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Missing 99-Year-Old From Prospect Found Safe


Police have canceled a Silver Alert issued for 99-year-old Roger Ostrander, who went missing from Prospect today and was found safe Thursday evening.

According to police, Ostrander has dementia and drives occasionally. Police issued a Silver Alert today when he didn't come home.

Ostrander is described as a white man with gray eyes and gray hair. Police said he stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds.

He was believed to be driving a gray, four-door 2004 Volvo S60 with Connecticut plates 213-HXV.

Police canceled the Silver Alert for Ostrander around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Police Respond to Threat at Trinity College in Hartford


Police responded to Trinity College at 300 Summit Street in Hartford and access was restricted to campus building after an alumna threatened the school Thursday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the college.

Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley said the college contacted Hartford police Thursday afternoon and requested that officers be sent to the campus as a precaution.

According to a college spokesperson, an alumna from the class of 1984 "threatened to come onto campus today and cause some kind of disruption that would be newsworthy."

Foley said no imminent threat was reported. Trinity College officials sent out an email update around 7 p.m. saying "there is no immediate or specific threat to the campus at this time."

"I don't even want to say threat," Foley clarified. "Very nonspecific statements that certainly could be construed as a threat. It's our due diligence to investigate."

Building access was restricted "out of an abundance of caution" but all campus activities continued as scheduled, college officials said.

A maintenance worker at the college said buildings that are normally unlocked were locked and required students and faculty members to use their college identifications to get in.

School officials described the suspect as a 53-year-old woman standing 5 feet 3 inches tall with graying brown hair and said "she may look quite unkempt."

She was believed to be driving a 1997 Toyota Avalon with Connecticut plates 814-TZX.

"We do not believe her to be violent, or a danger to anyone, but seek your help in notifying Campus Safety immediately if you think you see her," school officials wrote in a campus-wide alert Thursday. "Please do not approach her yourself."

Trinity officials said the investigation into the incident "raised concerns about the alumna's well-being" and that authoriites are continuing to monitor the situation.

Police are working with campus safety to search for the suspect and investigate the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to call Trinity Campus Safety at 860-297-2222.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

6-Year-Old is Newest Member of Yale Football Team


The first and only pick of the Yale Bulldogs’ 2014 draft is 3-foot-5, 65 pounds and 6 years old.

His name is Dante Chiappetta and his position is “Team Impact.”

Dante, of West Haven, has cerebral palsy and cortical visual impairment, which means his eyes see correctly but his brain misinterprets the image.

He was diagnosed with CVI at just 1 month old, and doctors warned his parents that he could face a life of blindness. Fortunately, Dante can see, but his vision is sensitive.

“I look up to him more than he can image,” said Yale tight end Jackson Stallings, a sophomore. “Through his adversity, he embodies all of our core values, so it’s really great to have him aboard.”

Dante’s position on the team derives from a Boston-based organization that pairs children facing mental and physical difficulties with team-based college support networks, called Team Impact.

“Anything that we go through on a day-to-day [basis] is nothing he faces every day, so he’s a real strong person in my life,” Stallings said.

The team sees Dante as a bonafide member – he's already on the roster – and has invited him to the first game of the season. In two weeks, Dante will don jersey No. 39 and cheer on his teammates as they take on Lehigh at the Yale Bowl.

Silver Alert Canceled for 84-Year-Old Man Reported Missing from Norwalk


Police have canceled a Silver Alert for Roy Blackfield, 84, who was reported missing from Norwalk.

Blackfield's daughter, Allison McKinnon, said he and his wife are visiting from Florida and have been staying at the Marriott Courtyard in Norwalk.

According to McKinnon, Blackfield has dementia and drove off in the rental car around 3:30 p.m. Thursday without telling his wife and left his cellphone behind.

McKinnon said Blackfield asked a hotel employee for directions to the nearest Bank of America before getting in the car.

Blackfield is originally from Vero Beach, Florida, and is believed to be driving a gray 2013 four-door Chrysler 200 with New Jersey license plates reading J30-DFH.

Blackfield is 6-foot-1, weighs 170 pounds and has blue eyes and white hair, according to police.

He was last seen wearing a navy V-neck sweater, a pink-striped button-down shirt, light blue pants and brown boat shoes, police said.

McKinnon said Blackfield is carrying his wallet, driver's license and hotel key.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call Norwalk police at 203-854-3000.

Photo Credit: Allison McKinnon

Changes to Route 9 in Middletown Proposed


Travelers who take the Route 17 on-ramp to Route 9 North might be seeing changes in the future.

This area has the highest frequency of crashes in the state, according to the state Department of Transportation. There have been more than 100 crashes every year for the past five.

“I take it every day to work. It’s horrible,” Olivia Henderson said.

To enhance safety in the area, the DOT is now working on a conceptual plan. Here is how it breaks down:

  • Widen the existing bridge immediately north of the stop-controlled on-ramp to accommodate a full length acceleration lane
  • Relocate the intersection of Union Street, Harbor Drive and River Road, which is currently located under the bridge, east across Sumner Brook
  • Build two new bridges and realign the three intersecting roadways.
  • Close the existing on-ramp to Route 9 north at the end of Harbor Drive and transform it into a local access road with on-street parking.

Right now, the plan is not definite, but drivers said they are glad the though process has started.

“I am glad they are acknowledging it, 'cause it really should be fixed,” Henderson said.

The DOT will hold a public information meeting on Tuesday, Sept 23. It starts at 6:30 pm at Middletown City Hall.

Hoax Facebook Post Appeared to Be Man With Decaying Body


A man has been arrested after he posted pictures of himself with what appeared to be a decaying corpse, according to Norwich police.

Police said several Norwich residents called them, alarmed by a Facebook post that appeared to show a man with a decaying corpse he said he found in the woods on Lake Street in Norwich.

When police investiged, they identified the person as Christopher Mayo, 34, and searched the woods on Lake Street, but found nothing.

Officers later found Mayo nearby and determined the posts were a hoax.

Mayo was arrested and charged with second-degree breach of peace. He was held on a $250 surety bond and was scheduled a court date on September 12 in Norwich.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department

U.S. Fighter Jets Collide Over Pacific, 1 Pilot Missing


A pilot is missing after two U.S. fighter jets collided and crashed into the west Pacific Ocean, the Navy said.

One pilot was rescued soon after the crash Thursday night about 250 miles west of Wake Island, approximately 2,300 miles west of Honolulu.

A search was underway for the the second pilot, the Navy said.

The rescued pilot was returned to USS Carl Vinson and was said to be in fair condition and receiving medical attention.

An HSD-15 with a San-Diego based helicopter squad at North Island rescued the pilot.

Both jets were assigned to Carrier Air Wing 17 and assigned to the San Diego-based Carl Vinson. The jets, both F/A-18 Hornets, had not been recovered.

The public affairs officer for Navy Regional SW said the jets involved in the crash are based out of Lemoore Naval Air Station near Fresno.

Officials were due to update the search at 11 a.m. Due to technical problems, NBC 7 could not offer a live stream of the announcement.

The Navy said the aircraft carrier is on a security and stability mission in the Asia-Pacific region, NBC News reported.

The jets collided at 5:40 p.m. local time, or 10:40 p.m. PT, in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Guam.

The carrier group deployed from San Diego Naval Air Station on Coronado three weeks ago.

Helping in the search are USS Bunker Hill, USS Gridley and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed in June as it prepared to make a late-night landing on the Carl Vinson off the Southern California coast. The pilot ejected safely.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: AP

Crossing Guard Hit in Hartford


A vehicle hit a crossing guard in Hartford this morning.

New Park Avenue was closed in both directions at Hamilton Street, according to Hartford Police, but is has reopened.

Police said the car was moving slowly and the crossing guard was "a little banged up," but is conscious. They suspect sun glare is to blame.

Police are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Med Student Arrested in Theft


A medical student faces felony charges for the theft of an iPad that belonged to a cancer patient at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

The case represents a tragic intersection of the lives of two young women in their early 30s. 

Hospitalized with an aggressive form of breast cancer, keeping her iPad at bedside, Natalie Packer went into cardiac arrest. It was during the Code Blue response to try to revive her that the iPad disappeared, according to her family.

Months later, authorities found the iPad in the possession of Virginia Nguyen, 32, identified as a third-year student at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of petty theft, grand theft of lost property, and also of computer access and fraud.

She is in court Friday morning.

Recovering the iPad was important for Packer's family, her uncle Sam Heller said, because in her final days she had been entering personal messages and information for her sister Nicole.

A few days after Natalie Packer's death, she activated Apple's finder app, and it discovered the iPad at the Medical Center.  It also revealed that "Natalie's iPad" had been re-registered with Apple as "Virginia's iPad," Heller said.

It was at that point that the family contacted University Police. Ultimately, a detective obtained a search warrant for the re-registration information recorded wih Apple, revealing Nguyen's last name.

She was arrested on campus last March, and the District Attorney filed criminal charges at the end of July.

Nguyen told a detective she picked up the iPad by mistake because it looked like hers, according to Heller's account of what Det. Ethan Shear told him.

"If you analyze it, it's a pretty lame defense," Heller said.

When a medical school graduate seeks licensing to practice medicine in California, a felony conviction would be a negative factor taken into consideration, said Cassandra Hockenson, spokesperson for the California Medical Board.

Efforts by NBC4News to contact Nguyen and an attorney who has represented her were unsuccessful.

"I am committed to providing social justice and healthcare for diverse populations," reads the summary line on Nguyen's page on the LinkedIn networking site. It also states she works as a Research Fellow at the Medical School.  However, she is "not currently employed at UCLA," according to a statement issued by the University.

Citing privacy considerations, UCLA declined to comment on Nguyen's student status, but its statement noted the Medical School enforces an honor code.

"In those instances when a student's conduct does not meet those standards, we have administrative procedures that ensure appropriate due process is afforded to the student while also moving swiftly yet fairly to ensure accountability to these standards," according to the UCLA statement.

Packer's family is baffled by the notion that a medical student would jeopardize a career for which she has worked so hard.

Packer, who worked in the front office of the NFL, was the kind of person who would have offered the iPad as a gift, Heller said, had she only known it was wanted so much.

Girl Disappointed Obama Is Not Beyonce


President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited an elementary school in northeast Washington, D.C., for a charity event on Thursday, but one sixth grader wasn't impressed with their guest appearance.

The young girl working next to the president told him she was glad he and the first lady paid a surprise visit but that she was really hoping to meet someone else.

"I really wanted to see Beyonce," Madison told the president as they stuffed gift backpacks for homeless children.

"I understand," Obama replied. "Malia and Sasha would feel the same way."

Madison quickly recovered and tried to backtrack. “But then I realized it was going to be you and that’s even better,” she said.

“I appreciate you saying that in front of the press,” Obama told her. “I know it’s not really true.”

The first lady told Madison she had a valid point.

“I’d rather see Beyonce,” she said.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Kidnapper Met Hartford Teen on Disney-Run Site: Report


A Colorado man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Hartford teen who was missing for more than two weeks reportedly met the victim on a Web site run by Disney.

Police said the 14-year-old girl was found on Wednesday at an apartment in Longmont, Colorado. Longmont resident Timothy Wind, 53, has been arrested in connection with her disappearance.

Citing a court hearing held on Thursday, NBC affiliate KUSA reports that Wind allegedly met the teen on a kids' Web site called "Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow" and had been planning the abduction for more than a year. The site has since been shot down.

The teen disappeared from her Hartford home on Monday, Aug. 25. Police said Wind traveled to Connecticut and brought her back to Colorado.

Police documents from Wind's arrest say he planned the abduction for more than a year and took her on a honeymoon-style trip across the country.

According to the documents, Wind brought her to the place where his parents met and stopped in New York, New Jersey and Kansas before arriving in Longmont, 1,800 miles later.

Investigators believe the teen has been with Wind since her disappearance. Police documents say the teen initially lied to investigators about her age and name when they showed up at Wind's apartment, then began crying and told the truth.

Wind has been charged with second-degree kidnapping, sexual assault of a child, Internet sexual exploitation of a child and enticement of a child.

Police found pictures of male genitalia and a love poem, "written by, presumably, the victim," on a laptop they searched in connection with the girl's disappearance, according to the documents. The photos were dated July 2013.

A close friend of the victim's told police the girl had a boyfriend named "Tim" and had been dating him for about a year, the documents say. Wind and the victim met about two years ago and communicated through chat and messaging applications.

Police said Wind and the victim slept together on an air mattress in his apartment, and although the victim denied having sex with him, "it is highly suspected unlawful sexual contact occurred based on totality of this initial investigation," according to the documents.

Wind's bond was set at $100,000 in court on Thursday and a judge ordered Wind to have no contact with children, KUSA reports.

The Boulder County Housing and Human Services Department is caring for the teen and working to bring her home. The teen's family flew out west to be with her after she was rescued.

Her family released a statement on Thursday thanking the community, media and law enforcement for their help and support throughout the ordeal.

The statement says that finding the victim was the first stage of the process and now the focus is recovery – of local families, the community and, "to the extent possible, recovering a sense of normalcy for our family."

Photo Credit: Longmont Police Department

Lockdown Lifted at Cheshire High School


Cheshire High School was locked down for almost half an hour on Friday morning after one student sent a threatening text message to another, according to officials from the superintendent’s office.

The incident was discovered at 7:40 a.m. and the lockdown was lifted 25 minutes later.

The student who sent the message was taken out of class and his or her belongings were checked.

School officials quickly deemed there was no threat and the building was secure, according to the superintendent’s office.

More information will be posted once it is available.

Gas Leak Over in Waterbury


Officials responded to a gas leak at 34 Murray St. in Waterbury on Friday morning and the scene has cleared.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Milford Woman Killed in Crash


Milford police are investigating crash on Thursday morning that killed a 73-year-old woman.

Judith Pierce, of Milford, was driving east on New Haven Avenue at 11:40 a.m. and approaching Settlers Ridge Road when her 2009 Nissan Versa color blue went off the roadway and hit a tree, police said.

Anyone with information about the crash should call the Milford Police Traffic Division at (203) 878-5244.

Woman Guilty in Girl's Kidnap, Rape


A former daycare worker has been found guilty of abducting a 5-year-old girl from her Philadelphia elementary school and then brutally sexually assaulting her with a sharp object.

The jury's verdict marked the culmination of a nearly two-year ordeal that has horrified city leaders and residents.

Christina Regusters was convicted of all six charges, including kidnapping and sexual assault of a child. The 21-year-old sat emotionless Friday morning as the jury of seven women and five men threw the book at her inside a packed courtroom at Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center.

Her mother, sitting behind her, sobbed into a washcloth. Tears also streamed down the faces of the victim's family.

"She's an amazing and courageous little girl," lead prosecutor Erin O'Brien said of the young victim following the ruling. The girl, now 7, had testified in court before the accused.

A guilty verdict on only two of the charges would carry a sentence that amounts to life in prison. Regusters' sentencing was set for Dec. 15, and Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart ordered a mental health evaluation.

"It was a fair verdict," W. Fred Harrison, Jr., Regusters' attorney, said after leaving court. He said Regusters is planning to appeal.

Prosecutors said Regusters, dressed in Muslim garb, posed as the 5-year-old’s mother as she signed the child out of Bryant Elementary School in the Cobbs Creek section of the city on Jan. 14, 2013.

She was accused of leading the girl to a nearby home, putting her in a laundry bag and carrying her up into her bedroom. There, prosecutors say, Regusters blindfolded and stripped the girl, put her under a bed and sexually abused her with a sharp object. The entire ordeal lasted 19 hours, prosecutors say.

The girl was then dumped in an Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, playground wearing only a T-shirt. She was later found by a passer-by.

The girl had been severely injured in the attack, and doctors had to give her a temporary colostomy to let her body heal.

Regusters was arrested a month later and after a lengthy grand jury investigation was indicted on six counts: aggravated assault; involuntary deviant intercourse of a child involving serious bodily injury; kidnap to facilitate a felony; unlawful contact with a minor involving sexual offenses; unlawful restraint of a minor with a risk of a bodily injury; and concealment of the whereabouts of a child.

She remains the only person charged in the heinous crime.

Over the course of the 12-day trial, lead prosecutor Erin O’Brien painted the woman as a delusional monster who lied about her involvement in the kidnapping and rape.

Regusters and her attorney argued that she may have been involved in the kidnapping, but did not sexually assault the girl.

Extreme emotions filled the courtroom throughout the trial, with a number of people, including jurors, shedding tears.

The jury and media were shown graphic photos of the girl's injuries immediately after her attack, imagery so disturbing that members of the public were removed from the courtroom.

Also during the trial, testimony by Regusters' cousin that the defendant had also sexually abused her daughter prompted an outburst by Regusters. Regusters yelled out and tried to run from the room, halting the trial briefly.

Regusters never took the stand before the jury but did speak to the judge when Harrison sought and won a suppression of her statement to police. The reason: She was never read Miranda rights following her arrest, the judge found.

During her testimony, the victim recounted the attack and talked about how she was told that a bad man hurt her. The girl said she was shown a cell phone image of the man, who she was told assaulted her. But prosecutors say it was all an act, made up to confuse the girl.

Regusters’ DNA was found on the girl’s shirt, and images of child porn were found on the computer in the woman’s bedroom, detectives testified. Harrison argued such evidence was circumstantial, but,  after the trial, conceded that the evidence was too damning.

"The DNA was difficult to overcome as well as the internet searches which I believe led to her undoing," Harrison said.

Before the trial began, prosecutors offered Regusters a plea deal that would have earned her 40-years in prison.

As for the victim, she continues to recover from the injuries sustained in the assault. Her attorney, Tom Kline, has filed a civil lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia seeking damages for the child.

Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police

Police Arrest 4 While Investigating Report of Screwdriver Attack


New Haven police have arrested three people after investigating a report of a screwdriver attack. 

Police responded to domestic dispute on Christopher Green at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday and Nila Alvarado, 34, told officers that her roommate, Noelia Figueroa,30, and Figueroa’s friend Kelia Sanchez, 26, of New Haven lunged at her with a screwdriver and cut her left hand, police said.

The three women fought about unpaid rent and rumors of pending evictions until Alvarado’s husband, Jose Franco-Espada, 39, separated them, police said.

As EMTs treated her, Figueroa and Sanchez went to the police station to tell their side of the story.

Figueroa said she went to the apartment to get some personal belongings and confronted Alvarado about her mail being ripped up, then Alvarado attacked her, police said.

Sanchez told police she saw the women fighting, then Franco-Espada grabbed Figueroa by the neck, pushed her, said he had a gun and threatened to shoot her, police said.

Figueroa was arrested and charged with assault in the second degree and second degree breach of peace.

Sanchez was arrested and charged with assault in the third degree and second-degree breach of peace.

Alvarado was issued a misdemeanor summons and charged with second degree breach of peace.

Franco-Espada was charged with threatening in the second degree and second degree breach of peace.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Tree Falls on Wilbur Cross Parkway in Wallingford


One lane of the Wilbur Cross Parkway northbound is closed in Wallingford after a tree came down and hit two vehicles.

Officials from Troop I said the tree came down just south of exit 66 and hit a van and a pickup.

Minor injuries are reported.

The right lane is closed as crews clean it up.

Police Investigate New Haven Home Invasion


New Haven police are investigating a home invasion at an apartment on Bright Street.

Police responded to the residence at 10:50 p.m. to investigate a robbery and a woman told them she was asleep in a bedroom with her boyfriend and 4-month-old baby when a loud noise at the door woke them, police said.

Two men with guns demanded drugs, guns and money, separated the man and woman and ordered them to get on the floor, police said.

The men searched the apartment and took a box of clothing, sneakers, two cell phones and one of the victim's wallet. No one was hurt and the baby slept through the home invasion, police said.

The man who lives in the home told officers that a nearby house has been the target of past police investigations that he believes were drug related and said the robbers might have targeted the wrong place, police said.

The man also admitted to detectives he does smoke marijuana, but doesn't sell it, according to the news release.

No information was available about the intruders. Detectives are investigating.

Man Charged With Murder of Woman in Norwalk


Norwalk police have charged a 44-year-old Norwalk man with the murder of a 62-year-old woman. 

Bertony Thompson, 44, has been charged with the murder of Jackie Silverman, who was found unresponsive in a bedroom at 41 Wolfpit Avenue in Norwalk around 10:40 p.m. on Wednesday.

Police said Silverman had been strangled.

On Thursday, they said a 44-year-old man was found unresponsive near her body and was a person of interest.

Police responded to the home after receiving a report that a male resident had made suicidal comments, according to police.

They forced their way into the home and Silverman was pronounced dead at the scene. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Sept. 11 and determined the victim's cause of death to be homicide by asphyxiation, according to Norwalk police.

The man was rushed to Norwalk Hospital for treatment.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Thompson on Friday morning and took him into custody. He was charged with murder and is due in court on Monday.

Police called the situation an isolated incident.

Anyone with information is urged to call Norwalk police Det. James Thompson at 203-854-3184, call in an anonymous tip to 203-854-3111 or submit an anonymous tip online.

I-84 East in Hartford Has Cleared


A serious crash caused big delays on I-84 East in Hartford on Friday morning, but the scene has since cleared.

The crash happened between Exits 48 and 49, according to the Department of Transportation. One lane of the highway was opened as emergency officials responded.

Police said one car was involved in the crash.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT
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