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Friend of Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run Speaks Out


A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard in New Haven on Tuesday night near Orange Avenue

Frank Aceto, 49, of Wallingford, was crossing the road with a friend when a small red Honda struck him and fled the scene, police said based on the preliminary investigation.

The two pedestrians were not in a crosswalk at the time. Aceto's friend, Thomas Manning, stopped for traffic, but couldn't get to Aceto in time, according to police. 

"He was hit so hard and so fast," Manning told NBC Connecticut on Wednesday. "We saw a car off in the distance, just the headlights, and we thought, 'Oh, it's safe to cross.'"

Police haven't determined whether speed was a factor, but Manning said the car seemed to come out of nowhere.

"I heard an engine rev and before I knew it, the friend four feet in front of me disappeared, disappeared like a magic trick," Manning said. "[The dirver] just went straight through, didn't stop, didn't pause, didn't tap his brake lights or anything until he got to the red light down there."

Police are still searching for the driver and car, which was last seen headed south on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. The vehicle likely was damaged on the front end, police said.

It's not clear whether a man or woman was driving the car in question, and so far, police haven't had much luck in tracking that person down.

"These investigations do take quite a bit of time, and without the car, they become much more difficult," said New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman.

Police said that Aceto might be homeless and were not able to reach a family member as of Wednesday morning. His last known address was in Wallingford.

The road was closed in the area from around 10 p.m. on Tuesday until 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Thief Pepper-Sprays Workers at Mall


Authorities are looking for a woman who pepper-sprayed workers who tried to stop her after she stole hundreds of dollars worth of designer watches from a South Florida mall.

The incident, which was caught on video, happened Monday at Bloomingdale's at the Sawgrass Mills Mall.

The video showed loss prevention workers approach the woman, who authorities said stole $1,700 worth of Michael Kors watches.

The woman pulled out the pepper spray and sprayed the workers in their faces before running out the door.

Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Sick Teen Defends Mom on Facebook


A Kansas City teenager suffering from a painful disease posted a Facebook video expressing support for his mother after he was placed into protective custody.

Michelle Rider took her 16-year-old son, Isaiah, to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago after doctors in three other cities were unable to effectively treat his neurofibromatosis -- a painful condition that causes tumors to grow on his nerves.

But Lurie officials -- citing Michelle Rider's requests for stronger medications -- told a Cook County Court that it was best that Isaiah be taken into temporary protective custody, saying the boy's symptoms appeared to improve when his mother was not around.

"She didn't do anything wrong at all. She's been there since day one," Isaiah Rider said in the video.

"They told me I wasn't able to see my mother and I was shocked, I was shocked by it."

Michelle Rider appeared in Cook County Juvenile Court Tuesday in an effort to regain custody of her son, but a decision on his status has not been made. She has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the case and the hearing will be continued July 2.

"I feel they took me away from my mom and now I'm living here in foster care with some person I barely know," Isaiah said in the video.

Hospital officials have said they cannot comment on the case because of privacy concerns.

87-Year-Old Trumbull Man Located After Silver Alert


Police have located an 87-year-old Trumbull man after issuing a Silver Alert for him.

John Kochiss was reported missing on June 24.

Police said that Kochiss had not driven in four years, but was driving a gray 2014 Nissan Versa and looked into the possiblilty that he headed to the Sherwood Diner in Westport.


Photo Credit: Trumbull Police

Couple Poses for Photos After Crash


A senior couple involved in a non-injury rollover crash last week on a Bel Air, California, street posed for pictures as neighbors and firefighters responded to help free the trapped driver.

The pictures show the woman still inside the blue Honda, which rolled onto its driver's side door. Her husband climbed out of the passenger's side door and held her purse.

The couple appeared to be in good spirits, according to Los Angeles police. The woman even asked her husband for her purse so she could take a picture of herself, police said.

Firefighters helped free the trapped driver.

Details regarding the Friday afternoon crash on Linda Flora Drive were not immediately available.


Photo Credit: RMG

Man Defrauds FEMA After 2011 Tornado: U.S. Attorney


A former Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a mail fraud scheme to gain access to Federal Emergency Management Agency relief funds after a tornado hit the state three years ago.

Robbie Rossi, 42, falsely reported in August 2011 that he was renting a residence at 71 New Bridge Street in West Springfield so that he could receive federal rental assistance, according to court documents. He received more than $12,000 in disaster relief funds made available to victims of the severe storm and tornado outbreak that hit Massachusetts on June 1, 2011, according to a press release from Connecticut's United States Attorney's Office.

President Barack Obama declared parts of Massachusetts, including Springfield and West Springfield, as "major disaster" zones and authorized FEMA to provide disaster relief funds to qualifying residents who the 2011  tornado affected.

Rossi claimed that he "suffered as a result of the tornado" and that he left the home because it was inhabitable, according to court documentation. He provided false rent payment documentation to FEMA for that home and other addresses after the tornado struck.

However, the West Springfield assessor and postmaster told the Department of Homeland Security that the address Rossi claimed he lived at there was "not a valid or deliverable address in West Springfield," according to court documents.

Rossi received payments at seven addresses that he provided to FEMA between August 2011 and April 2013, including one at 97 Green Valley Drive in Enfield. The other addresses were in Massachusetts and Florida. When Rossi cashed the check sent to the Enfield address, he presented the Enfield International Services Check Cashing owner with a New York State driver's license with a Brooklyn address, according to court documents. Postal records did not show him as receiving mail there, the court records state. Most of the payments were electronically transferred and Rossi accessed them through a prepaid bank card that he used at Florida businesses, according to the arrest warrant. 

Rossi and and individual identified as Richard Letguard, a false name, told FEMA that "Letguard" was his landlord at the West Sprinfield in an attempt to verify that he lived there, according to court documents. Investigators verified that the man Rossi claimed was his landlord was actually Richard Lentendre, of 64 New Bridge Street, West Springfield, who has a criminal history of "indecent assault and battery on a child, theft, receiving stolen property, and drug possession," according to the court documents. Letendre is also associated with an address in Chicopee where Rossi falsified rental documents as part of the mail fraud scheme, according to court documents.

Investigators identified the home showed in the storm damage photos submitted to FEMA as a neighboring house at 75 New Bridge Street. When the homeowner or the female tenant who lived there during the tornado were questioned, they told investigators that they didn't know Rossi and that neither of them had submitted claims to FEMA for disaster relief. Rossi's listed address was 74 New Bridge Street in West Springield upon completion of his application for FEMA aid.

Rossi is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 18, 2014 and faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

He will pay $12,718 in restitution for the FEMA funds he frauduently received.

Rossi has been in custody since he was arrested in January in Las Vegas.

The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigated and the Las Vegas branch of the U.S. Secret Service assisted.

Rossi has a crimal history and there are still outstanding arrest warrants in Enfield, Chicopee, Springfield, and Northhampton, Massachusetts, Brevard County, Florida and New York for burglaries, credit card and identity thefts and larceny incidents, according to the court documents.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Four Arrested in Bridgeport During World Cup Celebration


Police made several arrests on Monday night when a celebration after a World Cup game in Bridgeport got out of control.

Police were in the Madison Avenue area for traffic control after the match when they learned that a man had been hit with a bottle and was unconscious, police said.

Officers tried to keep him still until the ambulance came, but the crowd became hostile, police said.
Shannon Mahoney, 22, of Stratford, who was covered in blood, tried to incite the group, according to police.

Antonio Garcia, 30, of West Haven, is accused of trying to tackle the police officer.   

Police also arrested Daniel Carrasco, 46, of Hamden, in connection with the incident.

Three hours earlier, police arrested a man accused of reckless driving in the same location. Officers were directing traffic when they noticed Filipe Rodrigues-DeSouza, 23, of Bridgeport, rev his engine, spin his tires and almost hit another car, police said.

When police flagged him down, Rodrigues-DeSouza told police he borrowed the car and did not have a license, police said.

Inside the car, police found a glass jar with marijuana, several cell phones, a scale, and other drug paraphernalia, police said.

Rodrigues-DeSouza was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell within 1500 feet of a school, operating a drug factory and various motor vehicle charges. Bond was set at $10,000.

Garcia and Mahoney were charged with assaulting a police officer. Carrasco, Garcia and Mahoney were charged with breach of peace.

Brazil defeated Cameroon 4-1 that evening at the same time, playing at the same time as Mexico and Croatia (3-1 victory to Mexico), according to FIFA. Police did not say which game the crowds were watching.

Rodrigues-DeSouza's bond was set at $10,000, Garcia's bond was set at $50,000, Mahoney's bond was set at $25,000 and Carrasco's bond was set at $500.

McDonald's Secretly Serves Up Mobile Pay App


Fast food just got a little faster for McDonald’s fans.

The fast-food chain is secretly serving up a new app that will allow customers to order and pay for their meals on their phones.

The McD Ordering app is currently only available in the Columbus, Georgia, area and has not yet been publicly announced.

According to the app’s description, users select the restaurant they want to purchase from, pick the food items they want, note how they want them prepared and then scan the QR code inside the location they chose or at the drive-through.

“It’s as easy as pick it, scan it, go,” the description reads.

The Georgia pilot is the first McDonald’s-branded mobile payment app to debut in the U.S., though the company has previously used similar apps in foreign markets, according to Business Insider.

A separate app, called the “McD App,” is also available in certain markets in the U.S. and provides customers with access to special deals and coupons.

The news comes days after McDonald’s was ranked as America’s least favorite fast-food chain in terms of customer satisfaction.

Tree Down, Road Closed in New Haven


A large tree came down at the corner of Forest Road and West Elm Street in New Haven and the road will be closed for hours, according to New Haven police.

Police said the road will be closed at least six hours, and maybe longer.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dallas & Cleveland Named RNC 2016 Finalists


Dallas and Cleveland were named finalists to host the Republican National Committee's 2016 presidential nominating convention.

The committee will announce where it's holding the convention in August.

After Wednesday's meeting, Enid Mickelson, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee site-selection committee released a statement commending the two cities for their "ability to hold a phenomenal convention."

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said his city provides superior features.

“I believe we get some of the best score across all the aspects,” Rawlings said. “We’re strong in almost every one -- money, safety, amenities, the hotels, the convenience, our airports.”

In addition to Cleveland, Dallas was up against Denver and Kansas City, Missouri.

Earlier Wednesday morning, KUSA-TV reported Wednesday that sources closed to Denver's efforts to win the convention said the GOP would announce Dallas as its pick or that Dallas and Denver are the only cities still in the running. National officials with the RNC reportedly disputed that claim and said the venue decision had not been made.

Mayor Rawlings declined to comment on those early reports.

"Until I get a call from my customer that says we want to go with you, I don’t consider anything done," he said.

Dallas rolled out the red carpet for members of the site-selection committee two weeks ago, it was the GOP's final stop in the selection process.

Dallas leaders took members on a tour through Victory Plaza and the American Airlines Center, the arena that would serve as the convention site if Dallas' bid is successful.

Organizers wanted to show the committee how excited Dallas would be to host the convention and played up the AAC's proximity to hotels.

Mayor Rawlings said Dallas would benefit from the national attention of a political convention.

He said visitors at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Convention last weekend were impressed with the new Dallas.

“People get to experience it in a new way, and they go, ‘Wow, you’ve really improved this city immensely.’, ” Rawlings said.

Mickelson said that party officials had already ruled out AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboy's home venue in Arlington, because it's too remote from convention hotels and support resources in Dallas.

Mayor Rawlings said Dallas will continue working to impress the Republican decision makers until the final selection is made.

“I love people coming, spending money, being in our hotels. Forget about the party. This is a nonpartisan issue to sell Dallas,” Rawlings said.

Past Associated Press articles were used for this report.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Hartford Police Search for Murder Suspect


Hartford police are searching for the man they suspect in a deadly shooting near South Green Park last week, a killing police believe may have been gang-related.

Police have identified Michael Pryce, 21, as a suspect in the murder of Huberto O'Neil, 34.

Police responded to the park just before 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, after shots rang out and found O'Neil, shot in the head and face, on the west sidewalk of Main Street.

Medics began to administer emergency first aid, but O'Neil, who was also known as Killa Bee or KB, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:12 p.m., police said. His death was ruled a homicide.

A warrant has been issued, charging Pryce with murder. Police do not know where Pryce is and think he might be homeless. A judge set bond at $300,000.

Pryce might affiliate himself with the Bloods street gang, according to police.

He was previously arrested on Babcock Street, Edgewood Street and Thomaston Street and might have contacts there.

They have also not found the gun used.

Anyone with information on where Pryce is should call Sergeant Brandon O’Brien at (860) 757-8940.


Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Dad Joins Daughter's Fight: Police


A Long Island dad is accused of hitting a teenage boy in the head with a crowbar as a melee erupted when his daughter tried to fight with another teen girl, police said.

The 45-year-old father arrived at a Hicksville park at about 1 a.m. June 18 with his 17-year-old daughter and three of her female friends.

Police say the daughter got out of the car and approached a group of youths, trying to fight with another girl.

When a teenage boy stepped in to intervene, police say the father struck him on the head with the crowbar. He had a large gash on his head and was taken to the hospital.

The father and three girls fled the scene, police say.

He was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree assault. His attorney said the other group of kids made up the story, and that the girl was actually lured to the park and met by a mob, so her father stepped in to help her.

Last week, another Long Island parent was accused of driving her daughter to a park to fight another teen, and then joining in the scuffle.

Police Search for Bridgeport Gunman


Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the man who shot at a parked car in Bridgeport's East End last month.

Surveillance footage shows the man crossing the street, pulling out a handgun and firing a shot at a car parked on the curb.

He's described as a black man dressed in white.

Anyone with information is urged to call Bridgeport police detectives at 203-581-5201.

Calls will be kept confidential.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Hamden Police Warn of Phone Scam


Hamden police are warning residents to be careful when wiring money to foreign countries after a family was reportedly scammed earlier this week.

According to police, a 19-year-old Lane Street resident received a call from an unknown person with a Spanish accent Tuesday. The caller stated that a family member had been kidnapped after being involved in a car accident.

Police said the caller demanded money in return for the kidnapped family member, and the family wired an undisclosed amount of money to Puerto Rico.

They later learn their family member was not involved in an accident and that they had been scammed.

Hamden police are urging all residents not to wire money anywhere without first conducting a further investigation and contacting their local police department.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

New London Woman Stabs Baby in Buttocks: Police


Police have arrested the New London woman accused of stabbing a 4-month-old child in the buttocks last month.

Brittany Melenez, 22, was arrested early Wednesday morning in connection with the May 23 incident. Police said she stabbed the child at a home on Ledge Road in New London.

Melendez was charged with second-degree assault, criminal attempt at first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, possession of a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

10-Year-Old is Bridgeport's Youngest Fire Chief


There’s a new sheriff in town at the Bridgeport Fire Department, and he’s the youngest chief of all time.

It’s no surprise to learn Chief Conner Berry is setting a precedent – he’s only 10 years old. The fifth grader at St. Andrew’s Academy held the department’ stop spot Tuesday after his father won him the title in a silent auction at Conner’s school.

Conner spent the afternoon inspecting the city’s firehouses, receiving a private tour during an emergency drill at Pleasure Beach and riding the department’s boat on Long Island Sound, according to a press release from the fire department.

He dove right in with the on-duty crew, climbing into the department’s tower truck bucket, handling a fire house and donning the heavy gear that firefighters wear into burning buildings.

“It’s a very fun time,” Conner reportedly told Bridgeport firefighters.

This is Conner’s second experience in a public safety leadership role. Last year, he served as police chief for a day.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Fire Department

Burglary Suspect Accused of Ripping Off Homes in 3 Towns


Surveillance video helped lead police to the man accused of breaking into a Wolcott home, and authorities say he’s responsible for burglaries in three towns.

Daniel Deschaines, 26, of Naugatuck, has been arrested in connection with two Wolcott burglaries, but police believe he’s behind similar incidents in Cheshire and Naugatuck as well.

Police say Deschaines tried to enter a home on Woodtick Road late last month. Surveillance video recorded by homeowner Michael Briglia shows the would-be burglar scoping out the property and checking the front door to make sure the house is empty.

He then goes around back, peers through a window, and pushes open a sliding door, but motion sensors set off the alarm and he runs down the street toward a getaway car, according to the surveillance footage.

Deschaines was charged with criminal attempt at third-degree burglary in connection with the break-in attempt.

He’s also accused of stealing $3,000 worth of power tools from Total Energy in Wolcott, and has been additionally charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny and third-degree forgery.

After the incident on Woodtick Road, police said the suspect might also be responsible for the theft of thousands of dollars in jewelry from another Wolcott home. Police haven’t said whether Deschaines has been named a suspect in that incident as well.

He’s being held on $750,000 bond and is facing charges in Wolcott, Naugatuck and Cheshire. Court records show he has nearly a dozen pending court cases.

Photo Credit: Michael Briglia and Wolcott Police Department

Pep Boys Employee Attacks Coworker With Machete: Police


A 28-year-old Hamden man is facing assault charges after striking a coworker with a machete at the Pep Boys where they worked, according to police.

Police said Marcus Rochester, of Glenbrook Avenue in Hamden, was involved in a dispute with another employee at the Pep Boys on Dixwell Avenue where they worked Tuesday afternoon.

Rochester allegedly retrieved a machete from his car and sliced the other employee, a 42-year-old man from Hamden, in the back of the neck, leaving a 4-to-6-inch gash, according to police.

Police said the blade was too dull to cause serious injury.

Officers responded to the scene around 3:30 p.m. and the store manager helped keep the employees apart while waiting for police.

Rochester was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal attempt to commit assault, possession of a dangerous weapon, second-degree threatening and breach of peace.

He’s due in court July 11.

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr

Lincecum Throws SD No-Hitter Again


He's done it again. For the second time in less than a year, Tim Lincecum has pitched a no-hitter against the weak-hitting San Diego Padres.

Lincecum (6-5) allowed just one base runner: a second-inning walk of Chase Headley. He struck out six on 113 total pitches, using a big-breaking curve to set up his fastball. He also added two hits at the plate and scored two runs.

The Giants won the game 4-0.

Lincecum threw his other career no-hitter last July, also against the Padres. In last year's no-hitter, he walked four and struck out 13 on 148 pitches.

The 30-year-old right-hander became just the second pitcher in major league history to twice no-hit the same team. Addie Joss did it for Cleveland against the Chicago White Sox in 1908 and again in 1910.

The Padres, incidentally, are the only franchise in the big leagues that has never pitched a no-hitter.

Lincecum made quick work of the San Diego hitters in the late innings.

He drew a standing ovation when he batted in the eighth, then struck out pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal followed with a tapper back to Lincecum, who tossed to first for the out.

Will Venable was up next, and Lincecum retired him on an easy grounder to second base. Lincecum took a few steps toward first when the ball was hit, stopped to watch the play and clapped his hand into his glove when it was over.

Lincecum threw the 16th no-hitter in Giants' team history. Just one other pitcher has thrown two -- Christy Mathewson for the New York Giants more than 100 years ago.

This was the third no-hitter in Major League Baseball this season. Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers threw the others.

San Francisco Giants no-hitters through history: 

  • June 25, 2014, Tim Lincecum vs. San Diego, 4-0
  • July 13, 2013, Tim Lincecum at San Diego, 9-0
  • June 13, 2012, Matt Cain vs. Houston, 10-0 (perfect game)
  • July 10, 2009, Jonathan Sanchez vs. San Diego, 8-0
  • Sept. 29, 1976, John Montefusco at Atlanta, 9-0
  • Aug. 24, 1975 (2nd game), Ed Halicki vs. New York Mets, 6-0
  • Sept. 17, 1968, Gaylord Perry vs. St. Louis, 1-0
  • June 15, 1963, Juan Marichal vs. Houston, 1-0

New York Giants no-hitters:

  • May 8, 1929, Carl Hubbell vs. Pittsburgh, 11-0
  • May 7, 1922, Jesse Barnes vs. Philadelphia, 6-0
  • April 15, 1915, Richard Marquard vs. Brooklyn, 2-0
  • Sept. 6, 1912, Jeff Tesreau at Philadelphia, 3-0
  • July 4, 1908, Hooks Wiltse vs. Philadelphia, 1-0, 10 innings
  • June 13, 1905, Christy Mathewson at Chicago Cubs, 1-0
  • July 15, 1901, Christy Mathewson at St. Louis, 5-0
  • July 31, 1891, Amos Rusie vs. Brooklyn, 6-0

Lincecum joined Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Homer Bailey as active pitchers with two no-hitters. Nolan Ryan holds the all-time record with seven.

No longer the shaggy-haired ace of the Giants, Lincecum sported a mustache while thrilling 41,500 fans at AT&T Park. He lowered his ERA to 4.42 and put together quite a complete game -- he went 2 for 3 with a walk and scored twice.

Lincecum starred for the Giants in 2010, going 16-10 as they won their first World Series crown since moving to San Francisco in 1958. He hasn't finished with a winning record since then, and was relegated to the bullpen when the Giants won another championship in 2012.

Praise for the Giants' pitcher poured in Wednesday afternoon on social media, including from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who wrote on Twitter, "Congratulations @timlincecum on your 2nd career no-hitter! Go #SFGiants!!!"


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lesbian: Strip Club Turned Me Away


A woman is suing the operators of Southern California strip club, claiming she wasn't allowed to enter the premises without a man.

Tamara Yatkin of El Segundo filed the lawsuit on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Paradise Showgirls in Industry, accusing the strip club of discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation. Yatkin is a lesbian.

Yatkin is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction against the club to try to force it to change what she claims are its discriminatory policies.

According to the suit, Yatkin, 54, went to Paradise Showgirls in June 2013 on a recommendation from a longtime customer.

She asked the doorman about the club's cover charge and whether it accepted other clubs' discount passes. The man told her the price and asked if she was alone, and when Yatkin said "yes," she was told she needed to be with a man to enter the club, the suit alleges.

Yatkin "asked the man if he was joking, and he responded, 'it is policy,'" the suit alleges. The man, who told Yatkin he was the manager, said the club had past issues of "women entering the club and causing problems."

Thought Yatkin "reassured the man that she was not a problem, that she was a lesbian who wanted to spend money and have a good time," she was still not allowed in, the suit states.

She then tried to contact the club for two weeks about the policy but club management "could not be bothered."

Yatkin filed discrimination complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing before suing the club.

The manager of Paradise Showgirls declined to comment for this story.

An attorney for Yatkin could not be reached for comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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