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5 Arrested, 1 Injured After East Haven ATV Ride


One person was hospitalized and five people were arrested after droves of all-terrain vehicles rode through East Haven and area towns on Sunday.

Police responded to a 4 p.m. report of a stabbing on North High Street on Sunday and instead found Stephan McKoy, 30, with non-life-threatening injuries on his leg after crashing while riding an ATV. An ambulance took him to the hospital for treatment and police seized the ATV.

After receiving multiple reports from the public of ATVs riding through town throughout Sunday afternoon, police found and  arrested five people at 7:45 p.m. that night involved in a large-scale ride through the area.

Lamel Brooks, 25, of Hartford, Jose Carrasquillo, 28, of South Windsor, Julio Fernandez, 25, of East Hartford, and Joel Martinez, 21, of Hartford, are facing multiple charges including reckless endangerment and ATV driving violations. A 16-year-old boy was also arrested.

Police seized all five ATVs and said that one of them was stolen. Fernandez was also charged with larceny.

One of the groups of ATVs riding in East Haven included more than 50 vehicles, police said. 

Police charged Brooks, Carrasquillo, Fernandez and Martinez with second-degree reckless endangerment, operating an ATV on a public road and operating an ATV without valid registration. The 16-year-old was issued a court summons for all those charges. Brooks was additionally cited with possession of less than a quarter-ounce of marijuana and Fernandez was charged with third-degree larceny.

There is no word on whether there will be further charges.

Brooks, Carrasquillo, Fernandez and Martinez are due in New Haven Superior Court on Oct. 8.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia

Masked Man Robs South Windsor Convenience Store


Police are searching for the masked man who robbed a South Windsor convenience store at knifepoint Tuesday night.

The suspect brought a knife to Oakland Express at 249 Oakland Road around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday and demanded money from the clerk.

He made off with an unknown amount of cash and was last seen running eastbound on Oakland Road toward Wapping Plaza, according to police.

A K-9 team was brought in but couldn’t track him down. The suspect is described as a man wearing jeans, a dark hooded sweatshirt and a mask over his face.

Anyone with information on the robbery or who may have noticed suspicious activity in the area is urged to call South Windsor police at 860-644-2551.

New London Man Shoots Victim With Airsoft Gun: Police


A 20-year-old New London resident is facing charges after shooting another man with an airsoft rifle from his apartment window, then trying to run from police when investigators arrived to question him, authorities said.

Wesley Flanders, of Broad Street in New London, is accused of firing an airsoft gun out the window of his apartment. Police said the pellets struck and injured a man outside the Whaling City Spirit Shop at 291 Connecticut Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Authorities traced the gun to Flanders’ apartment on Broad Street. Police said he was uncooperative and evasive, then tried to run when officers confronted him.

Officers stopped him in the doorway to his apartment and spotted packaging for an airsoft rifle designed to resemble an assault weapon. Officers found the rifle near a window facing the area where the victim was shot.

According to police, investigators also found heroin and marijuana in the apartment.

Flanders was charged with second-degree assault, interfering with an officer, operating drug factory, possession of heroin and marijuana, possession with intent to sell and two counts of possession with intent to sell within 1500 feet of a school.

He was held on $75,000 bond and appeared in court Tuesday.

Photo Credit: New London Police Department

Hartford Stadium Project Could Face Lawsuit


The controversial plan to move the Rock Cats to a new stadium in Hartford could soon end up in court.

“We don’t feel like this process has been appropriate,” said Hartford attorney and political activist Ken Krayeske, who opposes the project.

Krayeske is planning to form a political action committee to raise money challenging the Downtown North development in hopes of derailing it. He said he’ll file paperwork with the Secretary of the State later this week.

“Has Rentschler Field improved East Hartford? No. So why are we so delusional as to think that a new minor league stadium in downtown Hartford is going to make Hartford yay better?” Krayeske challenged.

He said money raised by the committee could be put to a number of uses, including to support political candidates, hire an economist to study the numbers or file a lawsuit once the Hartford City Council approves the project.

“We want to have the option should we need to,” Krayeske explained. “Should City Council not come to its senses and reject the stadium as bad public policy, then we’re going to have to have to ability to take other measures.”

Supporters, on the other hand, say the project will transform the city for the better.

“Everyone is fine with the development except for the stadium,” said councilmember Ken Kennedy. “Then my question gets to be, ‘Folks, what’s wrong with the stadium?’”

Wesleyan Student's Anti-Sex Assault Video Goes Viral


Women are never “asking for it” – that’s the point one student at Wesleyan University is raising in a viral video designed to spread awareness of sexual assault.

Sally Rappaport produced the video last spring when she was a freshman as part of “Project Not Asking For It.”

The campaign has since taken college and high school campuses by storm, and the message is this: No matter how a woman dresses, dances or behaves, she is not inviting an attack or violation.

“I think dancing and bodies touching in close quarters are such a part of the college and party experience,” explained Rappaport. “I wanted to make a video that showed people dancing – dancing in a certain way, and that some people normally label as ‘asking for it’ – and demonstrate that it wasn’t and nothing ever is.”

Rappaport produced the video – set to Lauryn Hill’s 1998 classic “That Thing” – in a freshman dorm last year with the help of some friends. She took up the issue amidst two sexual assault lawsuits that raised questions about the future of fraternities at Wesleyan.

But her vision spanned far beyond the Middletown campus.

“I thought the medium of Facebook was a really great way to spread that message,” she explained.

It wasn't long before colleges around the country, including Columbia University and the University of Kansas, followed suit, producing videos of their own and helping to spread the word about safety and respect.

“It’s all [in] spaces where people are uninformed, where people are under the influence of something and can’t make decisions,” Rappaport said, of sexual assaults among college students. “And that’s why I think it’s so important for people to know about this as much as possible.”

A spokesperson for the university said Wesleyan is proud of students who are making a difference by increasing awareness of sexual assault.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Security Breach May Affect 3 Shoreline Restaurants


Credit and debit cards used at three shoreline restaurants between June and August may have been compromised, according to Signature Systems, the point-of-sale vendor for the group.

According to Signature Systems, customers of Abate Apizza in East Haven, Abate Restaurant in New Haven and Springdale Pizza in Stamford may have been affected by a recent security breach involving Signature Systems and Jimmy Johns, an Illinois-based sandwich shop franchise.

Loretta Abate, who owns the two Abate eateries, said the restaurants have been using Signature Systems for six or seven years and have had problems with the database before.

The company rewired the Abates' system in the spring after they complained that it was being sluggish. Abate said she called Signature Systems in June when she noticed it was even slower than usual and was told the company was performing remote security upgrades as a precaution.

According to Abate, the company did not elaborate and never let her know about the breach.

Fortunately, no customers have reported suspicious activity on their accounts despite the fact that 90 percent of business there is conducted using credit and debit cards..

Jibey Asthappan, director of National Security Studies at the University of New Haven, said smaller point-of-sale vendors must be more vigilant and is urging customers to check their bank statements for any fraudulent purchases.

“Not only do they need to step up the level of security, they need to step up the level of monitoring that needs to be done. You can collect all this information in server logs, but if no one is looking at the logs, no one knows that there's something going awry,” said Asthappa.

Using credit instead debit can serve as a safeguard, along with switching to new chip-and-pin credit cards, which encrypt your information, Asthappan said.

Signature Systems has not returned a request for comment.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

CDC Confirms 1st U.S. Ebola Case


A person who moved from Liberia to Dallas a week ago has tested positive for Ebola, becoming the first person diagnosed in the U.S. with the potentially deadly virus, the City of Dallas confirmed Tuesday.

The patient was hospitalized at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday after falling ill four days earlier, on Sept. 24.

The Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance crew who transported the infected man to the hospital is being quarantined and monitored for Ebola symptoms, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told NBC 5, and the ambulance used to transport the man has been pulled from service.

The number of people in the DFR crew being monitored is not known.

After receiving the Ebola diagnosis, the city activated its Emergency Operations Center and is on Level 2: High Readiness.

The patient showed no symptoms of the virus when he left Liberia on Sept. 19 and arrived in the U.S. a day later, according to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

There was no risk to any fellow airline passengers because the man had no symptoms when he was traveling, Frieden said.

The patient didn't begin developing symptoms of the virus until Sept. 24 and sought care on Friday. He was hospitalized the following Sunday and placed in isolation.

According to the City of Dallas, the patient had moved to Dallas a week ago.

Earlier, officials said the patient came to Dallas to visit family. It is unclear what the unidentified man's nationality is.

At this time, state and federal health officials said there are no other confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola virus in the state.

The CDC is working to identify and monitor all the people who may have come into contact with the patient while he was infectious. Those people, like the DFR fire crew, will be monitored for 21 days for Ebola symptoms.

Should symptoms develop, those patients too will be isolated, and investigators will then determine who they came into contact with and monitor those people for symptoms.

"I have no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of the Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country. It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member, or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks, but there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here," said Frieden.

The Ebola diagnosis was confirmed Tuesday after specimens were sent from Presbyterian Hospital to the Texas public health laboratory in Austin, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Tuesday.

The Austin lab, which was certified last month to test for Ebola, confirmed the result and sent the sample to the CDC in Atlanta, which confirmed it.

President Barack Obama was briefed about the diagnosis in a call from Frieden, the White House said.

Word of the infection alarmed the local Liberian community.

"People have been calling, trying to find out if anybody knows the family," said Stanley Gaye, president of the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth. "We've been telling people to try to stay away from social gatherings."

Dallas Patient the Fifth Ebola Patient Treated in U.S. This Year

The patient is the fifth person treated for Ebola in the country this year after missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Rick Sacra all contracted the virus while working in West Africa.

The Dallas patient will continue to be treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, according to Dr. Edward Goodman, hospital epidemiologist at Presbyterian.

Both Brantly and Writebol have fully recovered, after they were given experimental drugs and were treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in August.  

Sacra was treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and was released Sept. 25. He had been working in Liberia on behalf of SIM.

The identity and condition of the fourth patient has not been released. It is believed that they are still being treated at Emory Hospital.

Writebol issued a statement Tuesday after learning of the new diagnosis in Dallas on Tuesday.

"We are sad for the family of the patient and pray for recovery to good health. It is a mercy that the best medical care is available. We also pray for the safety of the medical staff attending to the patient," she said.

How is Ebola Spread?

Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease spread through close, direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of a living or dead person who had contracted Ebola. The virus is only contagious when symptoms are present, and it is not spread through the air, through food or water.

Symptoms for Ebola virus involve a fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained hemorrhage. Symptoms appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure but the average is eight to 10 days.

If someone exposed to Ebola has not shown symptoms for 21 days they are not expected to develop Ebola.

According to the CDC, recovery from Ebola depends on the patient's immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for about 10 years.

The CDC said the United States is well-equipped to manage and treat Ebola and that the chances of an outbreak like the one in West Africa is extremely low.

NBC 5's Ben Russell and Scott Gordon contributed to this report.

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Parents Fume Over Fight at Plainfield Football Game


Parents are outraged in the wake of a brawl between fans and players at a high school football game in Plainfield on Friday night.

After Plainfield High School won 21-17 on their home field against New London, 18-year-old Zachary Coons and 19-year-old Teaque Carignan began taunting New London players who were leaving the field, according to Plainfield Police Chief Michael Surprenant. 

"The kids were upset, screaming," said Jennifer Carrion, whose son is a 15-year-old sophomore. "They were screaming such ugly things at us. They were filled with emotion. Some were crying."

Coons and Carignan were arrested and charged with breach of peace. Police say they and two others sparked a fight that turned physical at the field.

"Everyone was on top of each other. There was a pile," Carrion explained. "Obviously, I was concerned for the safety of the children."

Plainfield High School Principal Tommy Thompson and players say the teens shouted racial slurs, and witnesses told police that punches were thrown.

"It was extremely upsetting for the kids," Thompson said. "Our kids have experienced racism, but this was right in your face. It was disappointing."

Police are investigating the claims and said no one was injured during the skirmish, but Michele Lucas said Tuesday night her 17-year-old son was "jumped by more than one person."

"I am outraged, first of all," Lucas said. "I don't condone racism, and I don't condone adults hitting a child."

Both arrested teens have been banned from any future event on school grounds.

Surprenant said the incident involved a "small percentage of individuals that ruined a good hard-fought game between two teams."

A freshman-sophomore game scheduled for Monday between Plainfield and New London was canceled following Friday's events and may be rescheduled.

Police have not released information on what triggered the fight or what specifically was said.

The Plainfield Police Department is working with Plainfield school administrators, New London school officials and New London's school resource officer to investigate.

"I think a message needs to be sent," Carrion said. "This is not acceptable. It's not tolerable."

A couple officers are typically assigned to Plainfield sporting events and roam the area for safety purposes and direct traffic after the game, according to Surprenant.

Police are evaluating how the incident may affect their future protocol at games.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Plainfield Police Department
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Man Gambles Away Grieving Families’ Gravestone Money


A Newington man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from grieving families and never delivering the headstones they ordered and paid for.

New Britain police arrested 22-year-old Valeriy Sirovsky, of Newington, the owner of Farmingdale Monument Company in New Britain, after receiving several complaints from family members who had lost their loved ones.

During interviews with police, Sirovsky admitted to having a serious gambling problem and said he had accepted $18,000 for headstones and engraving from 15 clients and could not return the money because of his addiction, according to several arrest warrant applications.

Police received the first complaint about Sirovsky on June 13, when a woman told officers that she paid “Larry Sirovsky” $1,460 for a headstone for her mother in 2013 and he never provided the headstone or returned her calls, police said.

As police started looking into the case, they learned that Sirovsky had never submitted an application to the cemetery review the headstone for the victim’s mother, police said.

On July 18, police received another complaint from a woman who said she and her father paid Sirovsky $2,750 for a headstone for her mother in August 2013, which was never completed.

During one conversation, Sirovsky told the second victim that it was too close to winter for the headstone to be placed at the cemetery and they would have to wait. The victim was never again able to reach him.

Police received a third complaint on Aug. 14 from the attorney representing a woman who had paid Sirovsky $2,044 for a headstone for her husband in November 2013, but never received it. 

On Aug. 29, police took a complaint from another customers who told a similar story.

The customer said she paid Sirovsky $610 in September 2013 to have a headstone engraved. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach him, the victim’s son reached Sirovsky in April, who promised to get the work done by May. It was never completed, according to court documents.

Sirovsky and he met with investigators on July 31. He told them his business did well and he had completed several contracts, but developed a “very bad gambling addiction” in 2013 and it affected his ability to fulfill 15 contracts worth $18,000, according to the arrest warrant application.

Sirovsky worked out of the Paul Shaker Funeral Home in New Britain but was ordered out when customers began calling to complain about missing headstones.

"I let him know we had to get the restitution back, removed the sign from my lawn because it's going to cost me business, and I wanted to make it clear it had nothing to do with the Shaker Funeral Home," explained funeral home director Paul Shaker. "It was strictly the monument company."

Sirovsky has been arrested on four warrants out of New Britain and has been charged with four counts of second-degree larceny.

He was released on a promise to appear and is due in court on Nov. 18.

No one answered the door at Sirovsky's home Tuesday. Information on an attorney for Sirovsky was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/New Britain Police Department

Liberians in Dallas on Ebola News


Confirmation that a patient at a Dallas hospital is being treated for Ebola after arriving in North Texas from West Africa has alarmed the local Liberian community.

For weeks, NBC 5 has tracked the progress of a local group's efforts to raise money and supplies to help Ebola patients in their native Liberia.

On Tuesday, they learned the virus is now in Dallas.

"We have people going and coming every day, so like I said, this is shocking, because they take all the necessary precautions over there at the airport and even when they get here," said Carolyn Woahloe, head of the local Liberian Nurses Association.

According to the president of the Liberian Community Association of DFW, there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Liberians in North Texas.

Many of them travel back and forth from their home country often.

The president of the LCADFW told NBC 5 he does not personally know the Dallas Ebola patient, but the group is planning an informative meeting to let the public know of the need to seek medical help if anyone had contact with the patient.

"Whoever came in contact with this family of ours, they just don't need to be afraid. They just need to go to the hospital, [and] say, 'Hey, I was there. I greeted him.' Just go get checked out, the family and friends and everyone else who came in contact with him," said Woahloe.

Nine Liberian churches operate in Dallas and Fort Worth, according to LCADFW.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Two Killed in Southington Crash


Two people were killed in a crash involving a motorcycle and car on Meriden Waterbury Turnpike in Southington on Tuesday night.

A motorcycle and car collided near Canal Street at 9:53 p.m., killing motorcyclist Adam Hicks, 37, and his passenger, Amanda Horvath, 26.

Hicks was pronounced dead at the scene and Horvath succumbed to her injuries at St. Mary's Hospital.

Police have not released the names of the people in the car, but said they weren't injured.

The road was shut down in the area for several hours, but it has since reopened.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Southington police ask witnesses to contact Officer Ward at 860-621-0101.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspects Defraud UI Using Children's Names: Cops


Police arrested two people in Stratford who are accused of using children's names to sign up for electrical services from United Illuminating Company.

Autumn Ann Frimpter, 40, and Travarus Jones, 40, both of Stratford, are accused of charging $3,492 to accounts that were opened under the names of minor children to avoid paying, according to police.

Both Frimpter and Jones were arrested on Wednesday, Sept 29 and charged with third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit the crime and held on a $20,000 bond.

Stratford police and UI are investigating the case.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department

Man Electrocuted While Trying to Steal Copper Wires: Cops


A copper thief was electrocuted while he attempted to steal copper wires former public housing apartments in Waterbury more than a week ago, police said.

Jose Ortiz, 48, was attempting to strip copper from electrical wires in a transformer box at the closed William V. Begg Apartments complex in Waterbury at 1106 Bank Street when he was shocked, police said. An unknown person dropped him off in front of Waterbury Hospital at about 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21 and he arrived without a shoe. Police found the other shoe at the crime scene.

Ortiz was in cardiac arrest when doctors found him and medical staff tried to save him, but he soon died at the hospital.

It's unknown at this time whether Ortiz had any accomplices.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com
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West Hartford Daycare Evacuated for Small Oven Fire


A daycare inside the Elmwood Community Center has been evacuated because of an oven fire.

No injuries are reported.

Police said a pan was on fire in an oven and it’s a very minor scene.

The community center is located at 1106 New Britain Ave. in West Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Several Crashes Caused Problems for Morning Commute


Rain made roads slick this morning, which caused several problems during the morning commute.

Interstate 91:

A tractor-trailer was on fire on Interstate 91 North near exit 20 in Middletown, at Country Club Road, and traffic was backed up.

Several vehicles were involved in a crash on the Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford, heading to Interstate 91 South. Officials said a tractor-trailer has jackknifed.

There was a crash on I-91 South in Windsor at exit 38.

Interstate 84:

In Newtown, a tractor-trailer crashed into a tree in the median of Interstate 84 West at exit 11, Wasserman Way. No injuries are reported. One lane was closed and there were backups to exit 16.

There was a crash on I-84 West in Bethel at exit 8, to Route 6 West

Route 9:

The right lane of Route 9 North was blocked before exit 23, Christian Lane, and traffic was stop-and-go from exit 21, to Route 5.

Route 2:

One person was injured in a crash on Route 2 West in Hartford at the Founders Bridge. Two lanes of the highway were blocked, but the scene has since cleared.

A crash slowed the commute on Route 2 West in Glastonbury at exit 8.


In Middlefield, a tractor-trailer has rolled over on Jackson Hill Road near Route 66. Police said Jackson Hill Road could be closed for hours.

There were two crashes on Interstate 691 East. One was in Cheshire at exit 3 and another was in Meriden between exits 10 and 11, Traffic is stop and go.

Crashes on I-84 West in Southbury at exit 13, Route 8 South in Derby and I-84 East in Farmington at exit 39 have cleared.

Check our interactive traffic map for updates on your morning commute.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Traffic Cameras
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Bankrupt NJ Casino Sells at Auction


The defunct Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City will reopen as another casino, a spokesman for Brookfield Property Partners parent company said Wednesday, hours after the firm was declared the winning bidder.

"Our expertise is running casino, hotel properties," said Andrew Willis of Brookfield Asset Management, which operates the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas.

Revel officials declared Brookfield Property Partners the winning bidder Tuesday after the Toronto-based company upped their offer to $110 million late Tuesday.

Willis declined to discuss specifics about Brookfield's plan for the property, but did share its expectation for "synergies" between its future Atlantic City casino, Las Vegas' Hard Rock and the Atlantis.

The casino, which cost $2.4 billion to build, opened in 2012 and closed Sept. 2 after filing for its second bankruptcy in June.

"[Revel] and its advisors determined that Brookfield's bid was the highest and the best bid received," a Revel spokeswoman said in a statement. "The company intends to move forward promptly ... to seek approval of the sale."

The sale hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Revel selected Polo North Country Club Inc. as the backup based on its $95.4 million offer, the statement said.

Brookfield first pledged $94 million and then $98 million as it competed with other bidders, like Polo and a real estate developer -- Glenn Straub, for ownership of the bankrupt casino.

Initially Straub appeared to be the only party interested in acquiring Revel, offering $90 million before the bankruptcy auction was even scheduled.

Ahead of the auction, Straub spoke about his ambitious plan to turn the closed casino into a university that would serve ideally "white and over 21" students  -- apparently Straub's way of describing someone with no financial obligations, Reuters reported.

The auction, which began last Wednesday, was suspended that afternoon due to the approaching Rosh Hashanah holiday. It resumed Tuesday.

The bidding process frustrated Straub, who said he waited around for six hours on Sept. 24, "but nothing happened."

He asked the judge to delay the auction, claiming Revel's attorneys failed to keep a promise to share information about other bids they received. A Revel spokeswoman declined to comment on Straub's complaint.

The court refused to suspend the auction, but a hearing was scheduled on Straub's objection for Oct. 20.

Marine Jailed in Mexico Could Be Released Within Weeks: Mom


A dismissal or acquittal may be close for a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico on weapons charges his mother said Wednesday.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's attorney expects action after psychiatric evaluations from both defense and prosecutors were filed in court late Tuesday.

"I believe we are just several weeks away. We are very hopeful," Jill Tahmooressi said.

Many have been following the case of the 26-year-old inactive reservist who served two tours of Afghanistan and was seeking treatment for his PTSD in San Diego when he was arrested in Mexico six months ago.

As she testified before a congressional hearing, Tahmooressi revealed she has not been contacted by President Barack Obama and does not know if the president has intervened on her son's behalf.

She also shared several conversations she has had with her son since he was jailed on charges of weapons trafficking.

On April 14, she said her son told her, “Mom. I tried to kill myself because the guards and the inmates were going to rape, torture and eventually execute me for information.”

Mexican officials report that Tahmooressi crossed the San Ysidro Port of Entry south of San Diego on March 31 with a 12-gauge loaded shotgun, a 5.56-caliber rifle loaded with a 30-round clip and with two additional clips, a .45-caliber loaded pistol, loaded with 10 .45-caliber rounds and with two additional clips.

Supporters have said the Marine accidentally entered Mexico after making a wrong turn.

Mexican officials say the weapons constitute a federal crime. They also claim Tahmooressi made the same crossing three previous times and would not have gotten lost.

On Wednesday, Jill Tahmooressi was one of several who pleaded with Congress to help the Marine who has been diagnosed with PTSD return to the U.S. to seek treatment.

Lieutenant Commander Montel B. Williams, USN, Retired and former talk show host who now works as a veterans advocate testified that he spoke with Tahmooressi two days ago.

In that conversation, Williams recalled hearing the Marine say, “I have a hard time keeping the bad thoughts out.”

He called the delay in getting Tahmooressi home "an abomination" and said the Marine has been treated like a POW, not a person incarcerated for making a mistake.

Several times they noted that the incarceration in Mexico can be detrimental to someone with Tahmooressi's medical condition.

Sergeant Robert Buchanan, USMC, Retired served with Tahmooressi in Afghanistan.

“Isolation is the last thing anyone needs,” Buchanan said of those living with PTSD. “Please help us get him home and the treatment he direly needs.”

Attorney Fernando Benitez filed a motion earlier this month on behalf of Tahmooressi arguing that the Mexican government does not have the resources to treat his client's PTSD.

Since the purpose of Mexican sentencing laws is to rehabilitate prisoners, Benitez argues his client’s case should be thrown out and he should go free.

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Crash Causes Closures on I-84 in West Hartford


The exit 43 off-ramp on Interstate 84 eastbound has been shut down for most of the afternoon after a tractor-trailer struck a guardrail and fell onto the ramp late Wednesday morning, according to police.

State police said a freightliner belonging to Penn's Best, Inc., based in Pennsylvania, veered off the roadway to the left and struck a guardrail on I-84 west just before exit 42 in West Hartford.

Police said the tractor-trailer went down an embankment and ended up on the ramp at exit 43 for Trout Brook Drive on the eastbound side of the highway.

The ramp at exit 43 eastbound, as well as the left and center lanes and exit 42 ramp on the westbound side, where closed while authorities responded to the scene and cleaned up a fuel leak.

The exit 43 ramp remains closed as of 5:30 p.m.

No one was injured, but the tractor-trailer was totaled, according to police.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Gas Leak Prompts Evacuations, School Dismissal


Buildings near an old factory building at 200 West Main Street in Vernon were evacuated early Wednesday afternoon following a gas leak, according to Vernon police.

The old commercial building is under construction and is being remodeled, but it is not clear if that caused the leak. Police said the building houses several small businesses.

Authorities responded to the scene around 1 p.m. Crews from Yankee Gas were called out and stopped the leak. Connecticut Light & Power cut power to the building, police said.

Students at Maple Street Elementary School were dismissed early as a result.

The building was ventilated around 2 p.m. and any hazards to the area had been mitigated, according to police. Crews are now working to fix the damaged gas line.

West Main Street has been closed at the intersection of Maple Street and is expected to reopen around 4:30 p.m.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ex-Madam Sentenced to Jail


Kristin Davis, the former madam and candidate for governor and New York City comptroller, was sentenced Wednesday to two years in jail after she pleaded guilty to illegally distributing prescription pills, the U.S. Attorney said.

Davis was arrested in August 2013 for selling hundreds of powerful painkillers and other prescription pills to a drug dealer wearing a wire, federal authorities said.

According to the United States Attorney's Office, Davis sold drugs on several occasions to an FBI cooperating witness between January and March.

Davis, 38, pleaded guilty in March to one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances, specifically alprazolam, zolpidem and carisoprodol.

Davis was one of several people charged as part of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the NYPD and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The once long-shot Libertarian candidate is perhaps best known for claiming to have gotten call girls for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer before a prostitution scandal forced him from office. But the claims have never been proven.

Before she was arrested, Davis was running for New York City comptroller against Spitzer and former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who went on to win the election. 

Photo Credit: AP
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