday she tweeted:

"If you come to see me at @CasaDiablo tonight, bring your wallets. I'm prime meat for the next couple of days! ;)"

--Pat Battle contributed to this story

Scammers Targeting Homes in Branford: Police


People posing as utility workers have targeted homes in Branford and police are warning residents about the scam.

The scammers identify themselves as employees of the “Water Company” or another public utility, and say they need to “check the water for contaminates” because of a car crash in the area, according to police.

On Wednesday, police responded to one incident in the Cedar Street/North Ivy Street area after a resident and two Branford Public Works employees saw three suspicious men going through yards in the area.

One was wearing a uniform and carrying a portable radio and they were traveling in a smaller tan, Nissan Ultima with front end damage and New York registration.

Police urge residents to be cautious when allowing any worker into your home or business.

They also offer these tips:

Utility workers will always have proper identification including their picture and utility company name.

In most cases, all public utilities have the ability to make any checks for proper service at points outside of the home.

Call the worker’s utility company using the directory assisted listed phone number to confirm the workers identity and work order.

If you are elderly or home alone, have the worker schedule an appointment for another time when you can be accompanied by another person.

Call 911 immediately and report any suspicious activity or people trying to enter or moving around your or your neighbor’s home.

Anyone with information is asked to call Branford Police at 203-481-4241.

Photo Credit: AP

Suspected Getaway Driver in Bridgeport Homicide Charged


Bridgeport police have arrested the suspected getaway driver in a fatal shooting on Sept. 10.

Five people were shot in bright daylight along Reservoir Avenue that Tuesday afternoon.

Police said David Anderson, 20, of Bridgeport, drove two people to the site, waited in the car and drove the suspects back to the city’s East Side after the shooting.

Christopher Pettway, 26, of Bridgeport, was killed in the shooting and four teenage boys were wounded but are expected to recover.

Police have not identified the other victims, but said they range in age from 15 to 19.

Detective Ada Curet secured an arrest warrant for Anderson on Wednesday evening and he  was taken into custody, where he acknowledged his role in the incident, police said.

Anderson was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and his bond was set at $1 million.

This is the second arrest police  have made in the case.

Last week, detectives arrested Roderick “Riki” Rogers and charged him with murder, four counts of attempted murder, four counts of first-degree assault and weapons offenses.

Police continue to investigate, but believe the shooting is connected to a previous dispute involving Rogers, who is known to frequent Stratford Avenue and is known to police.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police. NBCConnecticut.com

Psyching Team Lends Moral Support to Marathoners


As they work to clock 26.2 miles at the 20th Hartford Marathon, runners will get a morale boost from the helpers in the blue hats.

Dr. Jasmin Hutchinson and her team of about 30 Springfield College graduate students will head to the race course on Oct. 12 to help keep runners confident and focused as they test the limits of their bodies.

“The body starts to give way, and at that point, they maybe start to have some doubts, 'I really don't know if I can do this,'” said Hutchinson.

But Hutchinson said her class of future sports psychologists and athletic counselors are well prepared and ready to deal with the worst case scenario.

“Like with Boston, you just never know what's going to happen,” said Hutchinson.

It's not just the psychological help that makes Hutchinson and her team so valuable, it's the fact that she and many team members are runners themselves.

Doctoral student Dolores Christensen is also an athlete.

“It's a really good opportunity for us to directly apply what we're learning in the classroom into the community,” she said.

Still, many marathoners prefer to limit distractions as they run.

“What we really want to do is be there so they can run their race. And if their race means they don't talk to us, that's fine. We just want to support them,” explained Erica Beachy, another doctoral student.

Others may need medical, not just psychological help.

“You don't want to encourage a runner to keep going when really it's a physical issue and they need to stop,” Hutchinson said.

But for those searching for that extra push toward the finish line, Hutchinson’s “Psyching Team” is ready.

“We'll be there right on the scene to kind of jump right into stride with them: run with them, bike with them and just really try to get their head back into a better place,” she said.

Man Accused of Stealing Tree Service Equipment


Police have arrested a Bridgeport man accused of stealing equipment and a vehicle from a Farmington tree service company.

Angel Luis Santiago, 34, of Bridgeport, is accused of stealing several chainsaws, pole saws, blowers, a company vehicle and other equipment from McLellan Tree Service, at 145 Brickyard Road on Sept. 11, police said.

Detectives were able to track the vehicle to an address in Bridgeport, obtained a search warrant for Santiago’s home and recovered the stolen items, police said.

Santiago was charged with burglary and larceny charges and bond was set at $30,000.

Photo Credit: Farmington Police

Waterbury Man Burns Cousin's Porch, Motorcycles


A Waterbury man is behind bars after burning his cousin’s porch on Tuesday and trying to set two motorcycles on fire following an argument between the two, according to police.

James Hill, 35, was seen standing on his cousin’s porch while it burned, lighter in hand. Police said they believe he was intoxicated.

Both Hill and his cousin live on Baldwin Street.

Hill’s cousin wasn’t home, but the landlord saw the flames and put them out with a garden hose, then called the victim and told him to come back, police said.

Once Hill’s cousin arrived, he and Hill continued to argue and the situation escalated. A friend of the cousin arrived and picked up a pipe. Hill grabbed a can of gasoline, dumped it onto a tarp covering two Harley Davidson motorcycles and lit a fire, police said.

The cousin’s friend stamped out the fire before the motorcycles were damaged, according to police.

Police arrived on scene and arrested Hill, who they said reeked of gasoline. His backpack was soaked with gas and he had several lighters in his pockets, along with an illegal firework, according to police.

Hill was charged with first-degree arson, criminal mischief, illegal possession of explosives and risk of injury to a minor, among other offenses.

He was held on a $250,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Waterbury Police Department

Texas Man Responds to "Sleepless in Austin" Critics


A Texas man looking for love created a website to enlist the public's help and some of his dating requirements is whipping up backlash on the web.

The man, who insists his real name is Romeo Rose, launched Sleepless in Austin three days ago and he said that he has received a flurry of negative responses for some of the controversial requirements he listed for his dream girl.

"People are taking what I said out of context and blowing it out of proportion," Rose said.

Rose was referring specifically to the line in his website that says he will never date a black woman. "I don't care if she looks like Halle Berry, I will not ever date a Black girl," he wrote.

The Austinite said he launched the online search after years of unsuccessful dating in the city. The homepage lists a $1,500 reward to the person "who can help me find a girlfriend." The matchmaker gets an extra $1,000 if the relationship turns into marriage. But before the payout, the woman must meet a lengthy list of do's and don'ts.

Aside from the race requirement, he will not tolerate tattoos, piercings, gamblers, eye glasses, kids, strippers, promiscuity and anyone who weighs over 130 pounds.

The 39-year-old, who provided a photo of his driver's license to dispute online reports that his real name is Larry Busby, said he has nothing against black people, and acknowledged that he could have put more thought into the website. The site was cobbled together within minutes in the middle of the night.

"There are black women who would not date outside their race but just because I was being honest, I am being vilified," he said. "But I admit that I should have found a better choice of words."

He said he is only attracted to petite, white women, and believed that does not make him racist. When he's not looking for love, he said he works as a wedding photographer, musician and a subcontractor for General Motors.

Rose said he received over 150 voice mails, emails and texts the day after the site went up. He intercepted over 2,000 text messages just in the last 12 hours alone. His phone number and e-mail was listed on the homepage.

The mostly negative response he has received has echoed around the web. Gawker's Neetzan Zimmerman called him desperate and slammed him for his "highly offensive series of very specific demands."

"With hot pink text on a black background, it has the feel of a blog post from the Night at the Roxbury dudes," Laura Beck wrote on Jezebel. "Like, if they were even bigger idiots. And also super racist. Enjoy!"

A Salon headline quipped it's like "Sleepless in Seattle" only "with racism and misogyny."

Rose is frustrated by the criticism, but remains hopeful that the influx of responses will yield at least one "smart girl" who will read his website in context.

"I'm a lover not a fighter and I don't have any negativity in my heart." he said. "I'm trying to be optimistic even though there is a lot of negativity."


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