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Train Stowaway Hospitalized After Possible Explosion: Cops


A man who jumped onto a moving Metro-North train on the Greenwich/Stamford line is in the hospital after a possible explosion, Greenwich police told News 12 Connecticut.

He rode on the train for awhile before an possible explosion prompted the train to stop at the station in Riverside, Greenwich police told News 12 Connecticut.

The reported stowaway was transported to Westchester Medical Center, police told News 12 Connecticut.

The train is being examined in Stamford, police told News 12 Connecticut.

Ebola Nurse Pham Feels "Blessed"


Ebola survivor/nurse and TCU alum Nina Pham briefly talked to NBC 5's David Watkins about watching her team win and her health. Pham is one of two nurses treated for Ebola after caring for Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 Sports

Vet Killed After Party


Hundreds of mourners gathered at a roadside memorial in Los Angeles on Sunday night to honor a 21-year-old Army veteran who was shot and killed earlier following a dispute that erupted after a party, police said.

Francisco Garcia was shot on a Sylmar sidewalk at about 1:30 a.m. by a man who retrieved a handgun from a car, according to Los Angeles Police Department detectives.

Garcia died at the scene from an apparent gunshot wound, the detectives said. No arrests have been made in the case so far.

Lonny Potter, a fellow Army Veteran, said he was touched by Garcia’s story and drove several hours from Mojave so he could pay his respects.

"My heart was struck when he would go abroad to serve our country and then come back to die on our streets,” Potter said. “It's gut-wrenching. No veteran should ever have to face that."

Garcia, who served in Afghanistan, had recently become engaged and looked forward to one day becoming a father, friends said.

"He was really outgoing, he was really friendly,” said Garcia’s friend, Maddy Meraz. “I don't know why this would happen to him. I know he really wanted kids, too. He told me he wanted kids when he came back."

The LAPD released a statement early Sunday morning that Garcia was coming from a party thrown by his girlfriend on Dronfield Street to celebrate his return from Afghanistan about two weeks ago.

"A 22-year-old army veteran, recently returned from Afghanistan, was shot and killed early this morning after a dispute erupted outside a party celebrating his homecoming," read the 4:49 a.m. news release. 

An earlier version of this story led with the homecoming detail.

But friends of Garcia's disputed to NBC4 that he had come home recently, and a representative of the County Coroner's Office said Garcia was 21, not 22.

Hours after the initial LAPD release, the department appeared to be backpedaling on its assertion.

A detective involved in the investigation said Sunday afternoon that the department now sees no evidence that the party was held in Garcia's honor, and that he returned from the Army in the summer.

"There was a gathering, but it wasn't specifically for a homecoming," Detective Juan Santa said, though he added it's still possible the party was a homecoming.

Garcia was walking to another location after leaving the party when two vehicles stopped near him and a man exited a dark SUV, Santa confirmed. The suspect, who is not believed to have been at the party, allegedly smashed a beer bottle on the ground and yelled at Garcia before retrieving a handgun from a white sedan and shooting him.

Neighbors said they heard six to eight rounds. No one else was reported injured in the shooting.

Garcia was hoping to join the California Highway Patrol -- he'd already been accepted into the CHP Academy, according to friends. Family members said he was looking forward to earning enough money to take care of his parents.

The friends said Garcia returned from Afghanistan four months ago after being honorably discharged because of an injury. He had served in Afghanistan for 18 months, they said, and was now living at his family's home.

Santa said the information identifying the gathering as a homecoming was sent out based on the "best information that we had at the time."

He noted that the "human element" in the story is not pertinent to the LAPD's investigation.

The commanding office of the Mission Detective Division, Lt. Paul Vernon, said in the early morning statement that the shooting was ironic: "To survive as a soldier in an overseas conflict, only to be killed in your old neighborhood upon your return."

Veterans Day is this Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Garcia's sister set up a fund for funeral arrangements and other expenses. Anyone wishing to donate can do so here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story has incorrectly stated Francisco Garcia's age, based on information provided by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

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Prosecutor Accused of Choking Woman


A Manhattan prosecutor accused of choking a woman during an argument in an Irish bar has been arraigned on an assault charge in the courthouse where he works.

Eli Cherkasky, 35, is accused of grabbing a woman by her arms and shouting at her at about 2 a.m. on Nov. 1 at the bar Failte in Kips Bay. After a few minutes, he attacked her again, pushing her to the floor and choking her with both hands, according to the criminal complaint.

He was released on his own recognizance after being arraigned Friday night, according to court records.

Cherkasky, who has worked eight years for the Manhattan D.A.’s office, is charged with assault, criminal obstruction of breathing, menacing and harassment.

A prosecutor from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office will handle the case to avoid any conflict of interest.

Cherkasky's lawyer did not immediately return a message requesting comment about the charges.

Funerals for 3 Hit-and-Run Victims


Funerals were held Saturday for the three 13-year-old girls who were struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Halloween.

A service for twin sisters Lexi and Lexandra Perez was held at Our Lady Guadalupe in Santa Ana, California. A service for Andrea Gonzalez was held at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange.

Family, friends and community members gathered at the funerals to remember the girls and provide their support.

"Who wouldn’t be touched?" said Father Marlon Beof of the community’s response, before conducting the ceremony for the twins. "They’re shocked and they’re affected … they feel it."

Elvia Banuelos, who said her niece is a friend of the family, said she doesn’t know what to do other than show up in support.

"What words can you say that are going to make (the twins’ mom) feel better?" she said. "There’s nothing you can."

In Orange, the Holy Family Cathedral filled up with people there to commemorate Andrea.

"Honestly I didn’t think that there was going to be that much people in there," said family friend George Alvarado. "That brought joy to me."

Twelve-year-old Arlene Molina attended Andrea’s funeral to celebrate her friend.

"She was a really nice person. She had a great smile on her face every day," Molina said. "I miss her. It was hard to let go."

The three girls were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash last Friday, which occurred while they were trick-or-treating. They were struck at a crosswalk in the 1400 block of East Fairhaven Avenue by a Honda CRV, the driver of which fled the scene.

Jaquinn Ramone Bell, 31, of Orange was arrested Sunday morning at a Motel 6 in Stanton and is being held on $1 million bail.

He faces felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of hit-and-run with permanent injury or death, one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license with sentencing enhancement allegations for personally inflicting great bodily injury and fleeing the scene of a crime after committing a vehicular manslaughter. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 17 years in state prison. 

Michael Larkin contributed to this report.

Colchester Pet Adoption Event to Feature At Least 70 Dogs, 10 Cats


Looking to add a furry friend to your family?

John Gagnon from John Gagnon's Pet Resort in Colchester is hosting a pet adoption event on Sunday.

Seven local rescue groups and over 70 dogs and 10 cats will be at the event.

People interested in taking home a canine or feline friend will go through an application process before it's finalized to ensure the animals are placed in a proper environment.

The event will be held at 227 Upton Road in Colchester from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade County Animal Services

Body Recovered from Connecticut River


Cromwell police are investigating after a body was found in the Connecticut River Sunday morning.

Police say they were called to the Cromwell Outboard Association’s boat launch on River Road around 11 a.m. after a kayaker reported seeing a body floating in the Connecticut River. The Cromwell Fire Department’s Marine unit, responded and searched the area with assistance from the Middletown and Portland fire departments.

The person has not been identified at this time.

The body is described as a black male, approximately 5’10” to 5’11”, wearing jeans and sneakers. Anyone with information is asked to call the Cromwell Police Department at 860 635 2259.

Medical examiner investigators also responded.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

No Survivors: Small Plane Crashes


The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a small plane crash near Gilroy that killed both passengers.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, told NBC Bay Area that the accident occurred Saturday evening. The airplane, a Cessna 140, took off from Frazier Lake Skypark east of Gilroy and was flying from Hollister to Watsonville. It crashed under unknown circumstances approximately 4 miles north-west of Hollister, Kenitzer said. The wreckage was discovered Sunday morning.

Deputies responded to a call around 10 a.m. from a rancher who reported the crash near Highway 152 and Canada Road, Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said.

According to local authorities, there were two people on board the aircraft at the time of the crash. Santa Clara County Sheriff's office tweeted that there were no survivors. The aircraft sustained substantial damage.

One of the victims is a woman from San Jose, and the other is a man from Gilroy, officers said.

The tight-knit community of pilots was stunned to learn one of its friends had taken off at the airpark Saturday and never returned.

"I knew him," Raymond Aalsgaard of Hollister said. "It's kind of hard, especially when you have a passenger. You have that responsibility."

One pilot said he often flies out of the airpark.

"Its a safe airport," Robert Couches of Pleasanton said. "I've been coming down here for about 25 years now."

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the accident. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is also on the scene of the crash. Stenderup described the crash site as a rural area.

"We had to use ATVs and 4x4 to get to the actual crash site," he said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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Drunk Drove Through Crash Scene: PD


As police investigated a traffic crash that killed two people early Sunday morning, officers said a drunk driver barreled through the accident scene.

Miami-Dade Police said the driver of a Nissan X-Terra SUV was traveling northbound on NW 32nd Avenue around 4 a.m. when the driver of a Hyundai did not stop for a red light at NW 54th Street and hit the SUV. Both drivers died at the scene. Their names have not yet been released.

Witnesses told investigators that an older model white pick-up truck with blue lettering was at the scene at the time of the crash. Police are now looking for that driver for additional information about the accident.

During the investigation into the crash, police said 29-year-old Juan Frias drove his Nissan Maxima through the accident scene at a high rate of speed, nearly striking several people. Police said Frias struck and killed a dog before driving away.

Officers stopped Frias several blocks from the scene and arrested him for driving under the influence.

Teen Missing from Naugatuck


Naugatuck police are looking for a 13-year-old who went missing from her home.

Police say Mia Dougherty was last seen around 2:30 p.m. Sunday at her Carrol Street home. She is described as 5’1”, 110 pounds, with short blue and black hair. She was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white laces and black sweatpants.

Anyone with information is asked to call Naugatuck police at 203 729 5221.

Metro-North Service Every 30 Minutes to NYC Begins


Metro-North has added service on the New Haven line Sunday and that includes trains leaving each half hour between New Haven and New York, during peak as well as off-peak hours.


  • Three new midday trains will leave from New Haven on weekdays at 11:25 a.m., 12:25 p.m. and 1:25 p.m.
  • Four new trains will leave from Grand Central Terminal at 9:34 a.m., 10:34 a.m., 11:34 a.m. (which will replace the 11:34 a.m. express to Stamford), and 12:34 p.m.
  • On Saturdays, new trains will leave New Haven at 2:25 p.m., 3:25 p.m., and 6:25 p.m.; new trains will leave New York at 10:34 a.m., 11:34 a.m. 12:34 p.m., 1:34 p.m., 2:34 p.m., and 10:34 p.m.
  • On Sundays, new trains will leave New Haven at 2:25 p.m., 3:25 p.m., and 7:25 p.m.
  • New trains will also leave New York at 11:34 a.m., 12:34 p.m., 1:34 p.m., 2:34 p.m., and 10:34 p.m.

Metro-North operates the New Haven Line and its three branches – to New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, a new 10:10 p.m. train will leave Waterbury, which is two hours later than the current last train.

A new train will also leave Grand Central at 10:04 p.m. and Bridgeport at 11:41 p.m., which is one hour later than the current last train headed to Waterbury.

The trains preceding the last train are rescheduled, cutting the current four-hour intervals between trains to three-hour intervals.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department Elects New Chief


The Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department elected a new chief Sunday after an embezzlement scandal rocked the department last week.

Members selected Anthony Bruno to lead the department after the previous chief, Paul Perrotti, was arrested on federal charges Thursday. Perrotti is accused of embezzling $70,000 from the department. He has plead not guilty.

Bruno has been acting chief since Perrotti’s arrest and said tonight’s election represents a major change in the department.

“We’re just hoping the community out here sees that and realizes that we are true to this town and we’re going to do the best we can to get their support back,” he said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cumberland Farms Robbed at Gunpoint


Police are investigating an armed robbery at a Torrington gas station.

The Cumberland Farms at 705 Migeon Avenue in Torrington was robbed just before 4 a.m. on Monday, police said.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Tries to Hit Police Officers With Car: Cops


An East Haven man was charged with two counts of attempted murder early Sunday after he tried to run over two North Branford police officers working to take him and his passenger into custody in a car burglary case, police said.

North Branford police arrested driver Israel Santiago, 30, of East Haven and his passenger, Anthony Tuozzola, 29, of New Haven in connection to an investigation into a report of car break-ins on Sea Hill Road, police said.

Officers responded to the area at 12:52 a.m. Sunday and found a vehicle near the Beech Street intersection that they suspected to be connected to "a report of subjects entering vehicles" down the road, according to police.

Santiago "rammed" a police cruiser and tried to hit two officers with his car before fleeing the scene, police said. After chasing the vehicle, police were able to stop the car at West Pond Road and take Tuozzola, the passenger, into custody without a problem, according to police.

But Santiago ran from the scene. A North Haven police K-9 unit tracked him down at a business on Route 80 as he was stealing a car, police said.

Police charged Santiago with two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder with special circumstances, criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree burglary, possession of burglars tools, criminal attempt to commit third-degree larceny, second-degree criminal trover, reckless driving, evading responsibility, engaging officers in pursuit, operating under suspension, misuse of markers and driving an unregistered motor vehicle.

Tuozzola was charged with criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Power Back On at Quaker Farms School in Oxford


After announcing there would be no school at Quaker Farms School in Oxford because of a power problem, school officials said just before 7:30 a.m. that there will be school because the power is back on.

Quaker Farms School is located at 50 Great Oak Road and was the only school affected.

Police Trying to ID Clinton Shoplifter


Clinton police are trying to identify a man they said shoplifted from grocery stores in Clinton and beyond.

Police released surveillance photos early Monday morning and ask anyone with information about the man or the vehicle shown to call the Clinton Police department at 860-669-0451.

Photo Credit: Clinton Police

East Street in Meriden Closed After Crash


East Main Street in Meriden is closed at Swain Avenue after a crash, police said.

A detour is set up at Williams Street.

No additional information has been released.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

School Bus Involved in Minor Crash in Wallingford


A school bus was involved in a minor crash with an Infiniti at 18 North Turnpike Roadin Wallingford this morning and the driver of the car suffered minor injuries.

The bus was carrying 12 students from the Holy Trinity School when the crash happened, the principal said.

None of the students report being injured, but they will be evaluated when they arrive at school.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Connecticut Company Sells Ebola-Free Kaci Hickox Doll


When people make headlines, a Connecticut-based action figure company gets to work, and the latest addition to the doll collection is Kaci Hickox.

The Maine nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa became a topic of natiional discussion when she successfully fought a quarantine order when she returned home.

“Just in time for the holidays, Herobuilders does is again,” the Web site for the Oxford company says.

The Hickox doll comes with an Ebola-free health certificate.

If you want to give the doll to a loved one for the holidays, it goes on sale today for $29.95.

Hickox is expected to leave Fort Kent at some point today, the last day of the 21-day incubation period for the Ebola virus.

This is not the first or only toy by a Connecticut company that has some connection to Ebola virus.
Stamford-based Giant Microbes also created a plush doll that is sold out. 

Photo Credit: Herobuilders.com

Crews Continue Search for Man in Highland Lake


A massive search for a missing 22-year-old man on Highland Lake in Winsted has become a recovery mission and crews are continuing their search this morning, firefighters said.

Crews searched the water at Highland Lake in Winsted for hours on Sunday after a man who was fishing fell out of a boat into 53-degree water and they are back this morning.

At 5:43 p.m. on Sunday, emergency officials receiving a report that an aluminum rowboat carrying three men flipped over into the lake. Two of the passengers made it back to shore and were rushed to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia. The third, a 22-year-old man, is still missing.

Winsted Fire Chief Robert Shopey said the three men were apparently fishing when the boat flipped.

Crews searched the water for about five hours, but did not find the missing man. Officials said, at this point, there is little chance of finding him alive.

More than 20 departments, including Winsted, Bantam, Torrington, Norwalk, Goshen, Watertown, Thomaston and Terryville and Connecticut state police, responded.

The large-scale response caught the attention of several area residents.

"Now it's turned into a massive rescue effort that I've never seen this scale, not up here anyway," Jim Nightingale, of Winsted, said.

The other two passengers are expected to recover. It was not immediately clear why the boat flipped over.

Crews cleared the scene around 11 p.m. Sunday and returned on Monday morning.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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