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Police Make Second Arrest in Hamden Bank Robbery


Police have arrested the man accused of robbing a Webster Bank in Hamden earlier this month, just days after arresting his alleged getaway driver.

Just after midnight July 3, 47-year-old Michael Lindsey contacted police to identify himself as the bank robber and turn himself in, according to police.

Officers arrested him in the parking lot of his apartment at 302 Pine Rock Avenue. He's accused of robbing the Webster Bank at 5 Helen Street on July 1.

Police arrested his accused getaway driver, 43-year-old Chester Greene, later that afternoon.

Lindsey is charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. Chester is facing the same charges.

Both Lindsey and Chester were held on$250,000 bond and are due in court July 14.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Man Threatens to Shoot Dog Owner Breaking Up Fight


A 24-year-old Hamden man is facing charges after reportedly pointing a gun at the owner of three pit bulls who was trying to break up a fight between his dogs and another, according to police.

Officers were called to Glenbrook Avenue around 10:30 a.m. after three pit bulls got loose and attacked another dog roaming in the area, according to police.

While the owner of the pit bull approached the dogs in an effort to separate them, 24-year-old Ivan Bobe, Jr., a neighbor, started kicking the dogs and pointed a gun at the owner, threatening to shoot him, police said.

Police arrested Bobe and seized a .380-caliber handgun.

Bobe was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree threatening and breach of peace. He was released after posting $1,000 bond and is due in court July 22.

The Hamden Animal Control Division is investigating and police said “enforcement action is forthcoming” with regards to the pit bulls.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Judge Orders Accused Video Voyeur to Stay Away From Malls


The man accused of taking videos up women's skirts at the Westfarms Mall has been ordered by a judge to stay away from malls and women's clothing stores.

Husein Ahmetovic appeared in court on Thursday to face voyeurism charges.

Police arrested Ahmetovic, 46, of Waterbury, on June 28 after a woman reported seeing him allegedly taking video up women's skirts at the Forever 21 store in the WestFarms Mall in West Hartford. The woman confronted Ahmetovic and chased him through the mall and across the street when he ran.

Police said they found Ahmetovic with a digital camera that had 30 videos of 30 different women.

In court on Thursday, the judge ordered Ahmetovic to stay away from stores that sell women's clothes in Connecticut and to stay away from malls within 35 miles of Waterbury. He also told Ahmetovic he cannot use a camera outside his house and he was ordered to turn over his passport.

Ahmetovic is free on $10,000 bond. He will be back in court on Aug. 21.

Photo Credit: From Pool Video

26 Bridgeport-Area Sex Offenders Facing New Charges


Twenty-six sex offenders in the Bridgeport area have been rearrested as part of a region-wide sweep, according to Bridgeport police.

Most offenders were charged with failure to register, but some were also charged with violating probation and one is facing new sexual assault charges.

Bridgeport police made the arrests in conjunction with the United States Marshals Service, state police and state probation office.

It’s the first operation of its kind in Bridgeport and the seventh in Connecticut since 2011, according to Bridgeport police.

The below sex offenders have been arrested and charged with failure to register unless otherwise specified:

  • Carlton Bailey, 58
  • Ramon Barksdale, 43
  • Jose Castro, 52
  • Eldrege Christmas, 29
  • Donald Crowder, 45
  • Shawn Draper, 30
  • Robert Denzel, failure to register and violation of probation
  • Ricarrdo Echevarria, 29
  • Edwin Fernandez, 55
  • Glen Forney, 49, violation of probation
  • Allen Freeman, 57
  • Ocie Gorman, 36
  • Danny Kinard, 54
  • Lester Janus, 51
  • Christopher Kendall, 31
  • Timothy Johnson, 29
  • Dennis Lawyer, 51
  • Alexander Lemon, 45
  • Moses Littlejohn, 45
  • Benito Ocasio Vargas, 47, failure to register and sexual assault
  • Ralph Olavarria, 45
  • Albert Payton, 52
  • Kelly Smith, 31
  • James Sparrow, 30
  • Marlon Standbury, 41
  • Kevin Tucker, 51

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

East Haven Police Recruits Undergo Training


Six recruits for the East Haven Police Department are about halfway through their training, and Chief Brent Larrabee says the new officers will be a big help.

The department has been short on personnel due to retirements, transfers and the arrests of four officers on federal civil rights charges.

Larrabee says current officers have been working 16-hour days, five or six days per week.

“It will be an enormous lifting of a burden for the average patrol officer. That means they’re not going to be forced to work. It will be a better environment for them,” said Larrabee.

The recruits come from diverse backgrounds and speak a variety of languages, which Larrabee says will serve as an asset for the department.

“We look for excellence first, and then if we happen to have someone who has a skill, or a language skill, that we need, it always works out best,” said Larrabee.

The recruits say they chose East Haven because of its size.

“I like the smaller towns because I get the chance to really be a friendly face in the community, someone that people recognize and see on a daily basis,” said recruit Dylan Northrop.

“I want a lot more personal interaction where the community knows me by name, opposed to just another officer,” explained Jonathan Andino, another recruit.

They’ll be out in the community sometime in the fall when they graduate from the academy and start field training.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

High Bacteria Levels Close Fort Trumbull Beach


Fort Trumbull Beach in Milford is closed to swimmers after weekly waster testing revealed high bacteria levels, according to the Milford Health Department.

Health department officials said the contaminated samples were collected Monday and Wednesday of this week.

Although the excessive bacteria could reflect "rapid natural cleansing of the waters following extreme rainfall," the beach will remain closed until the waters are sampled again Friday morning, the health department said.

The beach status will be updated Saturday depending on the outcome of the water testing. To learn the results, call the Milford Health Department at 203-783-3285.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bank Teller to Prison for Stealing From Accounts


The former bank teller convicted of stealing more than $178,000 from customer accounts at the Bristol bank where she worked has been sentenced to a year in prison.

Michelle Laudato, 36, pleaded guilty to bank fraud last June after siphoning money from at least 18 CD counts, 13 of which belonged to customers in their 80s and 90s, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The thefts happened in 2009-2010, while Laudato was employed as a bank teller supervisor.

Laudato was sentenced to a year in prison, followed by three years of supervised release during which time she’ll be required to perform 100 hours of community service to benefit the elderly, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Laudato was also ordered to pay full restitution to the bank.

Since she recently gave birth, her prison sentence is set to begin Feb. 25, 2015.

Clerk Stops Grandparents From Falling Victim to Scam


A South Windsor, Connecticut, couple nearly fell victim to the ongoing "Grandparent Scam" on Wednesday, but this case had a new twist.

The elderly couple received a call from a man claiming to be a Springfield police officer. He told the victims that their grandson was in police custody and needed money to be bailed out.

According to South Windsor police, the caller instructed the pair to get money order cards in order to pay the bail.

The victims went to the CVS pharmacy at 525 Buckland Road to buy the money order cards, but a clerk at the store warned them about possible scams involving callers asking for money in the form of the cards.

The couple called police and determined that their grandson had not been arrested and was not in need of bail money.

South Windsor police urge people who receive calls like this to verify the information before turning over any money. Never buy money order cards or wire transfer money to complete the transactions, police said.

For more information, visit the FBI website here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Forgotten in Cell Wants Answers


A University of California San Diego student left for days in a windowless Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell said he just wants to know what really happened to him and how exactly he slipped through the cracks.

On April 25, 2012, Daniel Chong was discovered incoherent, delirious and suffering from kidney failure after spending nearly five days handcuffed in a DEA holding cell in San Diego without food or water.
Agents had somehow forgotten Chong was in the cell.

He spent at least two of those days in total darkness.

“It was an accident, but I just want to know how it happened,” Chong said at a news briefing alongside his attorneys Thursday.

Chong recounted those days he spent in that dark holding cell, struggling to get his voice heard.

“I would bang on doors trying to get their attention. After a while, you just think they’re just ignoring you anyway. They’re not going to let you out, you just look like a fool, or they’re going to get angry at you for making so much noise,” he recalled.

Chong said that at times, he stayed quiet because he didn’t know what else to do. He said he tried to put out “visual cues,” like putting shoelaces on the cell door, but gave up after a while because he felt as though the agents were just laughing at him.

Chong said he remembers hearing the voice of at least one male agent outside the door of the holding cell. He said he heard the voice right before the light in his cell was turned off. From then on, his windowless cell was completely dark, until a few days later when agents finally opened the door.

Chong said the moment the door swung open was a mix of emotions.

“I was very confused. As soon as I saw that [the agents] were also confused, I knew right away that it was an accident,” he explained. “It was more of a feeling of relief. The door finally opened. There was no better feeling than that.”

Chong said the agents began asking him who put him in the holding cell. He couldn’t answer and they called an ambulance.

“I was screaming, ‘I need two ambulances!’ I was really crazy – delirious,” said Chong.

He said the agents then threw him a bottle of water – the first he’d had in five days.

“As soon as I drank it, I felt the pain running through my body. Any movement was excruciating,” he recalled.

Chong was rushed to a hospital where he spent three days in the Intensive Care Unit. He has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and consults with a doctor who normally treats veterans who have returned from battle.

Under a legal settlement, the U.S. government paid $4.1 million to Chong last year.

On Tuesday, officials investigating Chong’s case released a summarized report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that included some of the findings of the investigation.

Ultimately, the report said safety measures and procedures were either non-existent or ignored by federal agents.

The report found that four agents reported seeing or hearing Chong while he was in custody for several days but failed to act, telling investigators they didn’t think anything unusual.

"They assumed that whoever had placed Chong in the cell would return shortly to process him," the report stated.

Despite the release of the summarized information, Chong and his attorneys, Gene Iredale and Julia Yoo, are now calling for the release of the full report. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also supports them in their quest for the entire document.

“I completely understand and agree that it was a complete accident; there’s no malintent with it. But of course, I’m interested in what really happened – what exactly happened to me because of how inconceivable it is. I would like to know what happened,” said Chong.

Iredale said that by releasing the full report, officials can finally provide complete transparency and accountability for what happened to Chong.

“It appears to me that the fault lies primarily in the institutional lack of procedures that were designed to make sure somebody was responsible for that area,” said Iredale.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant. That’s all we’re really calling for now. Not a head, not for anybody to lose their job – just to know what happened,” he added. “Just to be told the complete truth so that Daniel will know, so the public will know.”

Yoo said Chong’s case should force every law enforcement agency across the country to take a long, hard look at their practices and how they treat those in custody.

“What happened to Daniel is a reflection of a fundamental systemic failure so what we call on is a systemic solution to something like this,” said Yoo.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, of the ACLU, said the organization has filed a request with the Department of Justice for all of the records and reports related to Chong’s detention.

“What happened to Daniel was unacceptable,” Dooley-Sammuli. “It shows a staggering failure at every step of the way, from his placement in a holding cell to at least four officers noting and subsequently ignoring his presence in that holding cell.”

Both Iredale and Chong said they’re pleased with the results of the investigation, mainly the procedural changes that have been made by the DEA based on recommendations issued by the OIG.

A DEA spokesperson confirmed to NBC 7 that immediately following Chong's case, the agency initiated new procedures including routinely inspecting holding cells, assigning someone to monitor the holding area and maintaining an occupancy ledger for detainees. Cameras were also installed at the facility and the footage is now monitored.

Chong called those “positive changes” and added, “I don’t think it’s going to happen again – at least not in that facility.”

More than two years after the incident, Chong continues to live a quiet, modest life in San Diego.

He purchased a small condominium in the UTC area and is in the process of finishing his degree at UC San Diego. He expects to graduate later this year.

“I’m just trying to finish up school so that I can get on with my life,” he said, pausing. “I’m alive. I’m alive and well.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Crash Closes Exit 32 off I-84 West


A crash has closed exit 32 off Interstate 84 westbound in Southington. The right and center lanes of the highway are also closed.

The accident was reported around 8 p.m. and the closures have been in effect for about two hours.

There has been no word on injuries.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

First Pot Buyer Gets Job Back


The man first in line to buy recreational pot in Washington state, lost his job over his purchase and then got it back after what his company calls a misunderstanding.

Mike Boyer, 30, took off work for the occasion and was the first person to legally buy marijuana Tuesday afternoon at the Spokane Green Leaf store in Spokane, Washington. After being spotted on the news by his boss, he was immediately ordered to take a drug test.

The company in question didn't know he took the day off and was under the impression that he showed up to work as a security guard under the influence of marijuana.

"We were not aware that he had taken the day off. He was scheduled to work, we saw him on TV that he was under the influence, and that caused us to start a process of screening," Vice President of Communications Stacey Burke told NBC News. "When we realized that he was not on assignment, we reinstated him. ... Pot is legal, and we know that."

Boyer had waited in line overnight and was the first into the store, ahead of more than 70 others who were also lined up. His name even turned up in an Associated Press article.

“I wanted the title of being the first guy to buy legal marijuana in Spokane,'' Boyer told AP. “It only comes once in a lifetime.''

Boyer said he doesn't hold any ill will towards the company nor does he have any regrets

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

7-Year-Old Left in Car Outside North Haven Target: Police


A Woodbridge mom is facing charges after police say she left her 7-year-old child in her car outside a Target store in North Haven.

It's the second time in three days a child was left in the car outside this store, according to police.

An East Haven woman was charged on Monday after police say she left two young children in her car.

Police said a "concerned citizen" called 911 after spotting the child Thursday morning in the parking lot on Universal Drive.

Officers on scene concluded that the child had been alone in the car for about 20 minutes. Police said the car's windows were down and the temperature outside was 78 degrees.

The child's mother, Elizabeth Ball, was charged with leaving a child under the age of 12 unattended in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.

Ball is due in court July 17.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

4 Injured in I-84 Crash in Tolland


A serious accident closed I-84 eastbound in Tolland for hours on Thursday morning, leaving four people critically injured.

A Pontiac Sunfire rolled over and went down an embankment and into the woods at the Cider Mill overpass near Exit 68 around 8:40 a.m., according state police.

Three of the victims were ejected from the car, police said.

At least two medical helicopters responded to the scene to fly the victims to hospitals, police said.  A  helicopter from Massachusetts was used because only one Lifestar helicopter was available in state at the time of the crash.  The second Lifestar helicopter was transporting a patient from a different accident.

It took firefighters 40 minutes to remove three of the victims from the woods.  The fourth victim was already out of the woods when emergency crews arrived, according to fire officials.

Two patients were flown to Hartford Hospital by helicopter and two were transported by ambulance, state police said.

The highway fully reopened just before 2 p.m.

All of the victims are from Massachusetts.  Their identifies have not been released.

Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call State Police Trooper K. Miller at 860-896-3200.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Glitch Drops 5,800 Access Health Customers


A computer glitch has caused nearly 5,800 people enrolled in health insurance plans with Access Health CT to be dropped from their providers, and now the agency is working to fix it.

According to State Sen. Len Fasano, the glitch escalated insurance rates, causing health care providers to drop customers for insufficient payment even though those customers had paid what they owed. The issue began in early May.

“This system glitch arbitrarily made a change in subsidies, either a dollar difference or dropped the subsidy entirely, on the basis of somebody making a reported change,” explained Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan.

Counihan added that “80-85 percent were caused because of this system programming problem,” which was fixed Monday.

The agency plans to contact all affected customers by phone starting Friday.

New Laws Regulating Cost of Electricity


More than 1,300 residents have complained about skyrocketing electric rates from their third-party suppliers, and new regulations took effect at the beginning of the month to combat spiking prices.

The new laws are part of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s “Electric Supplier Consumers’ Bill of Rights,” which was introduced during the 2014 legislative session with the goal of “creating greater transparency and increasing protections” for customers, according to a news release from Malloy’s office.

New laws regulating the state’s electricity market began to take effect July 1, and include the following provisions:

  • Electric bills are now required to show what customers’ rates would have been under standard rather than third-party service
  • Providers must post their highest and lowest possible rates online and send them to PURA
  • Initial rates must remain fixed for at least three months after customers sign up
  • Suppliers must allow customers to switch back to standard service within 48 hours or to another third-party provider within 30 days of signing up
  • After a year, providers must allow customers to switch to another provider within 48 hours if they so choose
  • Suppliers must minimize or eliminate early termination fees
  • Suppliers must obtain written consent from customer before switching that customer from fixed-rate to variable-rate contract

The new law also gives regulators additional oversight and allows them to more closely monitor and penalize “unfair, deceptive and abusive sales practices,” according to the release.

“This ‘Bill of Rights’ will help put an end to misleading and deceptive marketing practices by giving Connecticut consumers the information and resources they need to shop around for the best price, choose the electric retailer that works best for them and, ultimately, to save money on their monthly electricity bill,” Malloy said in a statement Thursday. “I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, this is all part of our commitment to ensuring our residents have access to cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable power.”

Photo Credit: Steve Hanna/Flickr

Reward for Information About Shooting Death of Shelton Teen


The state is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with the fatal shooting of a Shelton teen in March.

Kristjan Ndoj, 15, was shot and killed in the driveway of a friend’s home on March 15. He was listed in critical condition until his death five days later. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect and bringing about a conviction. According to the state Division of Criminal Justice, Gov. Dannel Malloy authorized the reward, per the request of State’s Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor.

Police said Ndoj rode his bike to a friend’s house on Agawam Trail in Shelton when he was shot twice in the driveway. Authorities believe the shooter may have opened fire from the woods across the street.

A spokesperson for Ndoj's family said they are grateful the reward has been offered and that it was in the works for a while. The family is hoping it will lead to a break in the case.

Anyone with information about the case should call state police at 860-685-8190 or 1-900-842-0200.

Motorcycle Ride Honors Roxbury Boy Killed in ATV Crash


Motorcyclists will embark on an 80-mile ride through Connecticut next Sunday to raise money for the family of an 11-year-old Roxbury resident who died in an ATV accident last month.

The day after he finished fifth grade, Joey Awlasewicz went for a ride on trails near his home June 19 and never returned, police said. His body was found near Carriage Lane later that night.

Now motorcycle riders across Connecticut and New York are coming together to honor Joey’s memory and support his family.

The ride will begin an end at Black Bear Tavern just over the state line at 34 old Route 22 in Wingdale, New York. Riders should arrive at 9:30 a.m. July 20 and will embark after an 11 a.m. eulogy for Joey.

Organizer Joe Ceci said he has no direct ties to the family, but said he had to do something when he learned what happened to Joey and found out the boy’s mother had recently undergone a double mastectomy.

The cost to ride is $25 per motorcycle.

Photo Credit: Roxbury Police Department

Bear Found Near Taxiway at Bradley Air National Guard Base


Authorities have euthanized a bear that found its way over to a taxi terminal near Bradley Air National Guard Base in Windsor Locks on Thursday night.

According to police, the bear was first spotted around 6:30 a.m. and was seen wandering around town throughout the day.

The animal hadn't caused any problems until making its way onto airport property. It was found near a taxiway at the National Guard base in Windsor Locks.

State police and airport police worked to keep the bear away from the airport but authorities ended up euthanizing the animal around 10 p.m.

The exact circumstances of the bear's euthanasia are unclear.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division also responded to the scene.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Protestors Rally for Immigration Reform in New Haven


Protestors brought the immigration debate to New Haven Thursday night.

A group rallied on the steps of the federal courthouse to demand a solution to the growing crisis at the US-Mexico border. Their message is clear to the President: no more deportations.

One of those who wants justice is Carlos Ventura-Escalante, who came from Guatemala because of the violence. He's 17 years old and has been here for only five months. He journeyed to Connecticut because he says he would've been forced to join a gang and sell drugs.

On Thursday he rallied alongside Unidad Latina En Accion, a grass-roots organization defending the human rights of immigrants.

"A lot of people are suffering," Ventura-Escalante said. "Many children are without their parents because they're dying…they're starving. there's no water. there's a lot of violence.

Children from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico just to name a few are part of a mass exodus from Central America, driven by extreme levels of violence.

"They have been persecuted in their home countries, their family members have been persecuted in their home countries or they have a well-founded fear of persecution and for that reason they're coming here," said Danielle Robinson Briand, an immigration attorney.

Organizers say since October the Obama administration has detained children and mothers from crossing the US-Mexico border. To those who say these people should be deported, Robinson Briand says you should consider the number of people in your lives and "whether they go to a restaurant, whether they have somebody clean their house, recognize these people are parents and they have kids who they haven't seen for many years."

One of the people who made the trek across the border to New Haven months ago is Luis Miguel-Diaz.

"My journey was very hard and where it was the hardest was when I passed it with the train," Miguel-Diaz added, referring to the cargo train used by Mexicans and Central Americans to travel toward the US border.

Miguel-Diaz left "because there's a lot of violence in Mexico and my father abandoned me and I didn't know what to do and my mother couldn't support me anymore."


The President is pushing for an emergency request of $3.7 billion to deal with the humanitarian crisis but there have been sticking points namely the Republican request for speedier deportations.


Both sides are expecting more battles ahead before any compromise.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Guilford Man Accused of Sexting Underage Girls


A 25-year-old Guilford man is facing charges after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl and "sexting" at least four others, according to police.

Jason Murphy was arrested in March and charged with sexually assaulting the young teen. While police were investigating, they learned that Murphy had also reportedly had explicit conversations with a number of other young girls on Kik Messenger, an instant messaging app that allows users to talk to friends and meet other users.

According to police, Murphy sent the girls nude photos and asked them to do the same, even after learning their ages. Police said he then tried to meet them in person.

Police have identified four victims and met with their families. The investigation is ongoing and police expect to file more charges as they discover other potential victims.

Murphy was served with four warrants Thursday afternoon charging him with enticing a minor and risk of injury to a minor. His bond was set at a total of $650,000.

Police are encouraging parents to talk with their children about the dangers of Internet chatting sites.

The app warns that users must be 17 years old to download it, but that evidently hasn't stopped minors from downloading Kik.

A spokesperson for Kik issued a statement saying, "The safety and well being of our users is extremely important," adding that it's rated 17+ in the app store in an effort to keep users safe.

No one at Murphy's home in Guilford answered the door when NBC Connecticut stopped by to ask for a comment.

Photo Credit: Apple/Kik Messenger
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