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Vet Charged with Animal Cruelty


Camp Bowie Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Millard "Lou" Tierce was arrested and charged with animal cruelty Wednesday night, a day after a family accused his clinic of keeping their dog for months to use for blood transfusions.

Tierce was released on a $10,000 bond following his 7 p.m. booking, after he turned himself in Wednesday to the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office. He is charged with cruelty to animals, non-livestock.

His veterinary license was temporarily suspended Wednesday as well, according to Loris Jones with the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Tierce's arrest came just after a family said his clinic kept their dog Sid alive in a cage for months to use for blood transfusions, instead of euthanizing him. Now, more and more customers are speaking out.

On Tuesday, Jamie and Marian Harris said they were contacted by a vet tech at the clinic who said Sid was being kept alive six months after they approved his euthanization due to a diagnosed congenital spine condition.

Upon hearing Sid was alive, the Harris family went to the clinic, found their dog and freed him before contacting authorities.

Sid is now home with the Harris family and being treated by other veterinarians. According to the Harris family's lawyer, James Eggelston, doctors have determined the dog has mange, shows definite signs of being used for blood transfusions and shows evidence of being "abusively kenneled."

Inside the clinic Wednesday, staff answered ringing phones and fielded questions from clients who wanted their pet's records. The flurry of inquiries sparked by the accusation that the doctor lied to the Harris family for months about Sid's fate.

Tierce told NBC 5 Wednesday he could not comment on the investigation, complying with his attorney's request.

NBC 5 recorded video of Tierce helping a dog into the clinic, showing the compassionate nature many customers recall when they think of the vet. Greg Aston, who supports the doctor, told NBC 5 he's been a customer for years.

"Great veterinarian, trust him 100 percent," Aston said. "Never had any problems, very thorough, very professional. He seems to really care about the animals — not just here for the money."

NBC 5 received several emails and phone calls from other customers who had similar positive things to say about Tierce. Still, others are now questioning their decision to bring their pet to Tierce's clinic with the allegations brought forth Tuesday.

"I cried, because I wish I hadn't done this. Maybe this wasn't the best choice for her," said Keri Eagle, who took her miniature pinscher to Tierce last year but ultimately had to put her down as dog's health deteriorated. "I just question myself for making a wrong decision by bringing my dog here."

As of this writing we are waiting to get more information from the board on whether Tierce has any other complaints filed against him. The Better Business Bureau of Fort Worth said there is only one complaint on his file within the last three years.

The Fort Worth Police Department will only say the investigation continues and the state's Board of Veterinarian Medical Examiners said it cannot comment on open investigations.

But the police department did say anyone who would like to file a report in regards to this case should call the FWPD non-emergency number of 817-335-4222 and explain they would like to make a report regarding the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic. They should also mention related report number 14-37697.

Partial Roof and Wall Collapse in Milford House Fire


The roof and wall of a Milford home partially collapsed when the house burst into flames Wednesday night, according to fire officials at the scene.

Firefighters said the two-story home at 19 Oakwood Avenue caught fire Wednesday evening. Part of the roof and one of the walls caved in as a result of the fire.

No one was inside the home when the fire broke out, firefighter said. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Big Names Lead List of Potential Clippers Owners


Some well-known names are expressing interest in buying the Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of a scandal involving team owner Donald Sterling.

Oprah Winfrey, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and music and movie mogul David Geffen are preparing a joint bid to buy the team, Geffen's spokespeople told NBC4.

The music and film mogul reportedly tried to buy the Clippers in 2010 but his offer was not accepted by Sterling. Geffen said he and Ellison would run the team while Winfrey would be an investor

The team is worth $575 million, according to Forbes. That figure is expected to rise once the Clippers’ local media rights deal expires after the 2015-16 season.

This power trio is worth an estimated $59.2 billion.

The Clippers are coming off the two best regular season performances in franchise history and feature some of the league’s most exciting players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Once a perennial doormat, the franchise now consistently ranks in the top-10 in attendance and boasts the fifth largest television audience in the NBA.

Sterling purchased the then-San Diego Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981.

All of these factors make the Clippers an attractive buy for a number of wealthy individuals.

Here is a list of other potential suitors who could make a play for the team:

Rick Caruso: The billionaire real estate developer of The Grove and The Americana at Brand is reportedly interested in leading a group of investors to purchase the Clippers. "Whether it’s me or somebody else, clearly there needs to be new ownership," Caruso told the Los Angeles Times.

In 2012 Caruso planned to make a bid for the Dodgers but dropped out of the running when Frank McCourt did not offer to sell the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium.

Magic Johnson: Could Magic trade in his allegiance to the purple and gold for a stake in the Clippers? With financial backing from fellow Dodgers owners Guggenheim Partners that is a distinct possibility.

He was a panelist at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday when he said he and his investment group are interested in buying the team.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has thrown his support behind Johnson owning an NBA franchise. "Magic Johnson knows he’s always welcome as an owner in this league," Silver said at a press conference Tuesday. “He’s been a part owner in the past of the Los Angeles Lakers and is always welcome and a close friend of the NBA family.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Preparing for his fight at the MGM Grand Saturday night, the brash boxing superstar told reporters that he’s “very, very interested in buying the Clippers.”

"I can’t come in talking about Mayweather only gonna get 3 percent, 4 percent," he said. "I got to get a solid percentage."

Mayweather is a regular at Clippers and Lakers games.

Oscar De La Hoya: Another boxer is throwing himself into the ring for a chance to own the Clippers. De La Hoya has come out publicly to announce he wants to have a piece of the franchise.

"To be an owner of an LA-based team would be a dream come true," he told NBC4. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

DNA Links Corrections Officer to More Sexual Assaults: Police


Hartford police say DNA indicates that a corrections officer arrested last month for allegedly raping a prostitute is responsible for at least three similar incidents.

Kelvin Grisales, 30, was charged today in connection with a brutal attack on a prostitute in March 2012. He was initially arrested last month, accused of assaulting a woman on Huyshope Avenue in Hartford.

“He’s charged with kidnapping, sex assault in the first degree and a myriad of other charges,” said defense attorney William Gerace, of the new charges brought Wednesday. “They’re very serious. They’re very ugly.”

The victim in the 2012 attack told police Grisales picked her up near Park and Zion streets in Hartford and took her to a darkened area of Constitution Plaza, where he allegedly beat and raped her repeatedly, according to the arrest warrant.

The case was closed until last month when a DNA match connected the Hartford case to two cases in New Britain. The two police departments formed a task force in an effort to identify a suspect.

Police say Grisales is the man they’re looking for. He was arrested in connection with the Husyhope Avenue attack just two weeks after the task force was formed, and investigators called him in for questioning.

“Man, I know my life is over right now,” Grisales is quoted as saying in the arrest warrant.

The victim in the 2012 attack identified Grisales from a photo array, saying, “I am 100 percent that this is the guy that raped me,” according to the warrant.

But Grisales’ attorney says his client has a different account of the incident.

“He denies force,” Gerace explained. “He admits to the sex; there is DNA evidence, and perhaps video evidence.”

According to the arrest warrant, Grisales initially denied involvement in the violence, saying, “I would never do something like that.” But police said Grisales ultimately confessed.

Gerace acknowledged that his client may soon be spending more time on the other side of the bars.

“I understand there are more cases coming down the pike,” Gerace said. “We’ll have to wait until they all come out and see where we are.”

In addition to the sex assault charges, Grisales is accused of impersonating an officer, because the victim told police he showed her his badge, claiming to be an undercover officer.

Grisales began working at the corrections facility in 2008 and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of these cases.

“If I believe my client, and at this point I have to, there was no force, no weapons and no compulsion,” Gerace said, adding that Grisales did admit to patronizing prostitutes.

Grisales was formally arraigned today. Friends and family members wept when he appeared in court but did not comment following the arraignment.

He’s expected to face charges in connection with the two New Britain cases as well. Grisales remains behind bars and is due back in court June 10.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Correction

Trooper's Cruiser Struck While Blocking Flooded Street


The heavy rains overnight caused some flooding this morning and a state trooper who was trying to keep cars off a flooded ramp was struck.

The crash happened just after 1 a.m. and the trooper was blocking the ramp from Interstate 91 south to Interstate 95 North because around 10 feet of standing water had flooded the road and several cars were disabled, police said.

A driver, identified as Adalberto Rodriguez, 31, of Ansonia, hit the back of the cruiser, as well as the passenger side. The officer, Mike Beauton, and Rodriguez were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Police said a flare pattern was set up in the area and the cruiser's emergency lights were on. 

Police are investigating the crash.



Suspect Arrested in December Hartford Murder


Police have arrested a suspect in a fatal shooting in a parking lot outside 109 Adelaide Street in Hartford on Dec. 20 and said he is a convicted felon.

Angel Vasquez, 23, had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police said they identified Daniel Morales, 30, of East Hartford and Hartford, as a suspect through DNA.

Morales, a convicted felon, was out on parole, police said, and authorities found him with help from parole officers.

When police interviewed Morales on April 24, he confessed to shooting and killing Vasquez, according to a news release from Hartford Police.

Morales was taken into custody and is in prison.

On Tuesday, police obtained a warrant charging Morales, charging him with murder, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and tampering with evidence.

Bond was set at $1 million.



State Trooper’s Cruiser Hit on I-691


There were two crashes on Interstate 691 this morning, one exit apart.

In one crash, a state trooper’s cruiser was struck by another vehicle.

Police said the cruiser was struck just before 9 a.m. near exit 4 and the trooper is OK.

Another car rolled over in a separate case. No one was injured in that case either.

The highway was backed up after the crash.

This was the second crash this morning involving a state trooper.

A cruiser that was blocking the ramp from Interstate 91 South to Interstate 95 North in New Haven was struck just after 1 a.m.

Police said the driver who struck the trooper on the highway failed to yield for the police car, which had activated  emergency lights.


60 Teens Arrested in School Prank


More than 60 New Jersey high school seniors were arrested early Thursday after they allegedly broke into their school for a class prank overnight, urinating in the hallways, flipping desks and greasing door handles, police say.

Police responded to a burglary alarm at Teaneck High School shortly before 2:30 a.m. When they arrived, several students tried to run away but officers found dozens of teens still there, some hiding, and significant damage throughout the school, according to Teaneck Police Sgt. John Garland.

Garland said officers found balloons throughout the building, flipped desks, petroleum jelly on doorknobs and urine in the hallways. Police also watched some of the alleged criminal activity on the closed-circuit security system as it was happening.

"I've been a police officer 19 years, and this is the craziest thing I've ever seen," Garland said. 

Several of the students allegedly told police that it was all part of a senior class prank, he said.

"They're learning the hard way that it's not too funny," Garland said.

About 10 law enforcement agencies responded to the scene. Officers had to make several trips to transport the students to the precinct, because there were so many kids taken into custody.

Sixty-two students were arrested. Thirty-eight of them are juveniles and were released to their parents, police said. The other 24 are 18. All face burglary and criminal mischief charges. 

"They're all in some pretty serious trouble," Garland said.

Teaneck High School principal Dennis Heck told NBC 4 New York that school was open Thursday.

"You can imagine how disappointed I am," he said. 

Superintendent Barbara Pinsak said the school district was weighing its options for disciplinary action.

Thursday morning, balloons and streamers could still be seen strewn about the floor of the school. 

Photo Credit: AP

Pedestrian Struck in New Haven


A pedestrian suffered minor injuries after being struck by a vehicle in the 200 block of Main Street in New Haven this morning.

The pedestrian was struck near the fire headquarters.

No additional information was released.

Connecticut's Park System Turns 100


Between a long winter and April showers, summer weather suitable for visiting Connecticut's state parks couldn't come fast enough.

With summer and the 100th anniversary of Connecticut's park system in mind, the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced Thursday that Connecticut's first State Parks Appreciation Day is scheduled for later this month. DEEP invites volunteers to help prepare more than 20 state parks in Connecticut for the summer season.

“State Park Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to show your support for our state parks as we celebrate the Centennial of the park system,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said in a press release. “On State Parks Appreciation Day volunteers will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and help our park staff with everything from painting, gardening, and landscaping to trail maintenance and general cleanup.”

Connecticut's park system, which originated in 1913-14, has grown to include 107 parks frequented for outdoor activities like hiking, picnicking, boating, camping and environmental education programs, according to DEEP.

DEEP has partnered with Friends of Connecticut State Parks groups supporting parks across the state to organize State Parks Appreciation Day events.

"These organizations share our commitment to making certain our parks are ready for the opening of the summer season and provide a first-rate outdoor recreation experience for all visitors," Klee said.

DEEP's Appreciation Day website includes a complete list of Connecticut's state parks as well as information on how to sign up to volunteer. More information on Connecticut's state parks and the Centennial is also available here

Photo Credit: Amanda Raus, NBC Connecticut

Massachusetts Man Charged With Burglary at Quinnipiac Student’s Home


Hamden police arrested a 21-year-old Massachusetts man early this morning after a Quinnipiac University student reported that a man she did not know was in her residence.

Hamden Police responded to a Whitney Avenue residence at 12:20 a.m. after a female student called Quinnipiac University Public Safety.

Police identified the man as Christopher Davis, 21, of Southborough. They said he tried to get into the female student’s bedroom and was sitting on the floor when police arrived.

He was arrested and transported to Hamden Police headquarters.

Davis was charged with second-degree burglary. He was released after posting a $2,500 bond.

He is due in court in Meriden on May 9.

Apparent Hostage Scam Targeted Clinton Family


A family in Clinton received a call this morning from someone who said their son had been in a crash and was being held for ransom. The caller then gave instructions on where to deliver the money.

It turned out to be unfounded, and likely part of a scam that is becoming all too common.
However, there was no way for the parents to know that at first.

Their first step was to try and reach their children, but they were not answering their phones, so they called Clinton police to report it.

Local police reached out to the FBI and an investigation began.

The children were found to be safe and the investigation revealed no credible evidence that an abduction had ever occurred.

Clinton Police are continuing to investigate to try and find whoever was responsible for making the call.

It turned out to be unfounded, and likely part of a scam that is becoming all too common.
However, there was no way for the parents to know that at first.

Their first step was to try and reach their children, but they were not answering their phones, so they called Clinton police to report it.
Local police reached out to the FBI and an investigation began.

The children were found to be safe and the investigation revealed no credible evidence that an abduction had ever occurred.

Clinton Police are continuing to investigate to try and find whoever was responsible for making the call.

Fourth Case of Measles in Connecticut


A fourth case of measles has been confirmed in Connecticut.

A child from Fairfield County came down with the measles, according to Bill Gerrish, of the state Department of Health.

The child was unvaccinated, had traveled abroad and is recovering, state officials said. 

No additional information was released.

In February, there were two confirmed measles cases in Fairfield County. One was an adult and the other an infant.

Last week, an adult in New Haven County also came down with the measles.

Health officials said the best thing anyone can do to prevent measles is to be vaccinated.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Half of Connecticut Wants to Move Out: Poll


Connecticut ranked second-highest in a recent Gallup 50-state poll surveying residents about their desire to move to another state.

In the poll published Wednesday on Gallup's website, 49 percent said they would like to move out of Connecticut when asked, "Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?"

However, in Gallup's polling results about respondents' intentions of moving, 84 percent said it was "not too/not at all likely" they will move in the next year. Eight percent reported it is "somewhat likely" and nine percent said it's "extremely/very likely" they will move to another state in the next 12 months.

Gallup conducted the poll between June and December of last year, including responses from a small sampling of at least 600 residents ages 18 and older in each state. Gallup did the interviews at random to a 50-50 split of landline and cellular phone numbers.

Illinois showed the highest percentage of residents wanting to move out at 50 percent. Maryland followed Connecticut with 47 percent reporting they want to leave. Nevada (43), Rhode Island (42), New Jersey (41), New York (41), Massachusetts (41), Louisiana (40) and Mississippi (39) were in the top ten for highest percentages of residents wanting to move out.

Montana, Hawaii and Maine polled as the states with the lowest percentages of residents wanting to move out at 23 percent, according to Gallup. Oregon, New Hampshire and Texas trailed closely at 24 percent.

Gallup also looked closer at reasons sparking plans to move within the next 12 months. According to Gallop, 21 percent said they plan or are likely to move out of Connecticut in the next year for "work/business-related" reasons, 13 percent named "family/friends" as their main motivation for moving, 7 percent said "weather," 12 percent said "quality of life/change," 10 percent said their reasons are school-related and 12 percent said they plan to or are likely to move out because of the cost of living.

The complete poll results and summary is available on Gallup's website.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

16-Year-Old Shot in Neck in Bridgeport


A 16-year-old boy was shot in neck on Park Street in Bridgeport on Thursday afternoon and police are investigating.

The victim was shot around 12:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Park Avenue.

He was taken to the hospital and the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

It is not clear whether this was a drive-by shooting, but police have recovered a vehicle that was seen leaving the scene.

Police questioned the people who were in the car and have not made any arrests.

No additional information was available. Police are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Heavy Rain Leads to Sewage Spills


Heavy rain over the last day has led to problems at several sewage treatment plants in Connecticut and one of the worst cases is in Stamford, where an estimated 25 million gallons spilled.

Mayor David Martin is touring Stamford Harbor this afternoon to evaluate the impact.

The Stamford Advocate reports
that this is a “near record” discharge and the sewage is partially treated and non-disinfected."

Officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said they have been in touch with officials in Stamford since first thing this morning. 

"It stinks. It is disgusting," Carl Bochterie a dockmaster in Stamford, told the Advocate.

DEEP said “a number of plants have had unseasonably high flows due to the intensity of the storms last night, and some have reported a loss of treatment effectiveness.”

Thirteen towns were affected and  Stamford and Middletown appear to be the worst, according to DEEP.

Other towns reporting issues from last night’s storm are Branford, Bridgeport –East, Bridgeport–West, Bristol, Fairfield, Greenwich, Meriden, Milford-Beaver Brook, Milford-Housatonic, Norwalk, Stratford, Wallingford and West Haven.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

NYC, Teachers Union Reach Deal


City Hall and the teachers union have reached an agreement on a new contract that provides retroactive raises plus a 10 percent raise over seven years, with health care cost reductions promised by the union.

The proposed nine-year contract would begin on Nov. 1, 2009 and expire Oct. 31, 2018. 

It gives 1 percent raises each year until 2016, and then a 1.5 percent raise, a 2.5 percent raise and a 3 percent raise the final year. The 4 percent retroactive raises for 2009 and 2010 would be provided in increments from 2015 to 2020.

"This agreement will be a gateway to great progress in our school system," Mayor de Blasio said at a City Hall announcement Thursday.

The union would reduce health care costs, in part through "centralized drug purchases," and other belt-tightening moves that were not detailed. The savings is estimated at $1 billion over the nine years.

The two sides also agreed on new criteria for permanently removing poorly performing teachers, and an expanded the definition of sexual misconduct to make it easier to get rid of teachers who commit those crimes.

The deal is the first labor agreement struck by de Blasio, and it could affect negotiations with the other nearly 150 city labor unions who have been working with expired contracts.

New York's 110,000 members, represented by the United Federation of Teachers, have been working without a contract since October 2009.

The deal must be approved by the members.


Suspect in Watertown Home Invasion Convicted for Burglary in New York


A teen suspected in a home invasion that injured an elderly woman in Watertown in October has been sentenced to spend three-and-a-half years in prison in New York after being convicted on burglary charges there.

The 17-year-old's name has not released because he is a juvenile, but police said he will be brought to Connecticut to face charges here when he is released.

The home invasion happened on Oct. 16 at Alma York’s Sunnyside Avenue home in Watertown, according to police.

The 87-year-old was assaulted and robbed. An earring was torn from her ear and she required plastic surgery because of it.

York told police that she answered the door at her ranch-style home and someone asked to rake her leaves.

She declined, saying she didn’t need it.

Then he asked to use her cell phone, and that’s when she was attacked, York said.

The other teenage suspect in the home invasion, Divontaye Canady, 15, will be tried as an adult.

Canady has been charged with second-degree assault, larceny, kidnapping with a firearm and credit card theft, as well as additional charges.

His mother was by his side as his public defender entered a not guilty plea. The family declined to comment outside the courthouse.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Aaron Hernandez Indicted on New Charges


Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury Thursday on new charges in connection with a jailhouse beating earlier this year.

Authorities say Hernandez, who is awaiting trial on murder charges, assaulted a fellow inmate in the Bristol County House of Corrections in Dartmouth on Feb. 25 and made a threat on Nov. 1.

Hernandez was indicted on charges of assault and battery and threats to do bodily harm, according to Bristol County District Attorney's Office.

Hernandez will be arraigned on the new charges in the Fall River Justice Center on a future date not yet set, according to the district attorney.

District attorney's office officials told NECN they will have no further comment until Hernandez's arraignment, but office spokesman Gregg Miliote said he thinks the arraignment may take place June 16, when Hernandez is already scheduled to be in court.

The former New England Patriots tight end faces murder charges in the killing of his friend Odin Lloyd, 27. He has pleaded not guilty.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images

Lakers Interested in Ollie for Head Coaching Job: Report


Fresh off his national championship season as the head coach at UConn, Kevin Ollie is getting a look from at least one NBA team.

Sources close to the Los Angeles Lakers tell NBC Sports' ProBasketballTalk that Ollie has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the team's vacant head coaching job.

The speculation that the NBA might come calling began almost immediately after UConn took down Kentucky to win a national title in Ollie's second season as Huskies' coach. It was his first post-season coaching experience since UConn was banned from all tournament play last year, thanks to low academic scores dating back to when Jim Calhoun coached the team.

The Lakers would not confirm Ollie is on their short list to replace Mike D'Antoni, who resigned on Wednesday.

"At this time, Mitch Kupchack and Jim Buss are compiling a list of potential candidates, but we will not be making that list public, nor will we comment on any reports, stories or rumors about who may or may not be on our list," the team said in a statement on Thursday.

Ollie, who grew up in Los Angeles, spent four years as a player at UConn in the 1990s before playing for several teams in the NBA, in a career that spanned more than a decade.

He has the respect of many NBA superstars, including LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

UConn would not comment on the reports.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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