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Alleged Revenge Porn Victim Speaks


A day after two men were charged in a “revenge porn” conspiracy, one of the alleged victims recalled how she was crushed when a topless photo of her circulated around the Internet.

Kayla Laws is one of eight alleged victims of two California men who were arrested Thursday for allegedly hacking into email accounts to steal nude photos that were then posted on a “revenge porn” website.

Read: Vigil Planned for Woman Who Died After Beating Outside Nightclub

"You think that it can't happen to you, but it can," Laws said in an interview with NBC4 from her Studio City home. “I was just so damaged by it. I just wanted to stay in my room. It just all hit me like a ton of bricks."

It took nine days to get the photo removed from the now defunct isanyoneup.com website, which was taken over by an anti-bullying site. She realized the damage had been done when someone saved the photo and mass-texted it out to everyone.

"They would message me saying, ‘Hey, you look good, baby.’"

Read: Passengers Fight for Control of Greyhound Bus After Attack on Driver

One of the revenge porn website suspects, identified as Hunter Moore, is believed to be the mastermind behind the website. Charlie Evens is charged with hacking into emails to steal the private photos, federal prosecutors said.

Evens' mother said Thursday that he was a good son, volunteered for the Special Olympics, and tutored autistic kids.

Laws' "selfie" was saved in a folder in her gmail account.

"I was in my underwear and only one boob was showing,” she said.

Law’s mother helped push a bill through the state legislature that got Governor Jerry Brown's signature in October that makes revenge porn a crime in California.

"When Hunter Moore goes to trial and to see what the outcome of that is, I think will determine whether or not justice has been served," Laws said.

Mall Attack Victims Remembered


The two people killed in Columbia Mall on Maryland Saturday were young co-workers at a shop popular with teens -- and one was a store manager raising a 2-year-old child.

A few details about their lives are beginning to emerge as the investigation into Saturday's deadly shooting at the mall continues.

Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Md., and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Mt, Airy, Md. were shot and killed Saturday inside the Zumiez store where they worked, police said.

The suspected gunman, Darion Marcus Aguilar, of College Park, Md., died at the scene of an apparent gunshot wound.

Brianna Benlolo

Benlolo had a 2-year-old son, said her housemate, Corey Lewis. Lewis called her "a wonderful mom and a wonderful person."

He said she had lived in the College Park house for about two months.

Benlolo's grandfather, John Feins, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from Florida that his granddaughter's job at Zumiez was her first since she went back to work after her son's birth.

"She was all excited," he said.

He said he had spoken with his daughter, Brianna's mother, earlier in the day, but didn't know who the gunman was or whether the person knew his granddaughter.

He described his daughter's family as a military family that had moved frequently and had been in Colorado before moving to Maryland about two years ago. He said his granddaughter was on good terms with her son's father, and they shared custody.

"I mean what can you say? You go to work and make a dollar and you got some idiot coming in and blowing people away," he said.

Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson had recently moved to Mt. Airy, Md. from Ellicott City, Md. His family told News4 that they were too shaken up to speak about his death.

But a neighbor in Mt. Airy said he was stunned to hear that his quiet neighbor was the victim of the shooting.

"Floored -- had no idea," said Gregg Todd. "I didn't even that know he worked in the mall. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family -- very nice, very quiet, very good family."

On Johnson's Facebook page, he is frank about his process in recovery, announcing celebrations of his one and two years of sobriety. He started working at Zumiez in November, 2013.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Route 17 Reopens in Durham After Car Strikes Pole


Route 17/New Haven Road has reopened in Durham following an accident Sunday afternoon, according to police.

The road was closed for several hours between School House Lane and Coe Road in Durham after a car struck a utility pole.

Police said the accident is minor and that no one was injured. Crews worked to repair the pole.

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Police ID Md. Mall Shooter


Police say they know who shot two people, and then himself, inside a crowded suburban mall not far from Washington, D.C. Saturday.

But they still don't know why.

Sunday, police identified Darion Marcus Aguilar, of College Park, Md., as the gunman who shot and killed two people at the Mall in Columbia in Columbia, Md. Saturday. Aguilar died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

One other person was shot and injured, and four more people were injured as shoppers rushed to find shelter in the chaos after the shooting.

Late Sunday, police said they had not determined a motive, or even how Aguilar and the two victims were related.

"At this point -- we still have more work to do, still have more interviews to do -- we have no known relationship between the victims and our shooter," Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon said at a news conference late Sunday.

The police have seized evidence from Aguilar's home, including a journal in which he expressed "general unhappiness" about his life.

But a motive is still elusive. "There are a lot of unanswered questions,'' McMahon said at another news conference, earlier Sunday.

Aguilar's body was found near a Mossberg shotgun and ammunition, police said. They also said the shooter had a backpack with explosives in it.

The homemade devices included flash powder and household items, police said Sunday. McMahon called them "not very sophisticated."

Overnight, police searched the mall, including all its stores, with almost 20 bomb-detecting K9 teams. They did not find any other explosives.

Also overnight, police tracked Aguilar's progress through the mall on surveillance video. It shows Aguilar took a cab to the mall, getting there about 10:15 a.m., McMahon said. Aguilar went downstairs in the mall, then came back upstairs to the site of the shooting.

Police said Aguilar fired six to eight shots from the shotgun, apparently purchased in December in Montgomery County, Md.

Police said Saturday the two killed were Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Md. and Tyler Johnson, 25, originally of Ellicott City, Md. and more recently of Mt. Airy, Md. Both were employees of Zumiez, a store on the upper level of the mall that caters to teen shoppers.

McMahon said it took officers longer to identify Aguilar because they feared his body may have been booby-trapped with explosives. Police used robots to help check the body.

Police also have searched the Hollywood Road home in College Park where Aguilar lived with his mother, and seized some potential evidence.

So far, little is known about Aguila. Police said he had no criminal record.

He graduated in 2013 from James Hubert Blake High School in Montgomery County, said Dana Tofig, a schools spokesman. Students who attended school with Aguila said he was an avid skateboarder.

The five people who were injured were transported to Howard County General Hospital. The injured were treated and released Saturday, according to the hospital.

The mall was closed Sunday; it will reopen Monday at 1 p.m. There are two memorial sites planned Monday, one at the entrance near Starbucks, the other inside at center court.

The shooting threw the popular mall into chaos. Witnesses described hearing the shots shortly after 11 a.m., and watching some victims fall, while others fled. 

"They just kept shooting and it didn't stop," said one witness.

She said she heard what sounded like "something being dropped" and then realized the sound was gunshots.

She rescued one child and then ran back to her job at a children's hair salon to secure the others.

"I work in Cartoon Cuts; I was downstairs getting a tea for my boss," she said. "And all of a sudden I heard ... it sounded like someone dropped something. And all of a sudden I see people fall, three people fall to the ground. I don't know what happened to them. And all I see is people going down to the floor and running.

"I just saw everybody run, so I ran."

Another shopper said he was in Sears when the shots rang out. "I heard a bang, and I was like man, that kinda sounds like a gunshot," said the young man.

"Then I see people running, and I hear some people screaming, and I heard it again -- boom, boom, boom. And people just started screaming and running. It was just complete madness."

Another eyewitness, a young woman, said she was in a PacSun store when the shooting happened: "We just heard gunshots, and then this lady came into the store and said there's a guy with a gun ... Me and my friend just ran in the back room.

"We were crying and we were just scared out of our minds, because our thought was that we were going to get shot."

News4 spoke to one man who said he was in phone contact with his daughter, who was taking shelter in a Bank of America inside the mall, along with dozens of others.

"People were panicking," the man said.

Zumiez issued a statement on its Facebook page Saturday evening expressing deep sadness over the shooting: "The Zumiez team is a tight knit community and all of our hearts go out to Brianna and Tyler’s families."

The mall, which is officially named "The Mall in Columbia" but is widely known as Columbia Mall, is located in Columbia, Md., between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

"The Columbia Mall has a very unique place in the county," McMahon said Sunday. "It's not just an economic institution. It's really a place of community."

600 Apartments Affected by Water Pipe Break in Rocky Hill


The intersection of Cold Spring Road and Highland Street in Rocky Hill is shut down while crews work to repair a water service pipe break affecting 600 apartments.

Water is flowing up through the asphalt in the middle of the intersection on Cold Spring Road, and an officer on scene is directing traffic.

The intersection is closed while MDC crews work to repair the eight-inch water service pipe.

The break has affected 600 units in the Century Hills Apartments, some of which are likely experiencing low water pressure.

Crews began digging around 7 p.m. and expect to shut the water off shortly.

Repairs will take between two and four hours, after which the road will be patched up. Once closed, the intersection will remain shut down throughout the evening.

Connecticut Natural Gas is at the scene to ensure gas lines aren't ruptured during excavation. The fire department is also standing watch.

The road has been treated with ice melt to prevent excess water from freezing.

Check back for updates.

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Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Water Main Break Reported in Newington


Crews are responding to the intersection of Willard Avenue and Dowd Street in Newington following a water main break this afternoon.

Water service was shut down around 12:30 p.m., according to a spokesperson for MDC. Crews are on scene working to make repairs.

Newington police said no road closures are in effect.

MDC said no homes or businesses were affected by the initial break, but crews had to extend the water shutdown during the repair process, leaving some residents without water in the nearby Victory Gardens veterans housing complex.

It's not clear how many homes have been affected or how long crews will take to finish making repairs.

The intersection of Willard Avenue and Down Street is located near the entrance to Newington High School. 

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Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Winsted Road Closed in Torrington Due to Crash


Winsted Road is closed at Old Winsted Road in Torrington due to a multi-car crash, according to police.

It's not clear how many people were involved in the crash, which happened around 7:15 p.m. Sunday when two cars collided. Police said the injuries were non-life threatening.

Crews are in the process of towing away the cars, and police said Winsted Road will reopen shortly.

Check back for updates. 

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Route 19 Reopens at Route 190 in Stafford


Route 19/East Street has reopened at Route 190/East Main Street in Stafford.

The intersection was closed after a car struck a pole Sunday evening.

State police said the scene is clear but the road may need to be shut down again later on as crews work to replace the damaged telephone pole.

No injuries were reported, according to state police.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Condoms Required for Porn Films


In the first ruling of its kind, a judge has ruled that pornographic performers in California should be treated as employees and covered by workplace laws requiring condoms, fighting a standard that industry officials say often categorizes performers as independent contractors.

This month's decision comes in the wake of Los Angeles porn production’s third moratorium within a year after performers tested positive for HIV.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) on Thursday called the judge’s decision a "landmark" ruling. The nonprofit in February 2013 filed several “Notice of Safety or Health Hazards” complaints with California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s Appeals Board (Cal/OSHA) against the subject of the court case, Treasure Island Media, for the lack of condom use in the company’s gay adult films.

Privacy Requested for Porn Performer After Positive HIV Test

AHF’s initial complaints were part of a series of filings targeting the producers of unprotected gay sex films, but several of Treasure Island’s Cal/OSHA citations were specifically tied to one 2009 film submitted as evidence. The film in question depicts several men having unprotected sex, as well as the collection of an exorbitant amount of semen by one performer, according to a news release by AHF.

Treasure Island was taken to task for its lack of condoms, as well as its absence of an “exposure control plan” that would curtail contact with semen and other infectious bodily materials, according to the court ruling.

“For the first time ever in California, Cal/OSHA’s Appeals Board has, in a formal trial of an appeal of several violations lodged against a California adult film company, overruled the appeal and upheld the citations and fines originally issued,” AHF President Michael Weinstein said in a news release.

Treasure Island Media did not immediately respond to NBC4’s phone calls requesting comment.

Porn Production To Resume After HIV-Related Shutdown

Weinstein said that Treasure Island has been outspoken in its opposition to condom use in its films, and that the company appealed the original citations it received and took its OSHA case to trial.

The media company, according to AHF, claimed the performers in their films were independent contractors -- meaning, the section of the regulations regarding bloodborne pathogens did not apply to the adult film industry.

“The get-out-of-jail card for porn producers has been that their performers are independent contractors, and therefore worker protection laws don’t apply to them,” AHF spokesperson Ged Kenslea said.

In most cases, producers just settle and pay their fines, he said.

Since 2009, AHF has filed complaints against 16 to 20 different porn producers -- gay and straight –
including Hustler, Vivid, Reality Kings and Bang Bros.

Cal/OSHA rejected Treasure Island’s appeal in a graphic 36-page ruling filed with the Department of Industrial Relations’ Los Angeles Legal Unit earlier this month.

Administrative Law Judge Mary Droyovage issued a broad rebuke to the adult film company and ruled that the issues found in the original citations -- including failure to establish exposure control to bloodborne pathogens and “other potentially infectious materials” (which include semen) and failure to observe universal precautions during production of films -- are “serious,” according to the ruling.

Droyovage found the violations to be serious because of a “substantial probability that employees would suffer serious exposure resulting in serious physical harm or death if violation occurred.” 

"Revenge Porn" Victims Press For New Laws

Weinstein said the Cal/OSHA ruling against Treasure Island is a milestone in three ways:

  • “The ruling unequivocally states that the adult film performers are employees, not independent contractors, as the industry regularly asserts, and as such are indeed covered under OSHA workplace safety statutes.
  • “It is the first time an adult film company cited (by Cal/OSHA) has gone to a full trial for appeal instead of settling, paying -- or ignoring -- its citations.
  • “It is the first time an adult film company has lost in this precedent-setting court ruling.”

As a result of the ruling, Treasure Island will have to pay a fine of about $9,000 -- an amount Kenslea calls a “drop in the hat” for an industry as lucrative as porn.

Production in Los Angeles County’s profitable porn industry has dropped significantly -- 95 percent within a year -- since November 2012, after voters passed Measure B, which made condoms mandatory during film production in the county.

The AHF-sponsored measure was aimed at preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases within the industry’s actors.

Producers and actors within the industry have challenged the voter-approved law, saying that it infringes on actors’ First Amendment rights and is driving the industry out of Los Angeles and California, among other complaints.

In 2012, AHF kicked off a statewide campaign to take Measure B to Sacramento. Furthering the campaign, Assemblyman Isadore Hall, III (D-Los Angeles) in 2013 introduced Assembly Bill 332, a statewide law that would require condom use by all adult film performers in California. 

Permits for Adult Films Drop Drastically in Los Angeles County

Kenslea told NBC4 on Sunday the bill has yet to gain traction, but has hopes it will be reintroduced later this year, citing the landmark decision as a step in the right direction.

Since Treasure Island appealed their citations, the recent Cal/OSHA ruling has set a precedent for the performers and producers, as a slew of worker protection laws must now apply to them.

Though AHF plans to to continue to follow its barrier protection campaign, Kenslea said the organization will not go as "full force” thanks to the judge’s plan to enforce worker protection laws.

Blumenthal Calls on Metro-North President to Start Immediately


Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on Metro-North to immediately change presidents and for the railroad to give a specific date as to when incoming president Joseph Giulietti will begin his work in Connecticut.

"They need a new president right away to take charge and implement a total house cleaning. Heads need to roll," Blumenthal said. "There has to be accountability."

Current president Howard Permut is expected to retire next Friday and will be replaced by Metro-North veteran Joseph Giulietti, who currently serves as Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) Tri-Rail.

Blumenthal says Metro-North has been unable to give him an exact date as to when Giulietti will take over.

A Metro-North spokesperson told NBC Connecticut she didn't know when, specifically, the new president would begin and said to contact SFRTA for more information. We were unable to reach anyone who could help us.

Blumenthal said that, with the avalanche of recent problems at Metro-North, an unspecified time in February is not soon enough.

"There has to be accountability for this series of incidents and accidents that can't be a coincidence. It reflects lapses in leadership and a culture that is failing in safety and reliability," said Blumenthal.

For nearly two hours, service was disrupted during Thursday's evening rush when officials say technicians overlooked a disconnected wire.

It's only the tip of the iceberg. Between recent derailments, one of which was fatal, to an employee being hit and killed on the tracks, to power outages, Metro-North has experienced a host of problems over the past few months.

Blumenthal said new personnel, new practices and a change in culture are required to move the railroad in a positive direction.

It's uncertain just what positions will be on the chopping block.

When NBC Connecticut asked Blumenthal if he hoped the MTA chairman would resign as well, he said, "At this point, I want to begin with the president, change the president because he operates and runs the railroad, and we'll see going forward whether there need to be other changes as well."

Regarding Thursday's incident, the senator said riders deserve to be compensated by MTA for the inconveniences they experienced.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Local Hero to Attend State of the Union Address


When the president of the United States enters the House Chamber for his State of the Union address on Tuesday, a Connecticut hero will be there, too.

"I think just the entire experience is going to be overwhelming but memorable, and I feel so honored to be asked to go," said Army Staff Sgt. Sandra Lee.

Lee found out just days ago she'll be Sen. Richard Blumenthal's guest to the annual speech. The Iraq War veteran won't just watch the address, but will also speak with other senators about the issues veterans face, from mental health to benefits.

"If I can make any kind of difference in that way and to be a voice for those who may not have a voice or feel like they don't have a voice then I will have done something good," said Lee.

"I think she'll have an enormous impact on my colleagues who will hear her story of bravery and combat and her surviving military sexual assault and her advocating changes in the system," said Blumenthal.

The senator hopes her words will push for stronger prosecution against cases of sexual assault in the military, something that strikes close to home for Lee.

"I was sexually assaulted by another soldier toward the end of my deployment," said Lee. "It's always been an issue I feel has been swept under the rug."

It's something Lee and many others must live with everyday, and she wants to make sure victims can report what happened without fear of repercussion.

"For soldiers to know they have somewhere to go, someone to talk to that's safe. That's the biggest thing," said Lee.

Blumenthal says he'll proudly look up at Lee as she sits in the gallery and knows many others will as well including the president.

"I hope he'll be aware that he is seeing a lot of heroes. She's one of them," said Blumenthal.

NBC Connecticut will broadcast the State of the Union live Tuesday night at 9 p.m.

Photo Credit: Sandra Lee

Appeals Court Hears Same-Sex Custody Case


A federal appeals court is making a rare appearance in Connecticut to hear several cases, including one involving a Virginia pastor convicted of helping a woman and her child flee the country and avoid a custody dispute with her former lesbian partner.

Three judges on the New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are scheduled to hear cases on Monday at the University of Connecticut Law School, under an occasional practice to hold court across its territory of Connecticut, New York and Vermont.

Pastor Kenneth Miller of Stuarts Draft, Va., is appealing his 2012 conviction in Vermont federal court for aiding in international parental kidnapping. His 27-month prison sentence is delayed while he appeals.

Authorities said the woman and daughter Miller helped are still believed to be in Nicaragua.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Coming Together to Help Injured Officer


The New Britain community is coming together to help a local police officer, Officer Brett Morgan, who is hospitalized after being run over by a car and dragged last weekend while chasing a suspect.

Several fundraisers have been set up to help Morgan and his family deal with the medical expenses.

Arlene Palmer, the owner of Leaves and Pages, a coffee shop in New Britain, said she considers all the police officers her regular customers and wanted to give back.

Her store is donating $1 from the sale of every hot drink directly to the fund set up for Officer Morgan.

“I wanted to make sure that I came here and that I contributed,” Jackie Maddy, a customer, said.

Leaves and Pages is not only contributing a portion of their profits, but they’ve also set up what they call Brett’s Basket so people can donate even more.

Palmer said they were devastated by what happened to Morgan, but they are focusing on the good news that he’s starting to get better.

Ceglarz Motors is also donating part of the proceeds from oil changes to the Officer Morgan fund.

“It’s not just about me. It’s about them as well. They’re here to protect and serve us and I feel that it’s my job to help out as well,” Pete Ceglarz said.

How to Help:


Leaves & Pages Coffee House, at 59 West Main St. in New Britain, will hold a fundraiser today from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For every coffee, tea, or hot chocolate beverage purchased on Monday, $1 will go to the Brett Morgan Benefit Fund.

Ceglarz Motors, 581 West Main St. in New Britain, will hold a fundraiser from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31, and donate 20 percent of all oil changes done during this time to the Officer Brett Morgan Benefit Fund. Call 860-224-3532 to schedule an appointment.


Staropolska Restaurant, at 252 Broad St. in New Britain, is holding a fundraiser on Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ten percent of all sales today will be donated to Officer Morgan’s Benefit Fund at the New Britain Police Department.

Feb. 1:

Belvedere Café and Restaurant, at 82 Broad St. in New Britain, will hold a fundraiser on Feb. 1, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The bar will donate 15 percent of that night earnings to Brett Morgan. There will be raffle prizes with gifts and donations from small business owners. There will also be a professional arm wrestling table on the side and for a New Britain Police Department vs. customers match. DJ JayDee will provide music.

Feb. 23:

Bolo Bakery & Café in Plainville will host a fundraiser on Feb. 23, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Bolo Bakery & Café, at 33 Whiting St. in Plainville, will donate 25 percent of all sales to Officer Morgan’s Benefit Fund at the New Britain Police Department. Donations will also be accepted.

The Fund:

The New Britain Police Department and New Britain Police Union have set up the Brett Morgan Benefit Fund at TD Bank.

To donate to the fund, go to any TD Bank branch and ask to make a contribution to the Brett Morgan Benefit Fund c/o Robert Martin New Britain Police Department.

You can also donate by mailing checks to the New Britain Police Department, Brett Morgan Benefit Fund, 10 Chestnut Street, New Britain CT, 06051. Checks should be made payable to the “Brett Morgan Benefit Fund.”


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Seek Witnesses to South Windsor Crash


South Windsor police are asking for anyone who witnessed a crash on Pleasant Valley Road near John Fitch Boulevard around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday to call police. 

A silver Chevy Malibu and silver Hyundai Sonata collided on Pleasant Valley Road between John Fitch Boulevard and the driveway to an adjacent plaza, police said.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Tina Mazzoccoli at 860-644-2551.

Players to Petition for Football Coach’s Return


Former NFL star Tebucky Jones said he was bullied into resigning from his job as New Britain High School’s football coach and his players plan to deliver a petition to the Board of Education when the members meet tonight.

Jones, 39, of New Britain, said he resigned earlier this month because school leaders told him he was going to be fired, but had a change of heart when his players started a petition to bring him back.

The players will present the petition to the board during the meeting tonight.

During his nine-year NFL career, Jones played for the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Construction Accident Knocked Out Power in Hartford


A construction accident is causing some power outages in the area of 1755 Park Street in Hartford and was affecting a couple schools in the area.

The Parkville Community School and Hartford Public High School did not have power, according to school officials, but it has since been restored.

Officials from CL&P said some construction equipment fell near the Parkville School and damaged some of the power company’s equipment.

There were 2,300 power outages, but power has been restored.

CL&P expects power to be restored later this afternoon.

The Parkville School was evacuated briefly and students were allowed back inside when fire department gave approval.

The two rooms closest to the location where the incident happened are not being used.

Schools remain in session, but had buses on standby in case they needed to dismiss early.  

Police Arrest Suspects in Windham Home Invasion


State police have arrested two people suspected in a home invasion in Windham last week.

Two children were alone in their Back Road home in Windham when two men broke in on Monday, Jan. 20 and ransacked the house, according to police and family members. 

They children hid in a bathroom during the break-in. They were not harmed.

At 8 a.m. on Monday, state police developed information on where Carlos Nadal, 23, of Oxbow Drive in Danielson, and Cristhian Gonzalez-Diaz, 32, of Jeffrey Road in Windham, were and took them into custody about an hour later.

Both were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary in the second degree, third-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief and cruelty to animals.

Nadal is being held on $150,000 bond and Gonzalez-Diaz is being held on $500,000 bond. Both will be arraigned on Tuesday.

State police have also launched a separate investigation to determine whether there was a delay in trooper response

to the home invasion and why a delay might have occurred.

President of Guilford Booster Club Charged With Larceny


Guilford police have arrested the president of the Guilford Lacrosse Boys Booster Club under suspicion of stealing club funds for her own use.

The principal of Guilford High School contacted police on the morning of Dec. 10 to report the possible theft of funds from the Guilford Lacrosse Boys Booster Club, police said.

Police determined that $4,100 had been taken since June 2013.

Police served the club president, Ann Marie Ranfone, 42, of Guilford, with an arrest warrant on Jan. 17. She was charged with third-degree larceny and released on a $5,000 bond.

Ranfone is due in court on Tuesday.

Baby Sitter Charged in Boy's Death


A 27-year-old baby sitter suspected of causing the death of a 19-month-old Connecticut boy she was taking care of has been charged with manslaughter and is being held on $1 million bond.

Kinjal Patel allegedly told police that she became angry with the child then forced him to the floor, where he hit his head.It happened at Patel's home on Middletown Avenue in New Haven, according to police.

Police responded to a risk of injury complaint at the Yale–New Haven Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department at 9:26 p.m. on January 16.

The little boy’s skull was severely fractured, police said. Doctors told police that as the boy, Athiyan Sivakumar, was rushed to surgery his injuries were life-threatening.

Police said officers responded to the child's home on Weybosset Street and secured it as the potential crime scene.

The baby died Sunday from his injuries. The Office of the State’s Chief Medical Examiner determined that the child’s death was homicide caused by blunt force.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, detectives interviewed Kinjal Patel, of Middletown Avenue in New Haven.

She admitted she was baby sitting for the young child on Jan. 16 and became angry with the child, police said.

She said she forced the child to the floor and he hit his head, then started to cry and convulse, according to a news release from police.

Patel told officers she called the child’s father to tell him his child was injured. He came home then took his son to the hospital.

Patel has been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the first degree and risk of injury to a child.


Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Report of Home Invasion, Serious Assault Deemed Hoax


Authorities are investigating after someone called Milford police to report a home invasion and serious assault that they say never occurred.

Police said they were called out to 5 Union Street in Milford around 10:15 a.m. Jan. 27. The caller reported a break-in and told police the intruder had attacked and seriously injured a resident.

Milford police arrived to find there had been no intruder and no assault. Police said the incident had been falsely reported, and that hoaxes such as these are known as “swatting” and taken very seriously.

Police are investigating the false report.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Milford police Det. Frawley at 203-877-1465, email rfrawley@ci.milford.ct.us or navigate to the “Crime Tips” section of the Milford Police Department website.

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia
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