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911 Call: Panic as SoCal Mayor Shot


The panicked son of Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo told a 911 dispatcher his mother "was defending herself" when she fatally shot her husband last week, according to an emergency call obtained by NBC4 on Tuesday.

In the call, Crespo's son can be heard crying as he tells the dispatcher what happened.

"My parents got in an argument, and there were shots fired," he tells the dispatcher.

The 45-year-old mayor was shot Sept. 30 at the family's condominium in the 6300 block of Gage Avenue. Authorities say Crespo's wife, Lyvette, 43, shot him multiple times after he punched their 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr., in the face.

"Okay, where is your friend, the one that got shot? Where is he at?" the dispatcher asks in the 911 call.

"It's my father. He's in the house, OK? It wasn't my mom's fault," Daniel Jr. replies. "She was defending herself."

When the dispatcher asks where his mother is, he replies, "She's upstairs, she's crying... The gun is on the floor upstairs. Please get here."

After the shooting, Daniel Jr. and Lyvette Crespo were questioned by police for several hours, but both were released that night. Lyvette Crespo remains free as authorities investigate the shooting.

No charges have been filed as of Tuesday.

Lyvette Crespo's lawyer describes her as a longtime victim of domestic violence, but her brother-in-law says the allegations shocked him and he feels conflicted about what happened.

"He loved (his family) more than life. He loved his wife a lot, he always loved his wife," William Crespo told NBC4 last week.

"If it was that, she should've called 911. She shouldn't take matters into her own hands. She's not the cops," Crespo said in a separate interview. "I love her; I still love her. She's still my sister-in-law; I'm always going to love her."

Claudia Osuna, the attorney for children Daniel Jr. and Crystal, said the brother and sister had a difficult life at their Bell Gardens home.

"Right now, the children stand behind their mother. They are grieving the loss of their father, and they will cooperate — specifically, Daniel will cooperate — with law enforcement," Osuna said.

The shooting stunned the community of Bell Gardens, where residents described Crespo as a friendly man who "just helped so many people."

Photo Credit: William Crespo

Hartford Police Sergeant Helps Elderly Woman Change Tire


A Hartford police sergeant took a break from chasing crime Tuesday morning to help an elderly woman change her tire.

A passerby walking along Broad Street captured the kind gesture on camera and emailed the photo to Hartford police Chief James Rovella.  The officer was identified as Sgt. Cicero, by Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

“In a day and age when people are quick to see the police at their worst, I thought you might want to see one of your officers at their best,” the sender wrote to Rovella.

“When I see stories on line of Police [sic] officers buying boots for homeless people or car seats I often wonder if it is not staged for PR but it is hard to argue with watching an officer on duty changing a tire for someone,” the email continues. “This officer clearly went above and beyond and thought you would like to know.”

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Community Calls for Change After Tased Man Dies in Custody


Community leaders are calling for action after a New London carjacking suspect who was shot twice with a Taser died in police custody over the weekend.

"He never hijacked nobody," said Lashano Gilbert's mother, Donna Smith, during an NAACP protest outside New London police headquarters Tuesday. "I don't know who that is they're talking about. That's not my son."

Gilbert, a Bahamian medical school graduate who studied in Cuba and Jamaica and was working in Canada "to become a better doctor," his mother said, died Saturday following his arrest.

Police said Gilbert jumped through an open car window while a woman was driving Friday night and made stabbing motions at the driver. He appeared to be in an "altered state of mind" and was "speaking in a bizarre manner."

Officers shot him with a Taser twice during the incident – once to take him into custody when he struggled violently with police and the second time at police headquarters after he took off his pants and began twisting them as if to make a noose.

NAACP leaders are pushing for a moratorium on the police use of stun guns and Tasers, saying 15 people have died from stun gun use in Connecticut, 12 of them black or Hispanic.

"We've seen the situations in Meriden, we've seen the situations in New Britain, Hartford, East Hartford and all throughout the state of Connecticut," said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches. "We're sorry to hear that a person has come to visit their family and ended up dead."

State police investigators are reviewing the case and the medical examiner is working to determine Gilbert's cause of death. Toxicology tests typically take several weeks.

Mom Put Booze in Boy's IV Bag: Cops


The mother of a Vermont 13-year-old who died in August and her boyfriend are charged with the boy's murder, accused of putting alcohol in the IV bag that had been keeping him alive.

Melissa Robitille and Walter Richter III, both 38 and both of Hardwick, were arrested on second-degree murder charges Tuesday.

Police say Robitille had called police on Aug. 22, saying she had found her son, Isaac, who was born with serious medical issues, dead that morning.

A toxicology report found that Isaac Robitille's blood-alcohol content was 0.146 percent, nearly double the 0.08 legal limit for adults driving in the state of Vermont.

Alcohol was listed by the Vermont Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as a contributory cause of death. The manner of death was determined to be homicide.

NECN will have more as this story develops.

Photo Credit: Vermont State Police

"Hit List" Was of Egging Targets


A "Halloween Hit List" made by a student at Malibu High School that was the focus of an investigation concluded Tuesday, turned out to be a list of people he planned to "egg," the Sheriff's Department said.

The list was discovered Monday and did not include a specified threat, Principal Dave Jackson said in a letter to parents, but included student names. Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said the 13-year-old 7th grader had specifically named 15 students.

“We found the student and the list. We have taken appropriate school action, and the sheriff’s department is also involved,” Jackson wrote.

Sgt. John Skikas of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Malibu station said Tuesday the student was not arrested and that deputies determined during the investigation that he posed no physical threat to stuents.

No weapons were found in the boy's home, and there was no evidence he planned to harm anyone.

The student is being monitored by his family and a juvenile team, Skikas said.

The student’s parents are cooperating, and the school administration believes the campus is safe. The student was suspended for five days.

Lights Back on in 2,000 New Britain Homes


Electricity has been restored to New Britain households after more than 2,000 homes lost power Tuesday night due to a problem with an underground cable.

According to Connecticut Light & Power, 2,136 customers were without power in New Britain, a number that quickly dipped down to 319.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said all power had been restored by 9:45 p.m.

Affected streets included West Main Street, Newfield Avenue, Woodriff Court and Wakefield Court, according to a spokesperson fo CL&P.

Kennedy, Jr. Faces Campaign Finance Complaint


In a short complaint filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, Ted Kennedy, Jr.'s State Senate opponent alleges that the Democrat has skirted campaign finance law.

Thomas Banisch, the campaign manager for GOP candidate Bruce Wilson, filed a complaint Monday alleging that Kennedy, Jr. and his wife and business associates contributed $40,000 to the Connecticut Democratic Party.

Banisch and Kennedy are vying for the Branford State Senate seat.

In the paperwork, Banisch argues that the campaign's later expenditures totaled a similar amount, which prompted him to file a formal complaint.

“My understanding is that there are laws in place where you can’t have a quid pro quo situation," said Rep. Vincent Candelora, a Republican from North Branford.

Republicans allege that not only was the transfer improper, but that the $10,000 in donations exceeded individual contribution limits to campaigns.

Kennedy's campaign denies any wrongdoing, saying the candidate is well-versed in Connecticut campaign finance law.

"There's nothing there" said John Murphy, Kennedy's campaign manager. "He's running as a clean elections candidate. He’s raised money in the past in different years for the state party and he raised money for the state party this year. It’s no different than any other year.”

The campaign hasn't even officially received the complaint and no charges have been filed.

It's possible the SEEC may decide to disregard the complaint after an investigation.

3,000 Students Complete Final Mile of Marathon


Three thousand students from 27 schools across the state headed to Rentschler Field on Tuesday to complete the final mile of a collective marathon.

It's part of the annual HMF FitKids program, which encourages students in grades 4 through 8 to log their runs throughout the fall, then join together to complete the "Final Mile."

"It may look like herding cats," said Beth Shluger, of the Hartford Marathon Foundation's NU Hartford Marathon. "They've all accumulated 25 miles at school the last six weeks and we bring theem all together to celebrate, run that final mile, and learn the joy of running and being healthy for life – it's the way to go."

Every student to finish the 1.1-mile run received a prize. After the run, students learned some new exercise tips and tricks and watched demonstrations of strength and agility.

"You don't have to do a sport to have fun," said Emma Gionfriddo, one of the runners.

"A lot of the kids just sit around and watch TV all day and so it's good to get out here and run, and it's really fun," said Two Rivers Magnet School sixth grader Emily Glazier.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Strong Storms Possible Overnight


Strong storms are possible after 2 a.m. on Wednesday that could bring heavy rain and gusty winds capable of causing power outages and isolated property damage.
There is also the chance that the strongest storms could produce a tornado or two in southern New England.

Skies will clear later in the morning and the rest of Wednesday and Thursday look fair.
Download our weather app to get weather updates throughout the day.
When severe weather happens, share your photos with us through the app or by sending them to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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1 Dead, 1 in Custody After Cop Shot


A police standoff at an Englewood neighborhood apartment building ended Tuesday night with one suspect dead and another in custody several hours after a police captain was shot while trying to execute a warrant.

The standoff at the building in the 7200 block of South Lowe Avenue ended at about 11:30 p.m., but police did not identify who was killed. 

Capt. Ed Kulbida was shot at around 5:30 p.m. while helping U.S. Marshals serve an arrest warrant on a man wanted in connection with a triple shooting in Indiana over the weekend. The 58-year-old police captain suffered gunshot wounds to his head and shoulder and was listed in stable condition at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. He was not expected to undergo surgery.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said officer was likely grazed from the same bullet.

"The most important part is that he's in great spirits, he's surrounded by family and he's gonna be OK," McCarthy said.

Sources told NBC Chicago the 29-year veteran was serving an arrest warrant on Daniel Brown, 42, who was wanted for a triple shooting in Indianapolis over the weekend and was believed to be staying with his sister. The source said Brown was armed with a 40-calibre weapon. 

McCarthy said there was a gun battle with at least one individual in the building.

Daniel Brown

Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR-TV reported that Brown (pictured, right) was accused of shooting his fiancée's friend, carjacking a vehicle and later shooting another woman and man on Saturday.

Around 100 officers converged on the Englewood neighborhood following the shooting, along with several armored vehicles.

"It's a very complicated layout of this apartment complex. It took us awhile to get civilians out of the actual location," McCarthy said. "The scene is secured, all the civilians have been removed and there may be two individuals inside the apartment. We're not positive at this point."

Several rounds of automatic gunfire were heard coming from the building earlier in the evening.

Several police officers converged outside Stroger Hospital Tuesday evening, where the captain is being treated. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was also seen at the hospital.

Some of the residents in the area were allowed back into their homes.

The incident created some headaches for commuters as Metra's southwest line was shut down for several hours.

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NYC Cop Suspended Over Arrest Video


The NYPD says one police officer has been suspended without pay and another has been placed on modified duty after a video surfaced of them punching and hitting a 16-year-old drug suspect in the face with a gun in Brooklyn while the teen had his hands up to surrender.

The surveillance footage, which was originally obtained by DNAInfo.com, shows the officers catch up to the teen after a brief chase in Bedford-Stuyvesant. As the suspect stops running one officer throws a punch at his face. Then the other officer hits him with his gun after the teen raises his hands in the air.

The teenager was arrested Aug. 29. Prosecutors said the teen ended up pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and was released. 

But the teen's lawyer said officers had no reason to stop him in the first place.

"My client was leaving a friend's apartment, he committed absolutely no crime, he did absolutely nothing wrong, and these officers decided to chase him," said Amy Rameau. "They chased him and they brutalized him."

"You don't get to stop anyone you feel like stopping in the streets when there's no probable cause," she said. 

The two officers, who are from the 79th Precinct, are being investigated by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

"What's depicted on this video is troubling and warrants a thorough investigation," Thompson said in a statement.

A police union official, Patrick Lynch, called the video misleading because it doesn't show how the teenage suspect was caught with drugs and tried to get away.

"As usual, the video fails to capture the offense that resulted in police action or the lengthy foot pursuit that culminated in the arrest," Lynch said. "Situations like this one happen in real time under great stress. It's very easy to be judgmental in the comfort of an office while sitting in front of a video screen."

Rameau said she plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the NYPD and the officers.

-- Stacey Bell contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: DNAInfo.com

Precautionary Health Emergency Over Ebola


Gov. Dannel Malloy has declared a public health emergency in Connecticut as a precaution in light of the Ebola affecting several countries in western Africa.

Malloy signed an order declaring the emergency on Tuesday, giving the commissioner of the state Department of Public Health the authority to quarantine and isolate people whom the commissioner "reasonably believes has been exposed to the Ebola virus."

Malloy said the order is not in response to any specific case, but is meant to provide state health officials with the authority necessary to "prevent any potential transmission of the Ebola virus within the State of Connecticut."

"Time is of the essence. We know people who have been exposed to Ebola are in the United States," Malloy said at a news conference Tuesday. "The proximity to Logan and JFK, two very large entry points, along with the fact that we have great hospitals and medical centers in Connecticut led me to reach the conclusions that we should take these actions and be ready."

Malloy said in a statement that Connecticut hospitals are preparing for the event that an Ebola patient might enter the state seeking treatment "and public health officials from the state are working around the clock to monitor the situation."

"I hope nothing happens but I don't want to be caught flat-footed," Malloy said Tuesday. "If a hurricane is on its way, from 12-1300 miles, and we have a map that says it could hit us, we take precautions. Well, right now this could hit us and we're taking precautions."

Without the declaration of emergency, officials have no statewide ability to isolate or quarantine people who might have been exposed or infected. Instead, each individual local public health director would have the authority, according to the governor's office.

"While local health officials are certainly on the front lines of this effort, at the ready to address any situation, having this order in place will allow us to have a more coordinated response in the event that someone in Connecticut either tests positive for Ebola or has been identified as someone who is at risk of developing it," DPH Commissioner Jewel Mullen said in a statement.

"We have had numerous conversations with both local public health officials in the state and senior officials at the Center for Disease Control. We have no reason to believe that anyone in Connecticut is infected or at risk of infection, but if it does happen, we want to be ready," Mullen continued.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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"Deplorable" Conditions at Hartford Public Works: Report


Filthy conditions, drug use, and sleeping on the job are just some of the problems a consultant’s report is uncovering at Hartford’s Department of Public Works.

The 50-page report conducted by Robert Myers was released in March but never publicly disclosed.

NBC Connecticut recently obtained a copy of the report, which details extensive problems in five of the department’s 10 divisions: Facilities, Equipment Maintenance, Street Services, Finance and Waste & Recycling.

The allegations in the report include “deplorable” conditions inside the DPW compound, alcohol and drug use in the ranks, and even an administrative assistant regularly seen sleeping at his desk.

Interim Director Keith Chapman hired Myers to complete the review, according to the city.

It comes after Mayor Pedro Segarra ousted the department’s previous director, Kevin Burnham, and its deputy director, Rhonda Moniz-Carroll, last year.

According to the report, the department’s former leaders relied on a “management by intimidation” strategy, and “micromanaged some, favored others or ignored others leaving them alone to ‘fend for themselves.’”

The report further states that “due to the lack of professional managerial leadership, frustration and intimidation, apathy and misguided self-direction resulted.” The consultant attached an NPR article on toxic leadership to the report for city officials to review.

“We are trying to look at some of the issues we have. These are long-term issues and we want to fix them,” said Maribel La Luz, spokesperson for Mayor Pedro Segarra.

The report details low morale among workers and says DPW supervisors lack basic leadership training, engage in poor planning and fail to properly keep track of how employees spend their time.

It also notes that Chapman successfully implemented new snow plowing routes last winter, but that sidewalk clearing remains an issue, with about half of those employees calling out sick to avoid the work.

“That reflects poorly on all the people who do their job well so that’s something that should not be tolerated,” said City Councilman Ken Kennedy, who was unaware of the report until NBC Connecticut showed it to him.

The top recommendation outlined in the report is that the city hire a permanent director for the department. Seven months later, that still hasn't been done.

The city's policy requires department leaders to live in Hartford is one of the reasons the job remains unfilled.

“That’s just the challenge, to get someone to move into the city. All department heads for Hartford must live in the city of Hartford,” said Kennedy.

“A residency requirement is a big deal, so it’s part of it,” said La Luz.

The city says other problems outlined in the report have been addressed, including the need for increased supervision of workers, the implementation of weekly leadership training sessions and cleaning up the compound and vehicles.

“We’ve done a lot of improvements but we have more to go,” said La Luz.

With the report calling many of the problems “deep” and “severe,” Myers says it will take time for old habits to disappear.

“It is obvious the lack of basic Management, Leadership, Organization, Communication, Strategic Planning, Project Management, Problem Solving and Budgeting skills facing the Department is overwhelming. It must be understood an extensive effort is needed to correct and overcome these great challenges,” the report states.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Candles Sparked Deadly NYC Fire: FD


Candles left unattended caused the fire at a Queens home that killed two young brothers Monday night, officials said Tuesday.

The boys, identified as 6-year-old Andrew Kavanagh and 11-year-old John Kavanagh, were found in cardiac arrest on the second floor of the Tioga Drive home in St. Albans after the flames were doused around 8 p.m. They were pronounced dead at a hospital.

Fire officials said the blaze began in a sofa in the first floor living room; a candle was found melted to the floor nearby. The flames spread to the second floor, where other candles were found. Witnesses told officials the family used candles in prayer ceremonies, according to the FDNY.

There were no smoke detectors on the first or second floors of the home and the ones in the basement failed to activate, officials said.

"All too often our members respond to fires where our children are victims," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. "Our mission is to make certain all New Yorkers learn from this tragedy and obtain a working smoke detector for their home."

Neighbor Orlonza Saunders, who was also inside the house at the time, suffered minor injuries when he jumped from a third-floor window to escape the smoke.

His arm was still bandaged Tuesday from cuts he got while breaking down glass as he escaped his smoke-filled apartment. 

Saunders said police told him John Kavanagh was found holding his younger brother Andrew under a bed on the second floor. 

He said the boys' mother, Marie Policard, had told him: "I always told him to protect his little brother." 

Policard's co-workers from a nonprofit agency that assists the developmentally disabled showed up at the home Tuesday to create a makeshift memorial with flowers, unlit candles and stuffed animals. 

"She lost her heart. That's all she worked for, her sons," said Vincent Davis. "That's all she talked about, her two boys." 

Authorities say the boys were left home alone while Policard was at work. She's not expected to be charged, police said. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Grace Forde

North Branford Residents Fight Propane Plans


Neighbors expressed anger and fear at Tuesday night's town council meeting in North Branford, where 100 residents filled the room to protest plans for a 60,000-gallon propane storage facility on Circo Road.

"It would knock houses off their foundation within a half a mile," said Chris Kranick, of North Branford.

Concerned residents presented the council with a petition containing more than 1,000 signatures. The document demands that officials rescind a recent change in zoning regulations that allows for bulk storage of propane.

"What are you going to do to help us defeat this matter?" North Branford resident Tom Anastasia asked the council. "Because that's why we're here."

Some threatened to vote everyone out if the facility goes up, while others went so far as to suggest collusion between town leaders and the propane company.

But councilmembers say that's not the case and this is the first time they've had any involvement in the plans to build.

"We listened to the public tonight and just have to wait to do due diligence according to the charter. They presented their petition, so we at this point in time have to wait for the town attorney to give us his opinion and the town clerk to verify all the signatures and then we'll go from there," said Councilmember Rose Angeloni.

If the petition is verified and validated, officials will hold a meeting within 30 days to give the public opportunity to comment, according to the town attorney.

Woman Apparently Drowns at Hartford Fitness Center Pool


Authorities are investigating after a 61-year-old woman apparently drowned in a fitness center pool on State House Square in downtown Hartford this afternoon.

The woman was found face-down and unconscious in the water at the Fitness Squared gym in the basement of 90 State House Square in downtown Hartford around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Paramedics performed CPR but police said the woman did not survive. She was pronounced dead at Hartford Hospital and has not been publicly identified.

Hartford police initially proclaimed the death a drowning but said it's possible she may have suffered another medical issue while she was in the water. Authorities are investigating and are awaiting autopsy results.

Police said in a media briefing Tuesday evening that it's not clear who called 911 to report the drowning but at this point there are no signs of foul play.

An NBC Connecticut crew was first at the scene. We'll bring you more details as they come into the newsroom.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Car Crashes Into Pole, Closes Prospect Intersection


The intersection of Route 69 and Route 42 (Cheshire Road) on the Prospect/Bethany line is closed after a car crashed into a pole Wednesday morning. 

The pole fell and the intersection is expected to be closed for awhile.

No one is injured. The crash was not weather-related.

The crash happened just before 4:30 a.m.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Route 6 in Southbury Closed


Route 6 in Southbury is closed due to fallen trees amid storms Wednesday morning.

The road is closed between Roxbury Road and Old Waterbury Road.

Drivers can take Route 172 to get to Interstate 84 or detour on Bucks Hill Road.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Route 109 Closed in Morris


Route 109 in Morris is closed due to trees that fell in statewide storms.

The state road is closed near Hinman Lane.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Fallen Trees, Wires Close Liberty Street in Southington


Liberty Street in Southington is closed at Eden Avenue due to fallen trees and wires.

Trees and wires were knocked down near 165 Liberty Street and Eden Avenue, south of Columbus Avenue.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com
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