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Plans for West Haven Outlet Mall Move Forward


A developer is scheduled to break ground in March 2015 on a massive project that will turn a currently unused space in West Haven into an outlet mall with a hundred shops and restaurants.

That project took another step forward Tuesday night.

“Last night, at the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting, they amended the zoning regulations to allow for a retail shopping center down in this area,” said West Haven Mayor Ed O’Brien.

O'Brien says that means the developer, Gordon Holdings, won't need a special permit to begin the project at 105 Water Street.

“This is something that is going to turn around West Haven,” said O’Brien.

The project is privately funded, and Gordon Holdings has been working to acquire additional properties in the area to make way for the new outlet mall. One of those properties is right next door to the site at Bilco.

“Of course, any time you relocate a business that's been at a site, as we have – since the 1950s, we've been here – that's always going to be difficult to accomplish, but we're planning for it and actually looking forward to moving to a new location,” said Bilco Vice President of Finance Robert Santoro.

However, not every business is happy to relocate. Laurence Czajkowski is uncertain if he'll move, even though Sheldon Gordon from Gordon Holdings confirms that a deal has been reached to sell the property. Czajkowski says he's concerned about the honesty and transparency surrounding the project.

“Not once has anyone from City Hall has ever come in to my office and/or as I understand it, my neighbors, to say hey, here's what we're doing in the area,” said Czajkowski.

Sheldon Gordon says that barring any major road blocks or hurdles, the project will move forward. He says Gordon Holdings has already poured millions of dollars into the project, which is scheduled to be completed by fall 2016.

Enfield Officer Will Not Face Assault Charges


The Hartford state’s attorney has thrown out an arrest warrant for Officer Matthew Worden of the Enfield Police Department, who was accused of using force while arresting a man in April.

The warrant would have charged Worden with third-degree assault and falsifying or tampering with evidence. Enfield police filed the application July 10 and Hartford State’s Attorney Gail P. Hardy denied it six days later, according to a memo from Hardy to Enfield Police Chief Carl J. Sferrazza.

Worden arrested Mark-Andrew Maher, of Windsor, the night of April 1 after another officer spotted Maher at the River Street boat launch with three other people after hours, according to the memo.

Maher was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer and interfering with an officer. Days later, he filed a police brutality complaint against “three or four” unnamed officers who he claimed assaulted him while taking him into custody, the memo says.

The state’s attorney investigated using video from the police cruiser, the incident report Worden prepared for Maher’s arrest, two additional case reports dated April 1 and April 5, medical records for Maher and his police brutality complaint, according to the memo.

According to Hardy’s memo, Worden arrived that night with a police dog and helped detain the suspects after another man was seen furtively passing an object to Maher. A search of Maher’s pockets turned up several items, including a box cutter.

A scuffle broke out and officers put Maher on the ground in an attempt to restrain him. Dashboard video from a police cruiser parked at the scene shows Maher twisting his body and resisting the officers. Worden is seen punching Maher at least twice while trying to handcuff him, according to the memo.

“It is worth nothing that, at no time, are all four civilians together in one place, where officers could have them, and their hands, clearly in view, for officers [sic] safety,” the memo says.

It goes on to explain that “Worden’s conduct seemed to be aimed at an attempt to restrain Maher who was resisting officers [sic] attempts to handcuff him, rather than an intention to inflict physical injury.”

Hardy concludes that Worden may have violated the police department’s “use of force” policy but did not break the law.

Photo Credit: Enfield Police Department

Suspect Climbs Onto Roof to Avoid Arrest: Police


Norwalk police have arrested the man accused of robbing the First County Bank earlier this month after he climbed onto a motel roof in an attempt to get away, according to police.

Isaiah Gary, 32, of Norwalk, was taken into custody Wednesday morning after police received a tip that he was in a car behind the Norwalk Westport Motel at 344 Westport Avenue.

He’s accused of robbing the First County Bank at 469 Westport Avenue on July 17.

According to police, Gary climbed onto the motel roof to get away from officers but was apprehended and charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree larceny.

Gary was held on a $200,000 bond and is due in court July 24.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Bridgeport Officer Credited With Helping Save Toddler's Life


A toddler is alive and well today after a Bridgeport officer helped rush the boy to the hospital after finding him unconscious in the backseat of his parents’ car, according to police.

Police said Officer Michael Novia was on patrol near Park Avenue on Tuesday when a woman waved him over and told him her child wasn’t breathing.

Novia approached the car and saw the 18-month-old boy unresponsive in the backseat.

Police said the boy and his family are from the Bronx and had spent the day at the beach in Seaside Park. The child, Dylan, had shown "signs of distress" throughout the evening.

Dylan's parents called 911 and brought him out to the car. They were "disoriented" and looking for a hospital when they spotted Novia and flagged him down, police said.

Novia radioed dispatch, who contacted medical personnel at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center, then turned on his lights and siren and told the family to follow him to the hospital, police said.

Dylan was transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital and is listed in good condition.

Personnel at Saint Vincent’s told police that the toddler likely would not have survived had they waited for an ambulance to arrive, according to police.

Novia was recognized at police headquarters at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“We called the hospital this morning and I am so happy to report Dylan is in good condition. I have four sons and I can’t imagine being in that situation,” Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “I want to thank Officer Novia and all of our police officers. The reality is that were it not for that actions of this officer, a family could be mourning the death of a child. Instead, we have hope and good news from doctors.”

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Brothers Fight Off Armed Teen Intruder


Two brothers fought off and helped detain a 15-year-old armed intruder who tried to rob them early Wednesday morning in New London, police said.

A teen, wearing a hockey mask and carrying a knife and a loaded gun, invaded a home on Crystal Avenue just before 3 a.m. on Wednesday, according to police.

Richard and Kevin Dennis were asleep when the teen broke in, but woke up and acted quickly.

Richard went toward the teen.

"That’s when he hit me in the head with the gun. Then I picked him up and he started wailing on my back with the butt of the gun," Richard said.

Kevin got a gun to help his brother, and told the teen to drop his weapon and stay still.

"I heard my brother say, 'Kevin, I need help. He has a gun.' When I heard that, (I) grabbed my gun and went flying through the door," Kevin Dennis said.

The teen did drop his weapon.

"He dropped it the moment he saw me. I got mine. The fight was over. It was night and day," Kevin Dennis said.

When police arrived, they arrested the intruder.

The teen was charged with home invasion, burglary, second-degree assault with a firearm, first-degree threatening and carrying a pistol without a permit. His name has not been released because of his age.

The resident who was assaulted had minor injuries, but declined medical treatment, police said. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Innocent Man Freed After 20 Years


A suburban Chicago man wrongly convicted of murder got a taste of freedom for the first time in 20 years Wednesday.

Rodell Sanders received a new trial and was acquitted after a witness recanted.

"I am happy to be out. I am thankful to be out. I am happy I survived as long as I did. I'm thankful for my legal team. I am thankful for my family that stood by me all this time," Sanders said.

Sanders was serving an 80-year sentence for a crime he never committed. He was identified in a photo lineup by the surviving victim of the robbery, but his attorneys say police doctored the photo.

"Anyone viewing that photo array would know you wouldn't put a photo with errors in it just to be a filler. That to be the suspect's photograph," attorney Russell Ainsworth said.

After he was convicted, Sanders became a student of the law, and acted as his own attorney at the hearing that won him a new trial.

"I took about $1,000 -- asked my sister Virginia to buy me about $1,000 worth of legal books, and I taught myself the law as much as I can, and I took on the justice system," Sanders said.

Sanders was reunited with his children and grandchildren Wednesday.

"I tell him all the time that I can't even believe the things he's done. He's a talker, without a doubt, so yeah, he is unbelievable," Sanders' eldest daughter, Lynette Booth, said.

Sanders is suing the Chicago Heights police department and the officers involved in his case, but he says he's not bitter or angry -- he'd like to work for change by helping others wrongly convicted and serving time.

"I want to go out. I want to work. I love law, love the courtroom. I would love to go on to be a paralegal or a lawyer or something like that," Sanders said.

2 Accused of Stealing Copper Piping From Norwich Home


Two men are facing charges after stealing copper piping from a vacant home on Joseph Perkins Road in Norwich, according to police.

Eric Vic, 29, and Kevin Banta, 30, were arrested Wednesday morning. Police said witnesses helped them identify the suspects’ vehicle, and officers set up surveillance in the area until they spotted the car.

Inside, officers found “tools generally used to commit burglaries,” according to police.

Banta and Vic were each charged with possession of burglar tools, third-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief and sixth-degree larceny. Vic was additionally charged with carrying weapons in a motor vehicle.

They were held on $25,000 bonds and are due in court Thursday.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and has provided insight into a number of unsolved burglaries in Norwich and the surrounding area. They expect to make additional arrests.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department

Gruesome Details on Mortuary Bodies


Disturbing new details on the conditions of decaying bodies found in a Fort Worth funeral home emerged Wednesday with the release of arrest warrant affadavits for two of the mortuary's managers.

Police who went to the Johnson Family Mortuary on July 15, weeks after its landlord had evicted it, found a gruesome scene, warrants for Rachel Hardy Johnson, 35, and Dondre A. Johnson, 39, showed.

Officers found evidence of insect infestation, as well as fly pupa on or near the bodies, according to those documents.

One corpse was mummified in a casket, while another that appeared mummified was wrapped only in a sheet and left on a coffee table.

Two more of the decaying corpses were of children, and of those, one was skeletonized while another was melted to a container.

More corpses were on gurneys, with bodily fluids draining onto the floor and into buckets places underneath to collect it, and with a shop vacuum nearby that had apparently been used to clean some of it. Other corpses were found in a garage area, where there was prevalent evidence of insects.

The warrants said that only one of the eight corpses found appeared to have been cared for properly and was not severely decomposed. That body was from a recent funeral and was being prepared to be shipped to Kenya.


Rachel Johnson was arrested July 18, while Dondre surrendered to police at about 2 a.m. July 19.

Each was charged with seven counts of abuse of a corpse, and both were released after paying $10,500 bond each, or $1,500 for each count.

Investigators said they intentionally or knowingly treated seven corpses "in a seriously offensive manner, namely by retaining custody of and storing the human corpse in an unrefrigerated building instead of delivering the said human corpse for proper burial or cremation."

(Read the arrest warrant affidavit here.)

The seven corpses officials say were abused were identified as being those of the following people:

  • Baby Girl Booker — DOB April 21, 2012 — DOD April 21, 2012
  • Karen Pearl Jones — DOB Nov. 8, 1958 — DOD March 25, 2014
  • Helen Jones — DOB Oct. 12, 1943 — DOD April 9, 2014
  • Boy Desiree Williams — DOB Unknown — DOD May 1, 2014
  • Deborah Whitney — DOB Unknown — DOD May 11, 2014
  • Victoria Vasquez — DOB — Aug. 25, 1961 — DOD June 9, 2014
  • Patricia Baptiste — DOB Unknown — DOD June 30, 2014

During a discussion with police July 15 outside of the mortuary, Dondre Johnson is quoted in the affidavit as saying he and his wife owned the funeral home but that she was in charge.

He added that the above conditions were not unusual, saying that bodies belong in a funeral home and that the bodies hadn't been there longer than four months. He told police he was not licensed by any state agency and that he merely owns the funeral home.

About an hour after talking with Dondre Johnson, police spoke with his wife Rachel. She told them that she holds a license through the state funeral commission and that she was in charge of the administrative functions of the business.

She told police she had been absent from the business due to recently giving birth but had been at the mortuary only a few days before. She admitted to police that she smelled a stench, but said she was unaware there were bodies inside the funeral home.

Rachel is quoted in the affidavit saying her husband is more about the "pomp and circumstance" and the "show" associated with conducting memorial services and that he was not very good at keeping up with the necessary administrative paperwork needed to properly bury and cremate corpses.

Abuse of a corpse, a Class A misdemeanor, is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 per count.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Chikungunya: What You Need to Know


A person caught the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya in the United States this month, health officials say — marking the first time mosquitoes in the U.S. are believed to have spread it.

Other cases of the illness, which is relatively new to the Americas, have been reported in travelers returning home to FloridaNew YorkTexas and elsewhere, often after trips to the Caribbean.

Here is some key information about chikungunya and the virus that causes it.

How do you get chikungunya? Mosquitoes transmit the virus between people. The two species usually responsible, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, bite mostly during the day. In the U.S., they are found in the Southeast and in some parts of the Southwest, though Aedes albopictus also is found up through the Mid-Atlantic and in the lower Midwest.

What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain, often in the hands and feet; also possible are muscle aches, headaches, joint swelling and a rash. Symptoms, which can be severe, usually begin three to seven days after a person is bitten. Most people feel better within a week, and death is rare, though joint pain can persist.

How do you treat chikungunya? There is no specific treatment and no vaccine. Medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen, paracetamol and acetaminophen can relieve fever and pain, though.

How do you avoid getting chikungunya? To protect yourself, try to avoid being bitten. Use air conditioning or window screens. Use insect repellant, and if possible, wear long sleeves and pants. Get rid of standing water, where mosquitoes can breed.

Who is most at risk for a severe case? Newborns exposed during delivery, people 65 and older and those with high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease are at the highest risk.

What does the name mean? It is derived from a word in the Kimakonde language, spoken in southern Tanzania, where the virus was first detected. It means to become contorted or bent, describing the stooped appearance of someone suffering from joint pain.

Where has it been reported? Outbreaks have occured in Africa, Asia and Europe and on the islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The first case transmitted in the Americas was reported in the Caribbean in late 2013.

How do you pronounce chikungunya? Like this: chik-en-gun-ye.

Source: Centers for Disease and Prevention, World Health Organization

Photo Credit: wikicommons

Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder


A Long Beach homeowner has no regrets after shooting and killing a woman who said she was pregnant after he got into a confrontation with her and another man who were ransacking his sprawling home.

Tom Greer, an 80-year-old retiree, arrived to his upscale Bixby Knolls neighborhood Tuesday night to find a couple in the middle of a late-night break-in.

"When I went in there, they tackled me," Greer told NBC4 Wednesday. "Both of them jumped up on top of me."

The intruders, a man and woman, may have underestimated Greer, he said, as they ransacked his safe and yanked the door open right in front of him.

The intruders threw Greer to the ground, but they didn't know he'd gotten his .22-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.

"I come back and they see me with a gun, and they run," he said.

The man escaped, but the woman fell after being struck by Greer's gunfire in an alley behind the house.

"She says, 'Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant! I'm going to have a baby!' And I shot her anyway," Greer said.

When asked what he saw happen to the woman after he fired shots, Greer responded: "She was dead. I shot her twice, she best be dead ... (The man) had run off and left her."

"I've never in my life shot anybody, killed anybody," Greer said.

Greer was being treated at the hospital Wednesday for a severe shoulder and collarbone injury, but he hoped to send a warning to the man who got away.

"I shot her so that's going to leave a message on his mind for the rest of his life," Greer said.

Long Beach police said they were investigating the incident. It was not immediately clear whether any charges would be filed against Greer for the shooting.

New London Police Arrest Suspected Drug Dealers


Police have arrested two men accused of dealing drugs in New London.

Police arrested Raashid Cox, 24, and Lamont Waites, 19, of 365 Jefferson Avenue in New London, after searching their home Wednesday morning as part of a long investigation. Authorities found drugs and weapons at the house, according to police.

Cox and Waites were each charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell, possession of marijuana within 1500 feet of a housing project, operating a drug factory and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cox was additionally charged with criminal possession of a firearm and altering or removing the identification mark of a firearm.

Photo Credit: New London Police Department

Equipment Stolen From Suffield Tree Service


Police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down the burglars who stole more than $11,000 worth of equipment from H.T. Sikes Tree Service in Suffield last week.

Workers reported the burglary July 18 and told police the door to their equipment garage had been forced open and $11,500 in equipment was missing. According to police, 13 chainsaws and a leaf blower were taken sometime between July 16 and July 18.

Anyone with information on the burglary is urged to call Suffield police Det. Justin Fuller at 860-668-3870.

Car Crashes at Shelton Gas Station


Authorities are responding to the BP gas station at 198 Leavenworth Road in Shelton after a car crashed into the gas pumps Wednesday night.

No additional information was immediately available. There has been no word on injuries.

An NBC Connecticut crew is at the scene. We'll bring you updates as they come into the newsroom.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings in Effect


Severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for Fairfield and New Haven counties until 10:15 p.m. A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Litchfield County until 10 p.m.

Flood advisories have been issued for the Litchfield, Hartford and Tolland counties until later tonight.

Storms are possible tonight and some might be strong, but widespread severe weather is not expected, according to NBC Connecticut meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan.

Heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds are possible in any storm that develops.

To get the latest forecast, download the NBC Connecticut weather app.

The hot weather has prompted Bloomfield to open cooling centers.

If you see severe weather, send your photos to us at shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

Man Charged in Murders of Daughter, Wife Found Dead in 1995


Almost 20 years after the body of a 17-year-old girl was discovered behind a shopping plaza in New Britain, police have identified her and charged her father with murdering the teen and her mother.

Elizabeth Honsch was found shot in the head near 593 Hartford Road in New Britain on Sept. 28, 1995. Her body had been wrapped in a sleeping bag and plastic trash bags, according to police.

The body of her mother, 53-year-old Marcia Honsch, was found eight days later and 40 miles away near the entrance to a state park in Tolland, Massachusetts. She had also been shot in the head and had been dead for a week when her body was discovered, according to police.

Both women were found without any identifying information and, until today, were known publicly only as Jane Doe. DNA testing revealed that they were related, and their names were released at a press conference Wednesday.

Police have obtained arrest warrants charging Marcia's husband and Elizabeth's father, 70-year-old Robert Honsch, with murder in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.

He's in the custody of the Wayne County Sheriff's Department in Wooster, Ohio, and will be extradited to New England, authorities said.

The Honsch family was living in Brewster, New York, at the time of the murders. According to police, the Honsches "suddenly lost contact with all other family members" in October 1995, shortly after the bodies were found.

Authorities learned that Robert Honsch had moved to Dalton, Ohio, and was living under the name Tyree Honsch with his current wife and children. Police began investigating him after relatives of Marcia and Elizabeth Honsch reported them missing in June.

The arrest warrants for Robert Honsch have been sealed and it's not clear why family members waited so long to report the women's disappearances.

Information on an attorney for Robert Honsch was not immediately available.

Police released pictures of the clothing and jewelry Elizabeth Honsch was wearing at the time of her death, along with facial reconstruction images. Photographs of Marcia, Elizabeth and Robert Honsch were released Wednesday.

Elizabeth Honsch isn’t the only woman to be found dead on Hartford Road in New Britain.

In 2007, the bodies of three other women were discovered in the same area near the intersection of Route 9 and Hartford Road.

Two of the woman have been identified as Joyvaline “Joy” Martinez, of East Hartford, and Diane Cuzack of New Britain. Their deaths are also considered homicides but police have not said whether they're connected.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department

Equipment at Local Fire Departments Pulled After Nationwide Recall


Several fire departments across Connecticut have taken some of their trucks out of service because of a nationwide recall issued after an accident in Georgia.

Ohio-based Sutphen Corporation issued the recall and it is affecting fire departments in Wethersfield, Middletown, Guilford, New Haven and Milford.

The recall was issued after three firefighters in Georgia were injured during a training exercise when a ladder they had extended suddenly dropped.

"There's a cable that runs that aerial up in the air, that cable snapped, sending that ladder track back into its bed," Deputy Chief Steven LaRosa of the Middletown Fire Department, said, describing what happened in Georgia.

Sutphen has instructed fire departments to remove SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110 Aerial devices from service, until further notice. 

Middletown’s truck is now out of service.

"If these other towns have that type of service where they need that ladder, that's going to put an awful crimp on their everyday responses to keep their people safe," LaRosa said.

Fire officials in Middletown said the public's safety was never compromised, but the recall has affected fire departments statewide.

"When those trucks are in service, it's difficult to lose them," LaRosa said.

New Haven's Fire Department also lost two tower ladders, but the chief insists it's not affecting staffing or public safety.

Two trucks in Wethersfield were affected and Guilford and Milford each have one.

Middletown is using a truck that has not been used regularly as a temporary replacement for the truck they had to take out of service.

"We have to make sure everybody is covered, so we made the decision to put this back into service," LaRosa said.

Middletown firefighters had a truck handy even though they don't use it regularly.

On Wednesday the president of Sutphen issued a letter and said they're investigating as quickly as possible.

“As a proud company of over 124 years, we have taken our responsibility to our communities and customers very seriously – for generations,” he wrote. “We have now voluntarily removed all 5-Section Aerial Devices (SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110)  from Service and are undertaking a thorough review.”

Middletown says it hopes to get the truck back into service next week.

Police Search for Intruders After Columbia Home Invasion


A resident was assaulted during a home invasion in Columbia early morning and police are searching for the two intruders.

The resident was hiding in a bedroom when he called 911 around 2 a.m. and said people were in his Oakwood Lane home with weapons, according to state police.

This is the second time in weeks that police have responded to the house, according to neighbors who said it was targeted rather than a random incident.

The victim was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries that are described as not life-threatening. He has since been released.

One of the intruders is around 5-foot-5 and was wearing dark clothes and dark knit cap. He was carrying  handgun. The other intruder is around 5-foot-9 and was wearing a dark knit cap. He had a long gun.

Police believe an unattended car across the street from the home might be connected to the home invasion.

State Police spent several hours searching for the intruders and brought K9s in to assist.

Investigators left the neighborhood before noon. They said they have some leads and no reason to believe the intruders are still in the area.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Lake Waramaug Closed


Lake Waramaug in Kent is closed on Thursday because of water quality, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

A water sample was taken today and results are expected on Friday.

All other state park beaches that  DEEP tests are open.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Suspect in East Hartford Stabbing on the Loose


East Hartford police are searching for a woman suspected in an assault and stabbing last month and ask for the public’s help to find her.

Arielle “Arie” McFarlane, 21, of East Hartford, is wanted for an assault in the area of Columbus Street and the Columbus Circle Extension on June 29, police said.

An arrest warrant issued on July 17 charges her with attempt to commit murder.

McFarlane’s last known address is 35 Evergreen Ave, Apt C-1 in Hartford and she was last seen operating a red four-door Infiniti G35 with Connecticut license plate 382ZWN.

If you have any information that could help police locate her, call Detective Johnston at (860)-291-7526 or (860)- 528-4401.

Photo Credit: East Hartford Police

Did Obama Delay Woman in Labor?


A pregnant woman was stopped from crossing a Los Angeles street Wednesday afternoon because the road was closed for President Barack Obama’s motorcade.

NBC4 anchor/reporter Robert Kovacik witnessed the woman take shelter at a bus stop bench on the south side of Third Street east of Robertson Boulevard and across from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The pregnant woman was with her spouse at the time. Witnesses and two LAPD officers on scene said they believe the woman was in labor and told NBC4 an ambulance was called to the location as a precaution.

NBC4 talked to the woman on the scene, and she asked not to be shown on camera. She was out of breath and appeared to be in active labor.

Police on the scene tell NBC4 there were two medical emergencies during the president’s motorcade, the woman’s pregnancy and a man having post-surgical problems.

Kovacik shot video on his cellphone of the woman sitting at a bus stop bench and posted it to his Instagram account.

Read: Man Accused of Killing Daughter, Wife Found Nearly 20 Years Later Living With New Family

Kovacik questioned LAPD Sgt. Kurt Smith at the scene.

"As soon as we can, looks like the motorcade is coming through right about now," the LAPD officer responded. "We’ll be able to open it up for traffic and first we’ll thing we’ll try to get to will be an ambulance, but I can’t guarantee ... the time on that," the officer said.

Obama was in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon for a 24-hour visit that included two political fundraisers and a speech at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Wednesday's fundraisers included a stop at the Hancock Park home of television producer Shonda Rhimes.

Several street closures were announced before the visit.

According to witness Carrie Clifford, the woman waited at least 30 minutes before she could cross the street, she told The Blaze. Clifford tweeted updates and pictures from the location, including: "Ironically, Obama is going to @shondarhimes. This could be #GreysAnatomy - woman in labor can't get to Cedars cuz of O."

The White House has not responded to a request for comment. A spokesman for the Secret Service said the incident is under investigation by the LAPD.

"The Secret Service works closely with state and local police counterparts in planning for and conducting motorcade movements of our protectees," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said in an email. "It is always our policy to prepare for and facilitate medical emergencies, medical flights, ambulances etc. in the fastest and safest way possible."

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Robert Kovacik
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