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Man Commits Lewd Act While Peering in Girls' Windows: Police


A 25-year-old New Britain man has been charged with stalking after showing up at the homes of three underage girls and touching himself while watching them through their windows, according to police.

Elliot Nails, of Corbin Avenue in New Britain, confessed to police that he stood outside the girls’ homes at least 14 times in July and August. Police said he committed sexual acts and made vulgar comments while peering through their windows and left evidence at the scene.

Police began investigating after the victims’ parents called authorities to report a suspicious person outside their houses.

Nails was arrested the afternoon of Oct. 2 and charged with first-degree stalking, impairing the morals of a child, public indecency and second-degree breach of peace. He appeared in court and was held on $30,000 bond.

Police records show it isn't Nails' first offense. He was accused of masturbating outside a home in 2010 and has been linked to a number of other suspicious person reports around the city.

In July of this year, police found him with a 13-inch kitchen knife in his waistband while investigating the report that a man had tried to push open a bedroom window, according to the incident report.

He was arrested and charged with carrying a dangerous weapon.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department

Fallen Street Light Closes Route 69 in Bethany


A street light that fell across the road Wednesday has closed Route 69/Carrington Road at the intersection of Route 42/Cheshire Road in Bethany, according to the Department of Transportation.

It's not clear how long the intersection will remain shut down.

Avoid the area if possible.

Ebola Patient "in the Hands of God"


Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Wednesday in a Dallas hospital after a weeks-long battle that tested public health officials' defenses against the deadly virus and triggered a scramble to contain it.

Duncan died Wednesday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, two weeks after he first fell ill and more than three weeks after he contracted the disease Ein his home country of Liberia. He is believed to have been infected when he helped carry a dying woman to the hospital there.

"His suffering is over. My family is in deep sadness and grief, but we leave him in the hands of God," his girlfriend Louise Troh, whom he had reportedly come to the U.S. to marry, said in a statement. "Eric was a wonderful man who showed compassion toward all."

The hospital said he died at 7:51 a.m. local time Wednesday morning of the "insidious" illness. "He fought courageously in this battle," it said.

Duncan traveled from his hometown of Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 19, days after neighbors said he helped take a woman dying of Ebola to the hospital.

His brother in Phoenix, Arizona, told The Associated Press that Duncan headed to Dallas to be with his girlfriend and child. He said he did not believe Duncan knew he had Ebola before he left Liberia.

Duncan went to the hospital on Sept. 25 with a temperature of 100.1 degrees. He told the nurse he had recently traveled to Dallas from Liberia, the hospital acknowledged, but he was sent home with antibiotics when he would have been most contagious.

He returned to the hospital in an ambulance days later, on Sept. 28, was diagnosed with Ebola and was put in isolation, where he was treated with an experimental drug.

Four people living in a Dallas apartment where Duncan was staying when he fell ill, including his girlfriend with whom he has a son, are being monitored for signs of the virus as part of a 21-day court-ordered quarantine. So are dozens of other people who may have come into contact with him.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a top local official responsible for the county's disaster and emergency preparedness operations, said in a statement that his thoughts are with "the family and friends of Thomas Eric Duncan at this time, especially his fiancée Louise, their son Karsiah and all those who loved him."

"We are also thinking of the dedicated hospital staff who assisted Mr. Duncan daily while he fought this terrible disease," he said. "We offer prayers of comfort and peace to everyone impacted by his passing."

While many people were focused on the medical aspect of this case, Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. David Lakey acknowledged the family's personal battle.

"They have our sincere condolences, and we are keeping them in our thoughts," Lakey said.

Duncan's death Wednesday raised concerns among officials about health care workers' safety as they handle his remains.

Contact with the body of a person who died of Ebola can be dangerous, since the virus can survive in bodily fluids so long as they remain wet and at room temperature. The Centers for Disease Control has given guidance for how to handle an Ebola victim's body safely.

Any hospital employees who handle the body of someone who died of Ebola must wear personal protective equipment, including a scrub suit, cap, gown over the suit, eye protection, face mask and more. They must remove the equipment in a prescribed manner and wash their hands very carefully.

The body of a person who died of Ebola must be wrapped in multiple leak-proof plastic bags and disinfected, according to CDC guidelines. The body must be cremated or immediately buried in a sealed casket, and mortuary personnel must take the same precautions as hospital personnel.

"We’ll continue every effort to contain the spread of the virus and protect people from this threat,” Lakey said.

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Boy Who Taped Cops Was "Scared"


The Indiana teen who captured video of a police officer smashing the window of his mom's car and using a stun gun on her boyfriend said he hit "record" because he was scared and felt something wasn't right about the situation he was witnessing from the backseat.

"I was scared for my family. I was scared for my little sister, because she was in the back with me," 14-year-old Joseph Ivy said Tuesday night, a day after his mother filed a federal lawsuit against the Hammond police officers involved.

The lawsuit alleges Hammond police officers used excessive force and committed a false arrest and battery after they pulled Lisa Mahone over on Sept. 24.

Ivy's video, released to the public late Monday, shows a conversation between Mahone, her boyfriend Jamal Jones and officers about an unworn seatbelt and identification. When Jones declined to exit the vehicle, as officers asked, they used a tool to shatter the window, dragged him out and shocked him twice with a Taser.

The incident left the children fearful. Joseph's younger sister Janiya, 8, is heard in the video crying during the height of the ordeal.

"I want them to hear her crying so they could feel bad, because what if somebody was doing that to their kid?" Joseph explained.

Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda said in a statement that the officers acted within the law.

"In general, police officers who make legal traffic stops are allowed to ask passengers inside of a stopped vehicle for identification and to request that they exit a stopped vehicle for the officer’s safety without a requirement of reasonable suspicion," he said, adding that the officers feared for their own safety because Jones reportedly dropped his hands behind the vehicle's center console.

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Autopsy on Accused Texas Couple


The death of the Frisco woman charged in her son's death has been ruled a suicide, and her husband's death has been ruled a homicide, a month after the couple were found dead at their home.

A note found at the Dhawans' home is still being analyzed, Frisco police said Wednesday. Police refused to characterize the case as a murder-suicide and said their investigation was ongoing.

Pallavi Dhawan, charged with murder in their son's January death, died from a combination of drowning and toxicity from the common antihistamine diphenhydramine, according to an autopsy report police received Wednesday from the Collin County medical examiner. Her death was ruled a suicide, police said.

Her husband Sumeet Dhawan died from a combination of blunt force head injuries and toxicity from diphenhydramine and salicylate toxicity, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory found in many over-the-counter medications, the report said. His manner of death was ruled a homicide, police said.

Texas Department of Public Safety officials have not released details about the note found at the scene of their deaths, saying they are still analyzing it, and the police investigation is ongoing.

Pallavi Dhawan had been charged in January with the murder of her son with special needs, Arnav Dhawan, after police found his body in a bathtub in the home, surrounded by bags of melting ice.

Pallavi consistently maintained her innocence. The Dhawans said the boy, who had several underlying medical conditions, had died of natural causes, and Pallavi was preserving her son's corpse until Sumeet returned home from a business trip in India. In their culture, the family said, the father must deliver a final blessing.

The Dhawans' attorney David Finn said Arnav had several underlying medical conditions, including a cyst in his brain and a condition that causes a person to develop an undersized head and that can shorten life expectancy. The medical examiner said the boy's cause of death was undetermined, with natural disease being the most likely factor.

The Frisco Police Department, however, continued to pursue a homicide investigation against the boy's mother.

Sumeet and Pallavi Dhawan were both found dead at their Frisco home in the 15000 block of Mountain View Lane last month, he in the house and she in the backyard, authorities said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Customs Agent: Not Ready for Ebola


A federal U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent who works on the front lines at Newark International Airport says customs officers at the tri-state hub lack appropriate training and equipment to handle potential Ebola cases.

"They are assuring the public everything is being done, but it is not," the agent told NBC 4 New York, adding there are currently no doctors or CDC personnel assigned to the airport for when flights with passengers from West Africa arrive. 

The agent's statements come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new screening and security measures would be implemented this weekend at the five airports, including Newark, that account for 95 percent of travelers from Ebola-ridden countries.

The agent expressed concern such measures had yet to be implemented. The agent says confusion reigned there Saturday when a passenger believed to be Liberian on an arriving flight was vomiting.

The plane went to the gate and most passengers were allowed to enter the customs hall, the agent said. Federal officials took the sick passenger and a companion to a hospital, where they were evaluated. It was determined the sick passenger showed symptoms consistent with a minor, treatable condition, not Ebola. The companion was asymptomatic.

The scare was real, however, the agent said.

"A panic ensued," according to the agent. Airport managers went on the public address system and asked the passengers to separate themselves because they were mixed in with passengers from other flights who had not been exposed to the vomiting passenger, the agent said.

"It was a disaster," the agent said.

In cases of a low-level bomb scare, the plane is parked away from the terminal, the agent said. That wasn't the case with the sick passenger's flight, which landed amid intensifying global fears over Ebola.

On Wednesday, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States died at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. Another patient from the U.S. was transported to a Dallas hospital the same day.

Sen. Chuck Schumer has said it is past time better protocols be implemented at the five airports -- Newark and John F. Kennedy International Airport among them -- that account for 95 percent of travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and New Guinea to the United States.

Shortly after NBC 4 New York spoke with Schumer, the CDC announced new measures would be implemented at Newark, JFK and the other three airports, which include, Dulles International Airport in Virginia, Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Illinois and Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia.

About 150 passengers from the three infected countries arrive at those airports each day, according to the CDC. The new measures call for enhanced screening with targeted questions, temperature-taking and getting contact information from travelers in the event the CDC needs to reach them. Passengers who have fevers or report contact with Ebola patients in West Africa will be further interviewed and additional action will be taken when appropriate, the agency said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more personnel will be in place at airports, but it will still be the custom border agents on the front line looking for sick passengers. On-site CDC public health officers will then further interview potentially sick passengers.

The new measures will be implemented this weekend.

The customs agent who spoke with NBC 4 New York said such measures should have been in place sooner. Passengers from West Africa should also be screened for symptoms at the gateways, well before entering terminals, the agent added.

"It's a simple thing where we just need to focus and take extra precautions," the agent said. "I am speaking out because I care. It's just a matter of doing it."

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said agents and officers are trained to look for overt signs of illness, and protocols are in place to try to prevent the spread of Ebola. The spokesman said customs officials are working closely with the CDC to improve screening at the five major hubs for people from West Africa traveling to the U.S.

Follow Jonathan Dienst on Twitter @jonathan4NY

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Fallen Firefighter Was Cousin of Former Chief


Hartford is full of heavy hearts tonight as the city mourns the death of firefighter Kevin Bell, but none so heavy, perhaps, as that of retired Fire Chief Charles Teale, who gave Bell the job – and also happens to be his cousin.

"I'm the person who hired him," said Teale. "When it happens, it's such a shock, especially in the city of Hartford, because it has been such a very long time."

Bell is the first member of the department to die fighting a fire in 40 years. He lost his life Tuesday night battling a two-alarm blaze at a home on Blue Hills Avenue. Three other firefighters were hurt on the job, one of them critically.

"The pain and anguish in the loss of one of our firefighters is beyond measure," Teale said.

Bell's brother, Shawn, described Kevin as a talented deejay and hardworking athlete whose admiration for Teale developed into a love for firefighting.

"Kevin always had that interest when he would talk to Charles about becoming a fireman," Shawn Bell recalled.

The former chief admitted to feeling a twinge of regret about giving Bell the job that ultimately cost him his life.

"I think I did what was supposed to be done by encouraging him to pursue his dream, but the outcome, of course, makes me wish in a sense that I did not," he said.

Nonetheless, Teale said Bell was an exceptional firefighter because of his passion to protect the people of Hartford.

"And he did so to the best of his ability – as we say in our oath – so help me God," Teale said. "And he died. He died a hero."

Calling hours for Bell will be held at the All Faith Memorial Chapel in South Windsor. He'll be laid to rest at the Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield following a funeral ceremony at Bloomfield's First Cathedral.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Hartford Fire Department

Petition to End Early Release From Prison Program


Arthur Hapgood behaved well enough in prison to shave eight months off his 71-month sentence for robbery. Last month, though, he allegedly murdered his 1-year-old niece in Bristol, becoming the latest Exhibit A for critics of the state government's early release program.

Enacted in 2011 to control spending by cutting the size of state prison populations, time off for violent criminals who show "risk reduction" in prison has drawn fire ever since.

"I'm not sure that the program is working well other than bringing down costs in terms of getting people out of jail sooner," said Dr. William Petit, the surviving victim of the 2007 Cheshire home invasion. One of the killers had been released from prison early prior to the brutal attacks.

"I don't think there's much data to support the fact people are being rehabilitated by taking courses," Petit said, after signing a petition to repeal the program.

Its organizer, Republican candidate for State Senate Len Suzio, boasts 5,000 signatures and is pushing for another 5,000.

Suzio said one problem with the program is that sentences are too short to begin with.

"The sentences are reduced as part of the plea bargaining process. You will see all sorts of reduced penalties to begin with and now the early release program only accentuates and exacerbates that," Suzio said.

He's running in the district that includes Meriden, where Frankie Resto, out of prison early, shot a convenience store owner to death in 2012. Suzio's opponent in next month's election lives in Meriden too.

"I voted on the floor to repeal the program," said Democratic State Sen. Dante Bartolomeo, of Meriden. "This was passed on my opponent's watch. He never submitted legislation to repeal this program and what I find very curious is he also wrote a letter to get someone out on early release, a nonviolent offender, but still."

That letter emerged in the 2012 campaign, when Bartolomeo unseated Suzio by 280 votes. Suzio argued he was against early release of violent offenders, not whitecollar criminals.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Strange Man Approaches Hamden Teen at School Bus Stop


Police are searching for the man who approached a 13-year-old Hamden middle school student while she was waiting at the bus stop last week.

According to police, the student was waiting for the bus around 7:30 a.m. Oct. 2 at Dixwell Avenue and Lexington Street when a strange man approached her and began asking her questions.

"If I gave you a liquid, would you drink it?" he asked the teen, according to police. He then asked if she liked rap music and said, "If I gave you something to listen to, would you listen to it?"

He then told the student she was "no fun" and walked away. Police said he was last seen heading northbound on Dixwell Avenue.

The suspect is described as a white man in his 20s with blond or light brown hair standing about 5 feet 8 inches tall. Police said he was carrying a tan-colored backpack.

The teen told officers she felt "uneasy" and intimidated by the encounter, according to police.

Anyone who recognized the individual is urged to call Hamden police Officer  Jay Bunnell at 203-230-4000.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Milford Man Exposes Himself to 3 Minors in City Park


A 50-year-old man is facing charges after exposing his genitals to three minors at a park in Orange and touching himself while they walked by, according to police.

Police said the incident happened Tuesday afternoon in a wooded area of Wilcox Park near Shipyard Lane.

Rodger Foley, of Saybrook Road in Orange, has been arrested and charged with public indecency, second-degree breach of peace and three counts of risk of injury to a minor.

His bond was set at $25,000. Foley is due in court Nov. 4.

Photo Credit: Milford Police Department

Treasurer Denise Nappier Defends Record and Campaign


In an exclusive sit-down interview Wendesday, state Treasurer Denise Nappier told NBC Connecticut that her campaign has been active and that she has not been avoiding the press or the public.

“I’ve been speaking at churches and other speaking engagements,” Nappier said. “I haven't neglected the electorate, the voters, my fellow citizens. I've been out there.”

Nappier was scheduled to square off Tuesday evening in a debate with Republican Tim Herbst, but contacted the forum’s organizers earlier that day to say she wouldn’t be attending.

“As it was reported, and it was accurate, for personal reasons, I didn't attend,” Nappier said.

“If I was to tell you [the reason], then it would no longer be personal," she added.

Nappier has held the office of state treasurer since 1999 and was the first African American woman ever to hold the office in Connecticut.

During her watch, the state’s pension funds for state employees and teachers have seen their ups and downs. A recent nationwide study by Standard & Poor’s ranks Connecticut second to last when it comes to funding ratios, with the state standing at 49 percent for current pensioners.

Nappier defended her record on Wednesday, saying her office successfully weathered the storms of the Great Recession.

“We have generated $19.8 billion in investments and we did so by taking on less risk by taking on less risk than more than 50 percent of similar pension funds in the country," Nappier said.

Tune in to Sunday morning's episode of "Decision 2014" to watch the full interview with Nappier, who delves further into the fiscal health of the state of Connecticut, and further defends her campaign.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Thieves Steal Thousands in Jewelry Store Smash-and-Grab


Police are searching for the thieves who stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from a store in West Hartford Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses said at least three men smashed glass cases and stole watches from the Lux Bond & Green shop at 46 LaSalle Road. Police were called to the scene around 12:30 p.m.

"It was a brazen robbery in the sense that it was the middle of the afternoon," explained West Hartford police Sgt. Joe Verrengia.

Police said the robbers sped off in a stolen gray minivan and struck at least three other cars while making their escape.

Barbara Karsky, who owns BK & Co. down the street, said bystanders worked to help catch the robbers but there was no stopping them.

"Everyone on the street was trying their best," she said. "A couple of cars pulled out to block [them] and they just smashed everything and went."

Authorities found the minivan abandoned on Ellsworth Road about a mile away.

"They smashed the minivan nearby and were last seen getting into two other vehicles," Verrengia said.

The intersection of LaSalle Road and Arapahoe Road was shut down in the wake of the robbery, and the area around the store was cordoned off with police tape. Officers directed traffic away from the scene Wednesday afternoon.

"This was a well-planned robbery," Verrengia explained. "These suspects knew where they were going and what they were going to do."

Karsky called the incident "absolutely astounding."

"I know that that store is extremely well trained. The sales staff is well trained, the employees are vigilant about keeping their employees and their merchandise safe," she said. "As a business owner, it's so random. I don't know how you protect yourself from something like that."

Meanwhile, officials at nearby Conard High School issued a "secure the school" order similar to a lockdown around the same time as the incident. They issued an all-clear after about 10 minutes.

It's not the first time thieves struck at this store.

In June 2010, more than half a million dollars worth of watches were stolen from the store. Shamell Rijfkogel, of New York, was arrested and convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery.

He was sentenced to six years in prison, according to online court records.

"It's interesting this particular store has been hit once again," Verrengia said.

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Robbers Trade Gunfire With Bridgeport Store Workers


Bridgeport police are searching for four men who robbed a local convenience store and traded gunfire with employees Tuesday night.

Surveillance footage from Junco’s 5 Market at 616 William Street in Bridgeport shows four people in dark clothing entering the store around 10:30 p.m. Oct. 7. Police said at least three hand handguns in tow.

Two robbers are seen jumping the counter. One starts to open the cash register and then appears startled, raising his gun and running out of the store.

Video shows the suspects knocking items off the counter and shelves as they flee. Two people who appear to be employees chase after the robbers. At least one is seen holding a handgun.

Three of the suspects were wearing long pants and sweatshirts with the hoods tied tightly over their heads. Two were clad in dark gray or navy blue sweatshirts with black pants. One had baseball cap with a black brim under his hood.

A third was wearing khaki pants with a gray sweatshirt. The fourth is shown wearing a long-sleeved black shirt and black baseball cap with a white logo on the front, along with a black face mask and black pants.

Anyone with information contact Bridgeport Police Robbery Squad Det. Chris Borona at 203-581-5235.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Firefighter Critically Hurt in Blaze That Killed Colleague


A 29-year-old Hartford firefighter remains in critical condition after he was hurt Tuesday night battling a two-alarm blaze that killed one of his colleagues and injured two others.

Jason Martinez, of Manchester, sustained burns over 10 percent of his body while fighting a fire at a two-family home on Blue Hills Avenue in Hartford.

According to the Hartford Firefighters Association, flames forced Martinez to jump from a second-floor window while he searched the home.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon that Martinez in critical but stable condition at the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital.

Martinez is a member of Tactical Unit 1, Tour A and has served the Hartford Fire Department since 2007.

Segarra and Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas visited the burn center Tuesday night to visit Martinez and comfort his loved ones.

"The family is holding together as best as they can," Segarra said.

Hartford firefighter Kevin Bell, 48, died at Saint Francis Hospital after being pulled from the burning building Tuesday night.

Two other firefighters, 34-year-old Colin McWeeny and 51-year-old Kevin Burke, were treated and released from Saint Francis Hospital.

Invesigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. Segarra said Tuesday night that federal authorities are investigating alongside the state fire marshal.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Hartford Fire Department

Lawmakers Tackle Questions Surrounding Drone Use


Do drones pose more problems than they solve?

Lawmakers gathered at the State Capitol on Wednesday to watch one in action and tackle questions about how to regulate the use of drones in Connecticut.

"Visuals were fantastic from 200 feet, 300 feet," said State Sen. John Kissel, of Enfield.

But it may be easier to fly a drone than to regulate a drone. The Program Review and Investigations Committee of the legislature is studying the issue.

Last winter, the Branford fire chief wanted to gauge the distance between flames and explosives in a burning quarry, and called in a citizen who flies a drone, the same pilot who put on the display at the Capitol.

"With him looking over my shoulder, he was able to quickly determine that it was still about 30 to 40 feet away, and then and only then did he know that it was safe to send in human beings to actually put out that fire," drone owner Peter Sachs told the committee on Wednesday.

But sometimes drones can be more trouble than they're worth. In May, a teenager flying a drone at Hammonasset State Park was assaulted by an offended woman who claimed her privacy was being violated.

Legislators may not have authority over the skies, but they can regulate takeoffs and landings at state and local property.

Their policies also govern police use of drones. The American Civil Liberties Union has put forward a proposal requiring police to obtain a warrant before using a drone for surveillance.

"You're going to be restricting law enforcement," Cromwell Chief Anthony Salvatore of the Police Chiefs Association told the committee. "Some people believe it's really simple, based on probable cause, for us to go get a warrant."

By some people he meant David McGuire of the ACLU, sitting nearby.

"That warrant requirement, if levied by the legislature, will not prevent all these other beneficial uses," McGuire said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

NYC Mall Guards Punch Boy in Video


Officials at a Brooklyn mall say they're investigating a video of several security guards appearing to punch, choke and kick at least one teenage boy as outraged onlookers plead for the men to stop.

Witness Shaunternett Melton posted video of the fight on Facebook Oct. 5. She said mall security officers at Kings Plaza Mall started to follow two teenagers when they began arguing. 

"He was walking out of the mall by Modell's, and a whole bunch of security guards, they just started attacking him," she said at a news conference with community advocate Tony Herbert. "Punching him, kicking him in his head while he was on the floor being choked." 

One guard is seen in the video placing his hand over one teen's neck as he was already restrained on the ground. 

"We can't tell these kids to act civil and professional in society when those who have the authority and are trained professionally can't do the same," Herbert said.

Police confirmed they were called to the mall for a report of a disorderly crowd that day. Officers were told by mall security that a 17-year-old boy assaulted one of the security guards, according to the NYPD.

The teen was arrested and charged with assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct. It's not clear if the arrested teen was the one in the video. 

A property management official for the Kings Plaza Mall says the company is looking into the "disturbing" video and is working with police and AlliedBarton Security Services, the company that employs the security officers involved, as part of the investigation.

Viewers who watched the video on Facebook expressed shock. 

"Did he steal something? If not, why are their hands on him like that? There is a big difference between law and policy. Those gentlemen will have a lot of explaining to do if that young man didn't put his hands on them or confiscate anything," said one woman.

"Someone should have helped this boy, no matter what he did, he didn't deserve to be beat up like he was some type of animal," another commenter said. "Look how big those men were compared to him." 

Kings Plaza Mall has seen its share of violent confrontations. Last December, a large brawl involving hundreds of teens prompted a short-lived policy banning minors from entering the mall without a guardian and a rollout of additional NYPD officers. 

Follow Ida Siegal on Twitter @idasiegal4NY

Photo Credit: Shaunternette Melton

Stadium Attack Vic "Close to Death"


Two brothers charged in an attack inside a Levi's Stadium restroom during Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers' game in Santa Clara last weekend lashed out for no good reason, prosecutors said Wednesday.

“This was not a fight,” Deputy District Attorney Deborah Hernandez said. “This was an unprovoked and vicious attack against spectators that has left one of them close to death.”

The alleged attack by Amador Rebollero, 27, and his brother, 34-year-old Dario Rebollero, both from the town of Traver in Tulare County, left one man injured and his cousin hospitalized in critical condition, possibly paralyzed, according to prosecutors.

The victims have not been identified.

Prosecutors say the attack apparently happened when the possibly-paralyzed victim was in line in the men’s room behind Amador Rebollero and “nudged” him on the shoulder to point out an available urinal.

A video posted on YouTube, which was confirmed by police as showing the fight in question, shows a stocky man with a goatee wearing a No. 21 Frank Gore shirt punching a thinner man in a Colin Kaepernick No. 7 shirt. The thinner man falls flat on the floor. The video camera stays with this man for a while, showing him motionless.

The witness told police he started filming "because he could sense an attack," and then Amador Rebellero threw punches at the man without warning.

After the assault, both defendants, who prosecutors say have gang tattoos, fled from the bathroom, but were soon tracked down and arrested by officers.

One of the victims was treated for his injuries. The other victim required emergency brain surgery and has been unable to speak with investigators about the attack, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The brothers were arraigned Wednesday on felony assault charges. Amador Rebollero, also known at Jose Ramos, is being held in custody on $350,000 bail. He could face 11 years in prison, if convicted. His brother’s bail was set at $75,000. He could face up to eight years in state prison, prosecutors said. Amador is charged with an additional count offelony assault producing paralysis, Hernandez said.  

Dario's victim was treated and released after the fight but Amador's victim remains hospitalized. The two victims are cousins, according to Hernandez.

Hernandez said she asked for a large bail figure for Amador Rebellero because his victim in the fight ended up with bleeding in his brain, had to have part of his skull surgically removed to relive brain swelling and has paralysis.

The two are due back in court date Oct. 30.

In a statement, the 49ers said the organization was “appalled to see the video of the attack … Maintaining the safety of all stadium guests is our highest priority and we are dedicated to providing a friendly and welcoming environment for all events held at Levi’s Stadium.”

NBC Bay Area's Nannette Miranda and Bay City News contributed to this report.

Pedestrian Struck on I-84 in Waterbury


A person was struck and killed on Interstate 84 East in Waterbury early this morning.

The pedestrian had been in a construction zone when he or she was struck around 3 a.m., according to state police.

The highway was closed at exit 25, but has since reopened. 

Several emergency vehicles responded and a large FedEx truck was pulled over along the side of the highway. It was not clear whether that truck was involved in the crash.

A detour was set up, sending traffic off the exit 25 off ramp, down Reidville Road and back on at the exit 25 onramp.

Moped Driver Dies After Hitting Tree in Norwich


A moped rider died after hitting a tree on Wednesday night in the area of Vergason Avenue in Norwich, according to police.

Police said the crash happened near the intersection with West Town Street and first responders were called to the scene at 9:07 p.m.

The victim was a 55-year-old man, but his name has not been released.

Police ask witnesses to call 860-886-5561 or the anonymous tip line at 860-886-5561, extension 500.

East Hartford Educator Named Conn. Teacher of the Year


A sixth-grade teacher at the Sunset Ridge School in East Hartford has been named Connecticut’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.

Cara Quinn was honored at a school assembly on Wednesday.

“It was incredibly surprising,” Quinn said, “It’s still unbelievable, it seems very surreal.”

Quinn began her teaching career in a fourth grade classroom in Bolton, but has been in East Hartford for the past nine years.

“Mrs. Quinn is a very special teacher. She cares about each and every one of you. She wants you to all succeed. She wants you to learn from your mistakes and she wants you to grow to your potential,” said former school principal Emil Kopcha.

Quinn says she pushes her students to look beyond the books and to perform random acts of kindness to build their character while discovering their own unique talents.

“What I always try to impress upon my students is the importance of their education,” she said. “I want them to value their education and realize what a gift it is.”

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman spoke at the assembly as well and said Quinn is a perfect example of “teachers that love what they do and truly care about the young people in their classroom.”

“This is what the kids want and need,” Quinn said. “And what’s going to make a difference in our world and is what education is all about.”

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