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Heavy Rain, Threat of Flooding This Evening


This morning's icy conditions will give way to heavy rains and strong winds as strong winds and downpours move across the state, bringing with them the threat of flooding and thunder.

Flood watches have been issued statewide through Sunday. Wind advisories are in effect for much of the state until 10 p.m., especially on the shoreline.

A freezing rain advisory for Hartford County expired at 10 a.m.

Showers are moving west to east and could bring thunder and lightning this evening, according to Meteorologist Darren Sweeney. We'll see warmer temperatures today, with highs in the lower 50s.

Downpours started this afternoon and will intensify throughout the day, especially along the shoreline. The worst of it will come around dinnertime and could bring winds of up to 40 to 55 mph, Sweeney says.

Because the ground is still frozen below the surface, AAA warns drivers that roads may flood later today due to melting snow and pooling rain. AAA cautions drivers to travel slowly and be wary of hydroplaning.

There is also the potential for "ice jams," when warming causes sheets of ice on rivers and lakes to break apart and water swells over the banks.

Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a statement Friday cautioning residents to be aware of the potential for flooding.

"The current forecast is calling for heavy rain, minor flooding, and high winds, with the major impacts being urban and basement flooding," said Governor Malloy. "If you live in a low-lying, flood prone area, please stay alert to changing weather condition and if you plan on traveling tomorrow, please use caution and do not attempt to drive through standing water."

The rain will keep up until after midnight. We’ll likely see a total of 1 to 2 inches.

Earlier this morning, icy roads were the primary threat, causing spin-outs throughout the night, according to state police. This was a particular concern in central and northern Connecticut.

One Farmington driver experienced this firsthand Saturday morning when his car slid off the road and onto a frozen reservoir.

State Police Troop D issued an advisory overnight warning drivers about icy and dangerous conditions in the northeast corner of the state, especially in the area of Interstate 395 near the Massachusetts state line.

Police urged drivers to travel slowly and avoid the area if possible.

Check the forecast here.

Track storms here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Life and Times: Ariel Sharon


Take a look back at some of the key moments in Ariel Sharon's military and political career in Israel.

Photo Credit: AP/FILE

Car Slides onto Frozen Reservoir in Farmington


Rich Eakin is counting his blessings after icy roads sent his car spinning off the road and onto a frozen reservoir in Farmington, where it flipped twice and trapped him inside.

Eakin's quick thinking allowed him to navigate around a fire hydrant as he lost control of his SUV on Reservoir Road in Farmington just before 7 a.m. Saturday.

The car then slid out onto the frozen reservoir, where it came to rest on its hood. Eakin, 59, was still inside when icy water began to pour in, and he cut his seat belt and crawled out through the sunroof.

"When I started seeing the water come in, I was like, 'You're going to die,'" Eakin said. "I was just happy it was cold and that the lake was frozen."

Eakin made it out safely and watched as crews worked to hoist the SUV off the ice.

Reservoir Road is closed while officials work to retrieve Eakin's car.

Icy conditions are not limited to the Farmington area. A freezing rain advisory is in effect for Hartford County through 10 a.m.

Keep up with weather conditions here.

Check the forecast here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woody Groped 2 in Times Sq.: NYPD


A man has been arrested on forcible touching charges, accused of groping women in Times Square while dressed as a character from a popular children's movie.
Patrol officers in plainclothes observed 44-year-old Jose Vasquez, who was dressed as the famous animated cowboy Woody from "Toy Story," grabbing the buttocks of two women while they posed for a picture with him, according to police.
Vasquez was charged with two counts of forcible touching and sex abuse. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. 
The women did not file a complaint, police said. 
This is the second incident in less than a year in which a person in costume allegedly harassed a visitor in Times Square. Last April, a man dressed as Cookie Monster was arrested after he allegedly pushed a toddler, apparently angry that the child's mother didn't give him a tip.  
The costumed characters in Times Square are considered street performers protected by the First Amendment and are currently not regulated. 
The Times Square Alliance said in a statement Thursday: "This is the latest in a long series of disturbing incidents that reinforce our belief that these costume characters must be licensed and regulated. We are looking forward to working with the new administration and City Council to come up with an equitable and effective regulatory solution."


Photo Credit: Byron Smith/NBC 4 New York

Two Injured in Four-Car Wallingford Crash


Police are investigating the four-car crash that sent two people to the hospital in Wallingford on Friday night.

According to police, the cars collided around 11 p.m. on Route 5 near the Wallingford/North Haven town line when one driver heading northbound tried to make an illegal U-turn.

Two people were taken the hospital. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

Route 5 was closed while police investigated the crash and worked to clear the scene.

State police and North Haven police provided mutual aid.

Police are still investigating.

It’s not clear if anyone will face charges.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Man Sentenced for Abducting Woman


The Collin County, Texas, District Attorney's Office says a man is headed to prison for 60 years for kidnapping and beating a woman before carving his name into her leg.

Prosecutors said Joseph Julian Guerra, 28, brutally assaulted a woman working for him as a prostitute after she said someone robbed her of money he felt was owed to him.

According to the district attorney's office, police were called to Guerra's neighborhood in Allen on July 5, 2012, after the woman escaped his custody and sought help from a neighbor.

When police arrived they found the woman on a curb, naked from the waist down and bleeding from the face and legs after having been beaten and restrained with duct tape, the district attorney said.

After learning of the robbery, the district attorney said Guerra bound and attacked the woman for several hours.

"To teach the woman a lesson, Guerra bound her hands and feet with duct tape and wrapped the tape around her head multiple times and across her mouth. He then punched, kicked, and kneed her in the body and face. Guerra followed this by grabbing a skillet and striking the woman multiple times in the head, knocking out one of her front teeth," the district attorney's office said in a news release Friday. "Guerra also cut off the woman’s pants and threatened to use his knife to rape her. Instead, he took the knife and slashed her legs finally carving his nickname, 'ACE,' into the sides of both of her thighs."

According to the district attorney, Guerra told the woman he carved his name into her so that she would "always remember him."

Eventually, Guerra fell asleep and the woman was able to escape his home.  The woman ran to a neighbor who, frightened by her bloody appearance, refused to let her into their home but did call 911.

After finding the woman, police entered Guerra's home and found him sleeping soundly next to his 1-year-old daughter, the district attorney's office said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Cynthia Walker and Brandon Wonnacott and they were assisted by District Attorney Investigator Dale Dowdy. The case was investigated by Allen Police Detective Tim Wasden. State District Judge Scott Becker presided over the case.

Photo Credit: Collin County District Attorney's Office

Police Make 2nd Arrest in Bridgeport Homicide


Bridgeport police have made a second arrest in the murder of 21-year-old Dewayne Gardner, who was shot to death in his car Dec. 16.

Davonte Gray-Brown, 21, of Hancock Avenue in Bridgeport, is charged with murder, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit in connection with the fatal shooting. It was Bridgeport’s 13th homicide of 2013.

Last month, 22-year-old Dominick Gonzalez was arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery.

Police believe Gardner was shot while driving his car on Poplar Street during the early morning hours of Dec. 16.

Gray-Brown is being held on a $1 million.

The investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Girl, 5, Becomes Princess for a Day


A 5-year-old’s dream of going to Disney World is coming true as Make-A-Wish Connecticut and the town of Berlin sent her off in the style of a true Disney princess.

Leah Prendergast of East Berlin is battling a life-threatening medical condition, and a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation said her family wishes to keep the details private.

But for one day, she could forget about her problems.

Saturday she was treated like royalty – a parade of police escorts, fire engines and a horse-drawn carriage made its way through Berlin, where the streets were lined with hundreds of friends, family and community members clutching signs that showed their love and support.

"It was really nice to go on a carriage ride," said Leah's sister, Alexa. Leah herself was at a loss for words, but the excitement on her face said it all.

"To make her feel like such an important person in the community – she is an important person to the community, she's a celebrity in her own right – to give her and her entire family a sense of joy, comfort and support, it's incredible," said Make-A-Wish spokesperson Michael Dominick.

The mayor even declared Jan. 11 “Princess Leah Day.”

The parade began on Route 72 and continued on to Webster Square Road. Leah and her family took a ride in the carriage and followed the parade to the Creations Nail Salon, where Leah received the royal treatment of a manicure and pedicure.

Leah and her family leave for Disney World on Sunday morning.

Firefighter Charged With Peeping


A 36-year-old Montebello, Calif., firefighter is facing charges after allegedly peeping on a teenage girl in Torrance while she showered and got dressed, NBC4 reported.

WATCH: Firefighter Arrested in Peeping Tom Case

Daniel Yessman is charged with two misdemeanor counts of peeping and two counts of child annoyance after he allegedly climbed over the fence of a home near the intersection of 189th and Van Ness Avenue and watched the victim twice through a window – one night in June when the 16-year-old was changing clothes, and again in October while the now 17-year-old showered.

In the October incident, the girl’s father noticed the suspect, and chased him down the street while neighbors called police.

READ: Citizen Helps Nap Fugitive Sex Offender

"Detectives found it very peculiar that the suspect would return to the same location on multiple occasions," Torrance Police Sgt. Robert Watt told the Daily Breeze.

Yessman is a firefighter in Montebello and lives in Gardena.

NBC4 reached out to Yessman via phone, who responded simply with “no comment.”

Yessman is scheduled to be arraigned in February. If convicted, he may have to register as a sex offender.

Alleged "Swiss Cheese Pervert"


Philadelphia Police are searching for an alleged "swiss cheese pervert."

On Thursday, the Mayfair Town Watch posted a photo of the suspect on their Facebook page. According to the Town Watch, the man is driving around several neighborhoods and exposing himself to women while offering them money to “watch him put swiss cheese on his privates.”

The Town Watch describes the suspect as a heavy-set white male between the ages of 40 and 50. They also say he is driving a newer model silver sedan but has also been spotted in a black model sedan.

NBC10 contacted the Special Victim’s Unit who confirmed the Town Watch’s report. A spokesperson says they are currently investigating and looking for victims.

If you have any information on the suspect, please call the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251.

Also on NBC10.com:

Photo Credit: Mayfair Town Watch

Thieves Targeting Indian Community in East Haven


East Haven Police are investigating a string of burglaries where thieves are targeting Indian families.

According to investigators, at least five burglaries were reported in the past 10 days on Columbus Ave, Leigh Drive, Henry Street, Saint Andrews Ave, and Bradley Street.

Police said the thieves are entering homes and taking jewelry and cash. Norwalk Police have reported similar crimes in their city.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the East Haven Police Department at 203-468-3820.

I-95 South in Groton Reopens After Serious Crash


Interstate 95 south in Groton is now open after a multi-car crash this evening.

State police said the crash happened between exits 88 and 87.

Emergency crews responded, but it is still not clear how many people were injured.

The cause of the crash is being investigated. 

Check back for updates.

Pet Store Begs Thief


A suburban Chicago pet store is desperately searching for a missing baby sugar glider after they allege a customer stole one while a worker was changing the animal’s food.

Critters Pet Shop, Inc. in Elgin said they believe the baby was taken Friday and are concerned because it is not weaned and will die if it goes without its mother for too long.

“It’s just devastating because it can’t live without mom right now,” said employee Diana Reed. “They’re so helpless when they’re this small.”

Reed said the babies and their mother were in a pouch together in a cage when a worker left the cage unlocked while changing the food.

The store recently moved and did not have their surveillance cameras at the time of the incident. They are begging whoever took the animal to bring it back.

“Please bring it back so it can be with its mama and we will not press any charges,” the store posted on its Facebook page. “This is serious. It will die.”

The store says it tried to be “customer friendly” by allowing customers to get up close to the pets, but said it has never had an incident like this in 26 years.

“This person has no idea what they just did,” Reed said.

Anyone with information surrounding the missing animal is asked to call (630) 584-0200.

Photo Credit: Critters Pet Shop, Inc.

Storm Drains Stolen in Griswold


State Police are investigating after dozens of storm drain grates were stolen in Griswold.

According to the town's first selectman, Kevin Skulczyck, 29 storm drain grates have been stolen since Wednesday and it's costing the town about $6,000.

Fortunately, the town was able to replace the grates right away.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Troop E in Montville at (860) 848-6500.

Crews Battle Blaze in Meriden


A three-story home in Meriden is destroyed after a fire broke out overnight Sunday, sending flames shooting through the roof.

Fire officials arrived at the home on Cook Avenue around 3 a.m. and have been working through the night. It’s not clear where the fire started or why, but firefighters at the scene said heavy flames made the third floor unstable and in danger of collapse.

No one was inside when the fire started, and firefighters said they believe the elderly woman who lives there is out of town for the winter. Neighbors say the resident is 87 years old.

"I cut her grass, trimmed her trees, helped her out," said neighbor Mark Creamer. "Knowing she's coming back to this? Yeah, it's too bad."

Firefighters said the home was filled with trash which served to fuel the flames.

The fire marshal is working to determine the cause of the blaze.

Cook Avenue is closed while authorities investigate.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Robs Gas Station, Armed With Fork


The armed robbery of a Bristol gas station took an unusual turn early Sunday morning when the robber revealed his weapon – and it turned out to be a fork.

The robbery happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday at the Mobil station at 330 Middle Street in Bristol. An employee told police the robber came in and threatened him with a fork, demanding money.

The suspect, a man, took an unknown amount of money and fled on foot.

He's described as a white male with a scruffy beard. Police said he was wearing a white hat with a green brim, along with a blue jacket, jeans and work boots.

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


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Manchester ShopRite Recalls Store-Made Ground Meat


ShopRite at 214 Spencer Street in Manchester is recalling all ground meat made in the store between 6 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.

Store representatives said the meat could contain pieces of black tray liner pad.

“We are advising customers who purchased any of these products at the ShopRite of Manchester to return them for an immediate refund or replacement,” said ShopRite spokesperson Karen Meleta, in a statement. “Although this may not cause an immediate health risk if ingested, we wanted to alert the public so appropriate steps can be taken.”

Only store-made meat produced between 6 and 11 a.m. Saturday are being recalled. No other meat products are affected, nor are other ShopRite stores.

For more information, call 1-800-ShopRite (1-800-746-7748).

Photo Credit: Flickr/ I Believe I Can Fry

Hartford Man Found Dead in Home, Surrounded by Cats, Birds


Police are investigating after a Hartford man was found dead in his home, which was in a state of disarray, surrounded by dozens of cats and birds which authorities say were not properly cared for.

Hartford police responded to 118 Banister Street to check on a resident around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10.

Police said the home was “in a state of squalor” and that first responders found dozens of “poorly maintained” cats and some birds inside.

Officers believed the air quality could be bio-hazardous and called in the fire department to help fumigate the home before entering.

Once inside, they found the body of 50-year-old Anthony J. Arena. Police said they believe he died of an accidental overdose but are continuing to investigate. The chief medical examiner’s office will determine an official cause of death.

Animal Control is working to come up with a plan for the animals.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fire Breaks Out in Basement of Branford Home


Officials are investigating after a fire broke out in the basement of a Branford home Sunday morning and spread to the first floor.

According to firefighters, the fire started around 4:30 a.m. Sunday at the two-story home at 31 Flat Rock Road in Branford.

It began in the basement and traveled up the walls to the first floor, fire officials said.

Due to smoke, water and fire damage, the house is not livable, according to firefighters. The Red Cross will be assisting four residents to help them find temporary housing.

A building inspector was called to the scene.

Family pets alerted the residents, and everyone made it out safely, firefighters said. No injuries were reported.

Fire officials said there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by hot embers that escaped the fireplace.

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Photo Credit: Branford Fire Department

Police Chase Leads to Trooper-Involved Shooting in Lisbon


Authorities are investigating a police chase that turned violent when the suspect started ramming police cruisers with his car and sped toward a state trooper who was on foot, leading the trooper to shoot him, police said.

The incident happened just after 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 when a trooper attempted to stop an erratic driver on Route 12 in Plainfield. The driver, 44-year-old Corey Keith of Waterford, sped off, leading police on a chase onto I-395 south in Lisbon, according to police.

Additional troopers arrived and the chase ended near exit 83. Police said Keith stopped the car and began ramming it back and forth into police cruisers. The troopers got out and approached him, asking Keith to also exit the vehicle.

Keith refused, and pointed his car at a state trooper who was on foot. The trooper fired his gun and Keith was struck by the bullet. He received a non-life threatening injury and was taken to Backus Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released into the custody of state police, authorities said.

Police said Keith was on parole and was wearing an ankle bracelet. A passenger in the car was not injured.

The trooper was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

A State Police Major Crime Squad and the State’s Attorney’s Office are investigating.

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