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Newtown Man Missing for a Year


Police continue to search for a Newtown resident who disappeared almost a year ago without his cellphone, wallet, shoes or blood pressure medication.

Robert Hoagland was last seen mowing the lawn at his home on Glen Road around noon on July 28 of last year. Surveillance footage shows him making a purchase at the Newtown Mobil Gas Station on Church Hill Road earlier that morning.

He was supposed to pick up his wife at the airport the next day, and when he didn’t show, she reported him missing, police said.

His cars and personal belongings have all been accounted for, according to police. Authorities searched woods and trails around his home to no avail. He was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System database on Aug. 7, 2013.

Police said he withdrew $600 from the Union Savings Bank in Newtown the Thursday before he went missing. His son had legal trouble in Bridgeport and was arrested not long after Hoagland disappeared, according to police.

Reported sightings of Hoagland in Connecticut and Rhode Island turned out to be false leads. Police said he was possibly spotted at a Savers store in Brookfield on Jan. 20, but surveillance video wasn’t clear enough for authorities to determine whether it was him.

Hoagland is still missing today. He's described as a white man, balding, with brown hair and blue eyes. He stands 6 feet tall and weighs about 175 pounds, police said. He was 50 years old when he disappeared.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call Newtown police.

Photo Credit: Newtown Police Department

7th Grader Dies After Being Struck by Truck in Suffield


A seventh-grade boy has died after he was struck by a box truck while riding his bicycle near Suffield Midlde School on Thursday afternoon, according to Suffield Supt. Karen Baldwin.

Baldwin sent a letter to parents breaking the news. She identified the boy as seventh-grade student Francis Anthony Alamo, and said he was riding his bike with two friends on Mountain Road at the time of the accident.

Police said the crash happened around 4 p.m. at the intersection of Mountain Road and Canborne Way, right across from the school. Anthony was a student there.

He was struck by a box truck, which remained at the scene, and taken to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries. He later died, according to Baldwin.

"Anthony was a bright, creative young man who brought positive energy to every class and activity that he participated in," Baldwin wrote.

She said grief counselors will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Suffield Middle School tomorrow and a counseling schedule for next week will be released on the school Web site tomorrow afternoon.

Police and fire crews blocked off the area and remained on the scene for hours.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

22-Year-Old Murders Mother in Orange: Police


A 22-year-old Orange man accused of killing his own mother at their home Thursday afternoon has been arrested.

Police say Timothy Granata murdered his mother, Claudia Granata, 58, around 2 p.m. Thursday in their home on Wild Rose Drive. Police said family members called 911 to report the killing.

Emergency responders found Claudia Granata's body inside the house, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The state medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Timothy Granata was found near the home and was unarmed, police said. He was taken into custody and is being held overnight at police headquarters.

He's been charged with murder and is due in court tomorrow morning. His bond was set at $2 million.

Orange police and the State Police Central District Major Crime Squad are investigating.

The last homicide in Orange was in 1992.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Orange Police Department

Man Hanged Dog, Set House Fire: PD


A New Jersey man allegedly involved in a domestic dispute hanged his family dog before setting fire to his home, police say.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that 29-year-old Janrv Bacolod is accused of using an accelerant and setting fire to several parts of his Holly Street home in Mays Landing last Friday.

Several cats inside the home were killed, according to The Press of AC.

Prior to setting the blaze, police say Bacolod hanged his dog.

Police records show that the suspect's estranged wife had a restraining order against him. They say he violated that order when he called her at work and threatened her.

Bacolod is being held on $100,000 bail, according to the paper.


Photo Credit: Associated Press

Sick Boy Becomes Cop for a Day


One suburban Chicago police department had a new top cop on Wednesday.

Adam Broderson -- a 7-year-old boy with a heart defect -- was named sergeant by the Buffalo Grove Police Department for a day, and got to hang out with the other members of the force.

Adam dreams of one day growing up to be a police officer, but has already had to tough out several surgeries during his short life due to a rare heart condition that left him with only one working ventricle.

His day on the force was a surprise, and the young boy suited up for SWAT training, patrolled the village with his partner and even got to catch a bad guy in a simulated arrest.

He even got to train at the shooting range, which wasn't the favorite part of his day because of the noise.

The police department set up Adam's special day after seeing a letter he wrote in school.

Adam's parents say after suffering through three major heart surgeries, getting to live out his dream was the chance of a lifetime.

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Hospital Shooting Suspect "Abusive"


He's been called abusive by his ex-wife and crazy by his neighbors, and he's even served time for a Delaware bank robbery. But the latest crime Richard Plotts, 49, of Upper Darby, is accused of committing left his case worker dead, a doctor wounded and himself fighting for his life.

Police say Plotts opened fire Thursday in the psychiatric unit at the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center in Darby, killing his 53-year-old case worker and wounding a doctor who fired back, critically injuring Plotts. He is in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

"It doesn't surprise me at all," said former Crum Lynne neighbor Diane Clements. "He was a creep."

That's one of the nicer things said about Plotts.

His ex-wife, who asked to remain anonymous, told NBC10 her ex-husband was abusive, made threats on her life and acted violently toward her family.

"He was violent, physically and mentally," Plotts' ex said. "He has threatened to kill me. He's been violent to my family — parents, siblings — and he's just never been a very good person."

The couple's divorced was finalized in 1999, while Plotts served six years in prison for a Delaware bank robbery four years earlier.

While serving the remainder of his sentenced for the robbery -- three years supervised release -- he was arrested for possession of a firearm. His release was revoked and he was sent back to prison.

He was also arrested in the early 90s for trying to make a purchase at a John Wanamaker store with a stolen credit card, according to court records.

"He's a con artist," said his ex-wife. "He has psychiatric issues."

She did not elaborate on what those issues were, and details on his mental health were not immediately available.

"He was a goofball. He was crazy, and he had a girlfriend, and we used to hear him beating that girl up," Clements said.

Plotts was evicted from his home in the Kenneth House Apartments on West Chester Pike in Upper Darby about six months ago, according to a building maintenance man.

Cathy Nickels, his neighbor there, recalled the contentious way Plotts left after his eviction.

"As he was taken away in a van," she said, "he yelled, 'You haven't heard the end of me yet.'"

Photo Credit: Family Photo

Man Mistakenly Shot at in Dorner Manhunt to Get $1.8M


A Southern California man mistakenly shot at by police officers during the manhunt for a murderous ex-LAPD officer on a rampage last year will receive $1.8 million in a settlement with the city of Torrance.

David Perdue, 39, and his wife, of Redondo Beach, filed an excessive force lawsuit against the city in June 2013, alleging two Torrance police officers rammed their car into Perdue's truck and shot at him Feb. 7, 2013 while he was on his way to go surfing.

The settlement with the city of Torrance and Officers Brian McGee and Erin Sooper was reached last month, but the amount of the cash payout was confirmed Thursday by Torrance police Sgt. Chris Roosen.

"We are grateful to the city of Torrance and to the attorneys representing the city of Torrance for their consummate professionalism throughout these proceedings," said Robert Sheahen, Perdue's attorney.

None of the bullets struck the 39-year-old Perdue, who had previously been stopped and cleared by other officers, according to the lawsuit, which was filed after he failed to reach a settlement with the city.

Perdue says he suffered a concussion when his truck's airbag opened and has lingering physical and emotional problems as a result of what happened to him that day.

Authorities said that the ex-LAPD Officer, Christopher Dorner, killed four people --  a Riverside police officer, a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy and the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance -- during a rampage fueled by his anger over being fired from the Los Angeles force several years ago.

The disgruntled ex-cop's remains were found inside a burned-out Big Bear cabin after a shootout with law enforcement, culminating a nearly week-long manhunt for the fugitive.

Crash Causes Congestion on I-84 East in Hartford


A two-car crash is causing congestion on Interstate 84 East in Hartford as residents head out to start the work day.

Only one lane of I-84 is open at exit 48 and the state Department of Transportation reports that the highway is congested between exits 41 and 48.


Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

New Canaan Public Works Employee Dead After Being Hit By Car


A New Canaan Public Works employee who was struck by a car while spray painting the intersection of New Norwalk Road and East Avenue on Wednesday morning has died, according to police.

The employee has been identified as Benjamin Olmstead, 71, of Norwalk. Police said the car that hit him was driving northbound on New Norwalk Road and turning left onto East Avenue.

According to police, the driver stopped and stayed at the scene. Olmstead was taken to Norwalk Hospital. He died on Thursday, police said.

An accident reconstruction team comprised of New Canaan and Wilton officers is investigating.

Worker Stole Items From Military


An employee at O’Hare International Airport was charged with theft after he allegedly stole items from military foot lockers that were meant to be shipped overseas.

James Matthews, 41, of Sauk Village, Illinois, was charged with two felony counts of theft, police announced early Friday.

Chicago police officers and the U.S. Postal Service Inspector saw Matthews taking mail, a military foot locker that contained a laptop, and other stolen items from flights to the post office just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

He is scheduled to appear in bond court Friday.

Photo Credit: Chicago Police Department

Madonna Badger Marries College Friend


Madonna Badger celebrated a moment of joy earlier this week when she and a college friend got married in New York.

William Duke has been one of the many people to stand by Badger and help her over the two and a half years since a devastating fire in Stamford took the lives of her three daughters and her parents.

The couple got married on Tuesday, according to Badger’s Facebook page

Badger suffered a terrible tragedy on Christmas morning in 2011, when fire spread through the Stamford home.

Her three daughters, 10-year-old Lily and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah, as well as her parents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson, were killed.

Over the last couple of years, Badger has publicly shared her story of devastating grief and healing

In November 2013, Badger wrote a column for Vogue Magazine, and said Duke was one of the many friends who made sure she was not alone as she began to deal with the life-altering tragedy.

Over time, they fell in love. On Tuesday, they eloped.

Badger’s Facebook page is filled with well wishes and messages of congratulations. 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Man Dies After Protecting Child


A 57-year-old man has died after he was confronted by an attacker while he tried to protect a young child, according to police.

Gabriel Ortega was at a restaurant on the 1400 block of Vine Street in Hollywood around 9:30 p.m. on July 14 when he saw a man yelling at a child.

The attacker reportedly clenched his fist and walked toward the child. Ortega then stepped in front of the child to act as a shield and told the attacker to leave the kid alone, police said.

The man then started punching Ortega. He then fled the scene, authorities said.

Ortega checked himself into the hospital on July 17, three days after the attack. He died as a result of the altercation, a coroner determining that Ortega’s cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Police are looking for the attacker. A detailed description was not immediately available.

City News Service contributed to this article.


Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Man Pushed Girlfriend Onto Train Tracks: Police


Waterbury police have arrested a Naugatuck man who is accused of pushing his girlfriend onto train tracks in Waterbury on Thursday.

The woman suffered a large cut to the head and was taken to Waterbury Hospital, but was not seriously injured, according to police.

The incident happened around 4:45 p.m. and a Metro-North train that had been traveling to Waterbury was held while emergency crews responded and transported the woman from the scene, police said.

Christopher Norton, 39, was charged with assault, breach of peace and reckless endangerment, according to police, who said the couple had been drinking beer while waiting for a train to Naugatuck.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


Photo Credit: Waterbury Police

Man Stole $57,000 in Heirloom Silver: Cops


Glastonbury police have arrested a local man accused of stealing and pawning more than $57,000 worth of his landlord’s family heirlooms.

The owner of a home Gregory Riach, 23, of Glastonbury was renting contacted police in June to report that several pieces of silver were missing and police identified him as a suspect.

Riach was arrested just after 7 p.m. on Thursday and charged with first-degree larceny. Bond was set at $150,000.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

2 Florida Girls Arrested for Torturing Rare Tortoise


Two teen girls accused of lighting a threatened gopher tortoise on fire and stomping it to death in a videotaped incident have been arrested, authorities said Friday.

Jennifer Emoke Green, 18 and a 15-year-old girl are facing charges of felony cruelty to animals and taking harassing and killing a gopher tortoise, a second-degree misdemeanor, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Videos posted on Facebook showed the Orange Park girls dousing the tortoise with a flammable fluid and laughing as the creature tries to get away from the flames.
A second video shows one of the girls stomping on the animal until its shell breaks and it's dead.

The FWC received a tip about the incident on July 15 and worked with the State Attorney’s Office of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in the investigation.

"We take these issues very seriously," Col. Calvin Adams, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, said in a statement. "We appreciated the help from the public and our partners in working to protect our valuable natural resources."

Green faces up to five years in prison plus up to 60 days in jail and or a $500 fine on the misdemeanor charge. The 15-year-old is being prosecuted in the juvenile system.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/MyFWC

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Suspicious Device at Salvation Army Was a Paperweight: Police


A suspicious device found at the Salvation Army in Hartford and first reported as a grenade turned out to be a paperweight, according to police.

The Hartford Police Bomb Squad responded to the Homestead Avenue location Friday afternoon after a worker found the item in a Salvation Army bin around 2:30 p.m., police said.

Police evacuated the store as a precaution while authorities worked to identify the device. It turned out to be a paperweight.

The situation was over by 4 p.m. and police have cleared the scene.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley

3 Kids Killed After Carjacking


Three siblings who were helping their mother sell fruit along a North Philadelphia street are dead after carjackers ran them down, police say. Their mother, another woman and the carjacking victim are fighting for their lives as police search for the men responsible.

The five pedestrians were working at the fruit cart on the corner of Germantown and Allegheny Avenues around 11:15 a.m. on Friday when a white Toyota 4Runner, stolen minutes earlier by two men, blew a tire and jumped the curb, Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. James Clark said.

The large SUV plowed into the group, skidded across a grassy lot and rammed head-on into a tree.

A 10-year-old boy drew his last breath on the street, Clark said. His 15-year-old sister was taken to Temple University Hospital where she died a short time later. Their 7-year-old brother, whose father identifies him as Terence, was rushed to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children where, despite doctor's efforts, he died. The names of the elder children are not yet being released because police are still working to notify all their family members.

Officials said the children were helping their mother sell the fruit to raise money for their church.

"I've been in the homicide unit for six years and this is one of the saddest cases I've come across," Clark said. "You have three innocent children who had the rest of their lives in front of them that were taken in this fashion. It's very sad. It's very tragic and we will find the individuals that are responsible."

The children's 34-year-old mother and 69-year-old family friend Thelma Brown were also seriously hurt. Clark said the mother is in extremely critical condition.

A sixth victim, the woman who was carjacked, is also in critical, but stable condition. She was in the SUV when it crashed. Clark said she is a real estate agent and had just finished showing a home near 6th and Cumberland Streets when the men forced their way into her SUV at gunpoint. That's about a mile from the crash scene.

At first, the suspects had the real estate agent drive, but then forced her into the back seat as one of the men took the wheel, Clark said. Detectives believe the SUV was traveling at a very high rate of speed when the tire blew.

Both suspects fled the scene on foot after the crash. A manhunt is now underway. The suspect's descriptions are not fully clear, but one was wearing a white T-shirt and basketball shorts. Police say he was armed with a gun. The other suspect is wearing an orange shirt and basketball shorts.

Authorities say the men may be injured from the crash and they have alerted all area emergency rooms to be on the lookout for anyone who comes in with car crash injuries.

Homicide detectives have also obtained some surveillance video from both scenes and plan to look for any identifying photos of the suspects.

The city is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the men. The reward had begun at $20,000, but continued to rise as each child passed away and additional donors chipped in.

The Fraternal Order of Police added an additional $10,000 to the reward for the arrests of the men wanted in the fatal accident. To receive the $10K, the men must be in police custody by noon Saturday.

"There are really no words for how I feel right now, but we do need to find these people and that needs to be our focus right now," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "Finding the people responsible for this crime and get them in custody as soon as possible before they harm anyone else."

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

East Haven Motel Robbery Suspect Facing Charges


Police have arrested the man accused of robbing an East Haven motel last month.

Richard Filipelli, 55, of Short Beach Road in East Haven, was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery and sixth-degree larceny.

He’s accused of holding up the Motel 6 at 320 East Main Street in East Haven along with another man the morning on June 17. According to police, the men walked into the motel around 4 a.m., jumped the counter and grabbed a cash drawer containing $218.

Video surveillance helped police identify Filipelli as one of the suspects. He was held on $150,000 bond and is due in court Monday morning.

Photo Credit: East Haven Police Department
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