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Cyclist Beaten in 'Knockout' Attack


A cyclist is recovering after being beaten in what detectives believe is a "knockout game" attack along a Philadelphia street.

The male victim was riding his bike along the 900 block of Catherine Street in the Bella Vista section of the city just before 8 p.m. on Friday when he was randomly punched by a group of teens, police said.

After being hit, police say the cyclist asked the group -- made up of five teen boys and three teen girls -- why they hit him. Without answering, the group then continued beating the man.

The victim met up with police at Broad and Carpenter Streets following the attack.

Philadelphia detectives tell NBC10 they believe the teens were playing the "knockout game" when they beat the man.

Far from fun, the 'game' consists of a doer suddenly punching a stranger to try and knock them out.

Several "knockout" beatings have taken place across the country over recent months -- with attacks taking place in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

NYPD arrested four men on Friday for an attack in Brooklyn on a 24-year-old man. A 51-year-old man died in May after falling victim to a group of teens playing the 'game.'

Two attacks at SEPTA stations over the past few weeks had officials in Philadelphia concerned the violent trend had come here. However, authorities say those attacks were not related.

As for Friday night's attack, the cyclist's injuries were not life-threatening and he did not need to be hospitalized, police said.

The teens remain at large.

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

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

14-Year-Old Girl Shot in Leg


A 14-year-old girl was shot in the leg in Brooklyn Friday afternoon as she was walking home from school, police and family members said.

The girl, who lives in Cypress Hills, was shot outside a gas station near Sutter and Euclid avenues in East New York. The girl's parents told reporters Friday night that their daughter was waiting for the light to change to cross the street when she suddenly felt a pain in her leg and realized she'd been shot.

The bullet had hit the girl just above the knee. She did not see a shooter or witness any altercation before the shot was fired, her parents said. 

The girl's injuries were described as not life-threatening.

"Who would think you get shot coming home from school?" said the girl's mother, Charisse Tucker.

The victim is a straight-A student at Benjamin Banneker School, where she is a freshman, according to her parents. The girl loves to draw and wants to design clothes, they said. 

The family did not want their daughter identified out of fear of retaliation. 

Community advocate Tony Herbert joined the girl's parents in expressing anger, saying, "Again, another gun goes off in our community and another child in our community is shot because of some stupidity, someone who wants a pistol in their hand for a sense of power." 

Police have not made an arrest. 

Marc Santia contributed to this report. 

Sketch of 1970s Sex Assault Suspect


Police in Montgomery County have released a sketch of a man sought in sex assaults during the mid-1970s, hoping the image will jog someone's memory of events four decades ago.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Cold Case Unit re-released the composite drawing Friday. The man shown is suspected in sexual assaults in Wheaton, Silver Spring and Takoma Park.

Detectives in the 1970s had spoken to a witness who described the man seen near an incident in Wheaton. The composite was created 30 years ago.

Detectives believe that there may be additional victims and say they hope any victims come forward.

The man was described (in the mid-1970s) as a white male, in his late teens or early-20s, 5 feet 11 inches tall, and weighing about 140 pounds. He had acne scars on the left side of his face.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the subject is asked to contact the Cold Case Unit at 240-773-5070.

Fake Cop Sexually Assaults Woman


A man impersonating a police officer sexually assaulted a woman in the back of his car on Interstate 35E on Thursday morning, Carrollton police said.

Carrollton police said a dark-colored, four-door vehicle with dark tinted windows and blue lights pulled over a female driver between the Valley View Lane and Valwood Parkway exits between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The man handcuffed and put her in the back of his vehicle, where he sexually assaulted her. He did not display a gun, police said.

The vehicle, which may have been a Ford Crown Victoria, had blue lights on the interior of the windshield. The victim does not remember seeing lights on the outside of the vehicle, police said. The car had vinyl seats but no prisoner cage.

The man is described as a white man in his 30s or 40s who is between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build. He has gray or white short hair and a dark-colored shorter beard.

Police said the fake officer was wearing sunglasses, a dark-blue, long-sleeved uniform with no patches, a gold star-shaped badge, a gold name tag with numbers on it and a "police belt" with handcuffs and a baton with a handle, possibly a PR-24 style. The victim did not see a radio or gun on the belt.

Carrollton police are asking drivers to be look out for the vehicle. Drivers who believe they are being pulled over by someone who may not be a police officer should call 911 and drive to a well-lit location before stopping, police said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bloomfield Football Captain Charged With Murder


The captain of the Bloomfield High School football team has been charged with the murder of a 27-year-old man with whom he had allegedly been having a sexual relationship.

Tarence Mitchell, 18, of Bloomfield, has been charged in a killing that took place in the front yard of his home at 24 Hill Farm Road Thursday night.

He appeared in court Friday, and his lawyer said he is extremely confused and upset.

Police responded to Mitchell's house at 9:13 p.m. after receiving reports of two men fighting and found two people suffering from stab wounds.

An ambulance transported Ronald Taylor Jr., 27, of Bloomfield, to Saint Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to court documents, Mitchell first lied to police about the stabbing, claiming both he and Taylor were attacked by two men.

He changed his story during an interview with police and admitted to stabbing Taylor five times, according to court documents.

According to the documents, Mitchell told officers that he and Taylor had had a sexual relationship but that he had tried to distance himself from Taylor. He said that three weeks ago, Taylor had posted a photo of Mitchell on Facebook, calling him "Bloomfield gay football player." Mitchell told police that Taylor took it down but threatened to post the photo again if Mitchell tried to distance himself again, court documents showed.

Mitchell told officers that Taylor had threatened him with a sword in the past and would get jealous when he texted girls, according to court documents.

Taylor texted Mitchell Thursday that he was coming over and that it "wasn't going to end well," Mitchell told investigators, the court documents read. 

Mitchell told police that he armed himself with a knife and stabbed Taylor after Taylor punched him in the face, according to the court documents. Police said Taylor tried to run away, but Mitchell chased him and stabbed him again, including once in the back.

Police set bond initially at $500,000.

Mitchell has no arrest history, and his lawyer asked for a lower amount, but the judge set bond at $1 million.  

Car Slams into Packed Bridgeport Night Club


A night at a busy club in Bridgeport ended early Friday when a car came barreling into the building.

Police responded to Expressions Cafe and Bar on Boston Avenue around 11 p.m. after a car that was heading down Central Avenue ran a light, crossed over Boston Avenue and headed right through the bar.

The car did not come to a stop until it hit the bathrooms located in the back of the club, according to police.

About 25 people were inside the club at the time of the incident. Three people were injured, one with a compound fracture in her leg. They were taken to Bridgeport Hospital for treatment.

"She's got a broken leg and she's going to be in the hospital for three days having surgery and stuff," said Jamaine Thergood of Bridgeport, the brother of one of the victims. "I was just coming to check on my little sister."

Police said the car narrowly missed hitting a gas main, which could have lead to a leak. The building was boarded up Saturday morning.

The driver was questioned by police and taken into custody.

Authorities are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.


Man Beaten in Bristol Home Invasion and Robbery


Bristol police are investigating the violent home invasion and robbery that sent a 24-year-old to the hospital.

According to police, a group of men entered an apartment at 750 Farmington Avenue around midnight Saturday and robbed one of the guests. Police said they beat the 24-year-old man with a blunt object, leaving him with a broken arm and lacerations. The suspects then demanded cash, took an unknown amount of money and fled.

While it was happening, a resident of the apartment locked himself in the bathroom and called police, authorities said.

The victim was taken to Bristol Hospital for treatment.

Police are actively investigating.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Bristol Police at 860-584-3011.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Man in Van Tries to Pick Up 13-Year-Old Girl


Bristol police are investigating after a man driving a large white van tried to pick up a 13-year-old girl walking down the sidewalk on Arbor Court.

It happened around 5:40 p.m. on Nov. 22. Police said the van pulled up next to the girl and the driver offered her a ride, then insisted when she declined. The girl walked away quickly and the van drove off, according to police.

The victim wasn’t able to provide a description of the suspect.

Police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact Bristol police at 860-584-3011.

Tribute for Dallas Officer


Law enforcement from all across Texas came to Dallas to pay tribute to the other man killed in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Every day, Marie Tippit thinks about him. Her husband, Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit, was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald in Oak Cliff shortly after President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

"You still remember, and you still think about him every day," she said. "It's part of history. He was killed trying to apprehend the killer of the president, so this is history."

Her husband was 39 years old when he spotted Oswald walking near East 10th Street and North Patton Avenue 45 minutes after the president had been shot. Tippit started questioning Oswald when the other man pulled a gun and killed him.

"They both had a job to do that day," his wife said. "President Kennedy was being the president and J.D. was doing his job as a policeman."

At Dallas Police Association headquarters, officers and deputies from all over Texas gathered on Friday to honor Tippit. A large wreath with Tippit's badge number was displayed. Bagpipers played music, and a choir sang hymns.

And 50 years later, Marie Tippit finally received the last honor that was accidentally forgotten about at her husband's burial.

"One tradition in law enforcement was never carried out at J.D.'s funeral," Police Chief David Brown said. "It was the presentation of the flag to the widow and, today, we are righting that forgotten tradition."

Brown put on his hat, was handed a folded flag, walked over to Tippit's widow, took a knee, took off his hat and presented the flag to the 85-year-old woman.

Fire Officials Fight Blaze in Middletown


Authorities are investigating a two-alarm fire that broke out on Mapleshade Road in Middletown on Saturday morning.

Firefighters responded to 595 Mapleshade Road just before 8 a.m., where a fire that started in a shed spread to a detached two-car garage and a couple cars, according to Middletown Fire Capt. Michael Howley.

Mutual aid and tankers were called in from Durham, Portland, Middlefield and Haddam. The house is on a rural road and tankers have been called in since there are no hydrants in the area.

No one was injured in the blaze.

The State Fire Marshal and Middletown Fire Marshal are investigating.


Univ. New Haven Student Stabbed by Roommate


A University of New Haven student is in serious condition after he was stabbed repeatedly by his roommate following an argument, police said.

According to police, 20-year-old Ketryk Wilder stabbed his roommate multiple times around 2 a.m. last night. It happened in Soundview Hall at 300 Boston Road in West Haven.

The victim, who has not been identified, was seriously injured and has a partial punctured lung. He was stabbed in the abdomen, leg and chest, police said.

According to the university's website, Wilder is from Burnt Hills, New York and majors in criminal justice. The school even wrote about Wilder as an example of students studying abroad.

"I was actually pretty shocked because you typically don't really hear about too much violence on campus, especially from other students that actually go here," said Knight.

Students said they did not hear or know about the incident until hours later.

"It was weird because we didn't really see or get notified about it," said UNH Freshman Josh Beaupre.

About eight hours after the incident the university tweeted, "Last night's altercation was an isolated incident. No danger to campus community. WHPD is investigating."

Even as an isolated incident, students we spoke with say they wish the university would have informed them what happened but say they still feel secure at UNH.

"It's a scary thing to think about, but I don't think it really impacted how us as students feel about being safe on campus," said Beaupre.

Wilder is charged with first-degree assault and is being held at the West Haven Police Department.

He is due in court in Milford on Monday.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Drugs Found at West Haven Barbershop


A West Haven barbershop was shut down and a local resident arrested after authorities discovered a large amount of drugs, a wad of cash and multiple fire code violations, police said.

The night of Nov. 22, police executed a search warrant at the E&J Barber Shop at 1003 Campbell Avenue in West Haven. There they discovered 40 bags of crack cocaine, 40 bags of marijuana, packaging materials and $500 in cash, according to police.

David Ashe, 42, of Alling Street in West Haven, was arrested and charged with a number of drug offenses. He’s being held on a $200,000 bond.

Police said the barber shop was shut down and the city Fire Marshal was called out after officials found several fire code violations.

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Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Woman Killed on 1st Walk


Sally Ann Okuly survived cancer. And she survived a motorcycle crash six months ago, feeling well enough to leave the house last weekend for the first time in half a year.

But her determination was no match for a car Sunday morning. Okuly was struck by a car and killed as she left her Woodbridge, Va. home for the first time, to cross the street to her favorite convenience store and buy a newspaper and cup of coffee.

Police say a car driven by Amanda Styles-Mays, 24, crashed into Okuly as she crossed at Opitz Boulevard and Montgomery Avenue. Okuly was crossing with the light and was in the crosswalk.

Styles-Mays has been charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and reckless driving.

"One of her favorite things to do was to walk over across that street to the Wawa gas station," said her husband, Bill Okuly, who still struggles with his emotions when he discusses his wife.

Sally Ann was also a mother of two. The couple -- who were members of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle club -- was set to celebrate their 41st anniversary Monday.

"She's the most giving person ever," Bill Okuly said.

But, he said, he feels his wife will always stay with him. "Oh yeah, she'll always be there," Bill Okuly said.

JFK's Estate on Market for $10.9M


Left virtually unchanged since the days of Camelot, Wexford Estate in the rolling hills of Virginia horse country served -- briefly -- as a weekend home to President John F. Kennedy and his family.

Half a century after his death, it's back on the market.

The Kennedys designed the place from the ground up, but visited just twice after its completion: on Oct. 25, 1963, and again on Nov. 10, less than two weeks before the president's death.

Jacqueline Kennedy sold the property a year later. The current owners have used it as a weekend getaway since 1991 and have listed it at a cool $10,995,000

About an hour from Washington, D.C., the estate includes 167 acres (expanded from 39 in the JFK era), the original stables, a three-car garage and the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom house.

Details speak to the times: original parquet floors, space for Secret Service agents, and even a bomb shelter.

From the listing:

This one story 5050 square foot home home, rich with character, features original parquet floors, his and her dressing rooms, multiple fireplaces, a formal dining, built-in cabinets and bookcases, nine foot ceilings and alternate power generators.

The surroundings include natural stone landscaping, flagstone pool deck with an outdoor cooking area, vine covered trellises, stone patio and a tennis court. The basement space under the house conceals equipment and utilities.

This equestrian property has stables for horses that include water, electrical, storage for hay and two separate living areas. There is also a separate three car garage with bath and second floor studio/office exists as well. The property still contains an underground bunker and dependencies used by Secret Service personnel.

A video on the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library website shows 1963 footage of the home and property, and the family during their first visit. Jacqueline Kennedy pauses to pose outside the yellow stucco home; children frolic on the lawn. Inside, his-and-hers twin beds are made up carefully and pushed close together.

Like nearly everyone within memory's reach of Nov. 22, 1963, Patricia Burns knows exactly where she was when the news broke of Kennedy's death.

She was sitting in her 8th grade glass in Omaha when her teacher left the room. "She didn't come back for some time, and all of a sudden, she came back and looked very upset and asked us to look out of the window at the flag, which was at half-staff," Burns recalled.

Her teacher delivered a stunning message: "I want you to know that President Kennedy has been assassinated."

Now, half a century later, Burns is the real estate agent commissioned with selling Kennedy's historic property in Middleburg, Va.

"I'm of that age where I remember where I was that day, and it's so ironic to me that here I am, 50 years later... listing this property. I get the chills when I go up there," she said. "And it's so beautiful."

She and several agents from Middleburg Real Estate planned to mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death Friday by visiting Wexford around 1:30 p.m., the time he was killed.

With a hefty price tag, the estate's only had one prospective buyer visit in the month it's been on the market. Burns says she emailed Caroline Kennedy to see if anyone from the family is interested in buying the estate, but hasn't heard back.

Either way, Burns hopes the next buyer will honor the history of the place.

"If somebody could put it on the national historic registry to save someone from developing it, that would be my preference, as the listing agent, and maybe donate it to the Kennedy library," she said. "It's such a special, historic iconic place. They were there just before they went to Dallas."

Photos courtesy of Middleburg Real Estate.

Photo Credit: Middleburg Real Estate

Police Arrest Strong-Armed Robbery Suspect


New London police have arrested a woman who they say was involved in the strong-armed robbery of a New London store last week.

Jennifer Anderson, 36, of Truman Street in New London, is one of three suspects who police believe are responsible for creating a commotion in the store and stealing money from the cash register. It happened the morning of Nov. 14 at the Orient Express Market located at 92 Truman Street.

Anderson was arrested Nov. 22 and is charged with second-degree robbery and sixth-degree larceny.

Police are still looking for two other suspects. They’re described as black males, both around 30 years old. One stands about 5’6” tall and the other is about 6’0” tall, police said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact New London police at 860-447-1481.

Photo Credit: New London Police Department

Hundreds of Turkeys Collected at Joy of Sharing Drive


Hundreds of people across our state showed their generosity today by participating in NBC Connecticut’s Joy of Sharing Thanksgiving Food Drive.

NBC Connecticut volunteers helped sort out the donations at four locations around the state. More than 13,500 pounds of food, including more than 650 turkeys, and more than $4,000 in donations were all given to benefit families in need through Foodshare and the CT Food Bank.

Tom Mayer, from the Plantsville section of Southington stopped by to donate.

“It’s just a good thing to do especially at this time of the year,” Mayer said.

Mayer visited the West Hartford donation site, at the Sears parking lot along New Britain Avenue. In the first hour alone, more than 100 turkeys were donated. And it wasn’t just in West Hartford where people, urged on by NBC Connecticut and Radio 104.1, were showing up and giving. There were also drop off locations in New Haven, Bloomfield and Groton.

The donations all go to Foodshare, a local organization that collects food for those in need. President Gloria McAdam says Foodshare gives out its turkeys and canned goods in Hartford and Tolland counties.

“Our total goal is 20 thousand turkeys about half of which we have received," said McAdam. "And most of those distributed already. We need that other 10 thousand by the end of the day Monday because we are going to give them out Monday and Tuesday.”

Foodshare, NBC Connecticut, CT Food Bank, Comcast,  and Radio 104.1 thank all the donors and volunteers that made the joy of giving such a successful event.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Found After Going Missing


A man who went missing while walking his dog that was found with a bloody leash was set to testify in a burglary case involving a break-in at the home of actor Nicholas Cage's ex-girlfriend, and the man's former employer, police said.

Darwin Vela went missing while walking his dog and was found safe Friday.

The man's family realized Vela, 22, was missing when the dog returned home alone with a bloody leash earlier this week.

Vela had cuts and bruises when he was found in West LA when he flagged down a motorist, used the person's cell phone and called police to tell them he was the missing person, police said.

Police then located Vela and questioned him first at the LAPD 's Wilshire Station before moving him to the Southwest Station. The reason for the move was not clear. He was finally reunited with his family Friday evening.

"Darwin is doing just as expected for someone in this situation," Vela's fiancée, Kelly McLaren, told NBC4 Friday night. "He is glad to be reunited with his loved ones. We are happy to have him back with us."

Vela was set to testify in a criminal case, which involves a break-in at the home of actor Nicholas Cage's ex-girlfriend, also Vela's former employer, police said.

"The circumstances caused us concern and caused his family concern, so we are looking into that," LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said.

Police said they were looking into three people in connection to Vela's disappearance.

He went for the walk Tuesday about 9 p.m. in the 2900 block of South Redondo Boulevard in Los Angeles, east of Culver City, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Vela took his dog Coco for a walk, and the 3-year-old, 90-pound chocolate Labrador retriever came home without Vela, dragging a bloody leash, police said.

"His tail was between his legs and he was hunched over crying," McLaren said. "I grabbed the leash and looked down and there was a thumbprint-size spot of blood."

A lab test on Thursday confirmed the blood on the leash was human blood, but it was not clear Friday whose blood was on the leash.

Bristol Police Search for Purse Snatcher


Bristol police are searching for the man who stole a woman’s purse on Friday afternoon.

It happened around 2:45 p.m. Nov. 22 on North Pond Street in Bristol.

The victim told police she was walking on North Pond Street listening to music when the suspect approached her from behind, pushed her and grabbed her purse. The man took off running in the opposite direction, police said.

He’s described as a white male wearing jeans and a dark hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bristol police at 860-584-3011.

Bridgeport Police Respond to Fatal Crash


Bridgeport police are investigating a fatal accident that occurred at the intersection of State Street and Lafayette Boulevard.

The two-car crash happened shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday. The road was closed in the area for several hours and tarps had been put up to block the scene.

The Bridgeport police Serious Accident Investigation Squad responded to the scene.

Witnesses told police they saw a white car t-boned an SUV.

According to police, one vehicle, with three people inside, rolled over after impact.

A 39- year-old woman was partially ejected from the SUV and died at the scene. Police have not identified the victim.

"Two passengers, 15 and 16, were transported to Bridgeport Hospital with minor injuries and were treated and later released, " said Bridgeport police spokesman Bill Kaempffer.

A 24-year-old driver and 23-year-old passenger of the other car were not injured.

Authorities are investigating to determine the cause of the crash. No arrests have been made.

Photo Credit: Doing It Local

Bitter Cold Temperatures Arriving Sunday


After a mild week, things are taking a turn with below freezing temperatures in store for Sunday.

Cooler temperatures will settle in for the rest of the weekend, with snow flurries and squalls across the state Saturday evening signaling the arrival of Arctic air, according to NBC Connecticut Chief Meteorologist Brad Field.

Sunday will bring the coldest temperatures of the season, ranging from the mid 20s to mid 30s.

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