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Stratford Employee Stole Computers From Town: Cops


Police have arrested a 45-year-old Ansonia woman accused of stealing $2,000 in computer equipment from the town of Stratford while working as an information and technology consultant.

Erin McGuire turned herself in to police on Nov. 6 after learning police had issued a warrant for her arrest. McGuire, who had worked for the town since 2000, is accused of stealing outdated computers and using them to start a small side business.

Police said town information, some of which was sensitive, was stored on the stolen hard drives. McGuire's customers reached out to town officials when they realized what had happened.

All stolen hard drives have been accounted for, and police said they don't believe any personal information was compromised.

McGuire has been charged with first-degree larceny. Court records show McGuire is due in court Nov. 17.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department

Coast Guard Computer Tech Stole Explicit Photos: Officials


A 34-year-old computer technician and Coast Guard consultant is accused of stealing personal information, including account names, passwords and sexually explicit photos and videos, from hundreds of computers brought to him for repair.

Larry Mathews, 34, of Pawcatuck, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday. Prosecutors said Mathew ran a computer repair business in Pawcatuck and began working as a computer “help desk” technician for the Coast Guard in 2008.

During that time, he copied files from computers and personal electronic devices on more than 250 occasions and saved them for his own personal use, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Mathews shared the stolen information with one other person, who reported it to law enforcement in 2013, according to prosecutors.

He pleaded guilty today to one count of computer intrusion in an invasion of privacy.

Mathews will be sentenced Feb. 4 and could face up to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He could also be required to pay a $250,000 fine.

Neither the Coast Guard nor Mathews' attorney could be reached for comment.

Photo Credit: AP

Teens Brought Airsoft Guns to Norwich Elementary School: Police


Police have arrested two teens who brought Airsoft guns to Uncas Elementary School in Norwich, prompting a lockdown.

According to police, 18-year-old Troy Sitter and a 17-year-old friend showed up on school grounds with black Airsoft pistols around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The school was placed on lockdown when someone spotted the suspects outside the building.

Police searched the property and found the two Airsoft guns hidden under a pile of leaves.

They checked the school to make sure staff and students were accounted for and said everyone was safe. The teens did not enter the building.

Sitter was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds and second-degree breach of peace. He was released on $500 bond.

The teen was also arrested.

Authorities are investigating the incident. Anyone with information is urged to call Norwich police at 860-886-5561.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Florida Man Sent Death Threats to Malloy, Judges: Prosecutors


The South Florida man accused of mailing death threats to Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, two federal judges and a dozen other Connecticut residents also wrote a letter threatening the president but never sent it, prosecutors said.

According to federal prosecutors, 35-year-old Garrett Santillo, of Hollywood, Florida, mailed hand-written letters to home addresses in Connecticut over the summer and threatened to kill recipients who did not comply with his requests.

A federal judge received the first letter in July, which read, in part, “You [sic] home addresses in Conn. are public information and if you mask your identity by name or appearance, we can still track you to wherever you go and will kill you if you don’t follow what this letter instructs,” the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

A total of fifteen Connecticut residents, including the governor, received threatening notes, which each contained "a demand for action," including orders to lock up or release various killers.

According to paperwork filed in federal court, Santillo sent Malloy a letter on Aug. 15 saying the governor "will most definitely be killed for signing a bill ending the death penalty in CT."

He demanded that the Cheshire home invasion suspects be executed by 2016 or he would kill the judge who sentenced them and "multiple people at random," according to the documents.

Another letter demanded that the recipient find JonBenet Ramsey's killer and send the murderer to prison before Dec. 31, 2017, otherwise "you and others you know will be killed by ways no FBI or even God will be able to STOP," the paperwork says.

The letters were all postmarked from Miami and threatened to kill the recipients if they didn't follow his orders, prosecutors said.

One of the victims also received threatening voicemails from a number that investigators linked to Santillo and his family, according to the paperwork.

Santillo was arrested Sept. 29. Prosecutors said he threatened to kill himself when law enforcement showed up and used a Taser on Santillo to prevent him from hurting anyone.

Authorities said he admitted to writing the letters in a recorded statement but pleaded not guilty in court.

A federal grand jury indicted him on two counts of impending, intimidating, influencing or retaliating against a federal judge by threats and seven counts of mailing threatening communications.

Santillo could face 60 years in prison if convicted. Information on an attorney for Santillo was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Man Surrenders After Corvette Sunk


The man accused of pushing his estranged wife's red Corvette into the Delaware River amid a messy divorce turned himself in to police Wednesday.

"I didn't realize that I did anything wrong," John Kramer said as he was led away in handcuffs. "I didn't know anybody was gonna go in and try to get the car! I didn't even want anybody to see me do it!"

Kramer, 50, surrendered to police at the 15th District headquarters around 2 p.m. He is charged with contempt, violation of protection from abuse order, harassment and recklessly endangering another person. Police said that last charge is for endangering the divers who searched for the car.

Kramer's wife told NBC10 the two are in the midst of a messy divorce and he was "disgruntled" over a protective order she has against him. The Northeast Philadelphia resident also claimed her husband sent threatening texts to her and their teenage daughter moments before he pushed their car into the river.

"He had threatened that he would put the car in the river," the estranged wife said. "He then texted my daughter and said, 'You have two minutes,' and then he texted back and said, 'It’s done LOL.'"

The woman asked not to be identified, saying she has a protection from abuse (PFA) order against her husband.

"I have a PFA, and he was disgruntled about that,” she said.

The woman said she called 911 Monday night after seeing breaking news reports about a 1990 red Corvette in the water near Magee Lane and New State Road, just below Interstate 95, in Northeast Philly.

"I called 911 and asked them if that was my car, and they confirmed that it was, but we didn’t know at the time if he was in the car or not,” she said.

Witnesses told police a man matching Kramer's description fled the scene shortly after the car fell into the water.

The woman said she recently tried to work out a car exchange with her husband, but it didn't go well.

“He had wanted to switch the Corvette for the van and indicated that he wanted to come get it,” she said. "I told him he had to leave the ‘vette in order to get the van. He wasn’t allowed to come here, so he would have to wait for somebody to meet with him.”

The woman claims Kramer violated the PFA and repeatedly tried to get in touch with her throughout the day Monday.

"Because I have the PFA ... I ignored him all day, and he was texting me and also calling my work phone, and I just saved the messages and showed them to the detectives,” she said.

The couple is going through a divorce. Their issues escalated after her adult son died in June, the wife told NBC10's Rosemary Connors.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

New Technology to Speed Up Election Returns


Connecticut's secretary of the state said the recent election should be a distant memory when it comes to election returns – that the days of faxes, hand delivering results, and checking them one-by-one should disappear, thanks to new technology.

"It's archaic," Denise Merrill said during an interview in her office Wednesday.

Merrill said Connecticut residents will no longer have to wait a day to find out who won statewide elections.

The state spent about $350,000 on a new reporting system that will take results from the more than 700 precincts and send them digitally to the secretary of the state's office.

Gov. Dan Malloy was not the projected the winner in the race for governor against Republican Tom Foley until midday Wednesday, more than 36 hours after the polls closed in a race that held everyone's attention until the very end.

“I think that this has become an issue because we had two very close gubernatorial elections and that has generated a lot of interest in getting fast results," Merrill said. "But we do also have to look at the way it’s happening and it will not any longer be the way it has been.”

Merrill also advocated for a discussion about the potential elimination of party-affiliated registrars.

She said that with so many municipalities that handle different official jobs in different ways, there won't be an easy solution to the issue.

NY Cop Gets Life for Wife's Death


A 52-year-old retired NYPD officer convicted of murdering his wife in their Queens home three years ago was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years to life in prison.

Clarence Cash was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2011 death of his wife, 42-year-old Tracy Young. Authorities have said the couple got into an argument and Cash pulled out his licensed gun and fired. Young was shot 13 times in the face and torso.

She was an investigator with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Cash fled their Briarwood home after the slaying but turned himself in to police the following morning. He had the murder weapon with him, prosecutors have said.  

Photo Credit: NBC New York

Teachers Honored After Fending Off Rabid Fox


Three teachers credited with saving the life of a 7-year-old boy were honored for their role in fending off a rabid fox who attacked the boy during recess in September.

“We were playing a game near the woods and the fox just came out at me,” said Evan Witzke, a second-grader at Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor.

The fox began biting Evan on his ankle and wrist, and showed no signs of letting go until gym teacher Elissa Daniele stepped in.

“I was thinking, ‘No this is not going to happen, and I’m not going to let it happen,’” said Daniele. “I had to stop it. It was very simple.”

With no regard for her own well-being, Daniele lunged at the animal, giving Evan time to get away. She was able to pin it to the ground, but the fox began tearing at her fingers. Daniele yelled for help, a call that was heard by Denise LaPre and Justin Piwonski.

Together, the trio was able to collar the animal so Daniele could remove her fingers. They then tossed the fox in a recycling container and held it there until police arrived. The entire ordeal lasted about 20 minutes.

“You just don’t stop and think. You just do it,” said LaPre.

Looking back, Evan’s parents said they still can't comprehend the events of that day.

“We talk about how that day is so surreal because there is no way a fox came out of the woods and attacked our son,” said his father, Craig Witzke.

As reality sets in, the Witzkes know things could have been much worse and they, along with the rest of the East Windsor community, are applauding the teachers' undeniable acts of heroism.

“It’s the heroes that do what they are supposed to do in extraordinary circumstances and that’s what they did,” said Craig Witzke.

Craig and his wife Ninita Witzke joined the East Windsor Board of Education, police department and State Rep. Chris Davis to present the teachers with plaques, flowers and certificates at a ceremony Wednesday night.

The Board of Education also plans to plant a tree and place a plaque at Broad Brook Elementary School to remind people to step up when someone needs help.

2 Women Struck in New Milford, 1 Critically Injured


A car driving on Route 7/Danbury Road in New Milford struck two women crossing the street Wednesday evening, leaving one of them in critical condition, according to police.

Investigators believe the women were trying to catch a bus on the other side of the road when a Jeep Cherokee hit them near the intersection of Sunny Valley Road, police said.

One woman was critically hurt and the other suffered minor injuries, according to police.

Joslyn Kalivas, who works at the Burger King nearby and arrived on scene moments after the collision, said she noticed the fast food restaurant's logo on clothes strewn about the crash site.

It turns out, Kalivas said, the victims are her coworkers.

"I do know them. I know them very well. They are great ladies, very nice, very funny," she said.

Kalivas said the women, who work in the kitchen, cross Route 7 every day to catch a bus home from work. It's a dangerous stretch.

"I've had to cross this road multiple times and it is just a horrible road to cross," she said, pointing out the absence of a crosswalk. "It's not even the people that are driving, it's the amount of traffic on this road."

It's not the first time a pedestrian has been struck in the area. Another pedestrian was hit down the street in January, and neighbors said crashes are common.

"There are at least one to five accidents a week. Police are always giving multiple tickets on this road," said Christopher Mente, who lives two miles from the scene of Wednesday's crash. "It's always been a dangerous highway."

Authorities have not identified the crash victims by name. Anyone with information is urged to contact New Milford police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Granby Principal Resigns Over Slasher Film Controversy


A Connecticut middle school principal accused of making erotic slasher movies has stepped down, according to the school system.

Dr. Mark Foley, the principal of Granby Memorial Middle School, and Aaron Vnuk, a guidance counselor at Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, allegedly produced the films through a company called Moongoyle Entertainment, whose slogan is "Fresh blood, hot babes, cool flicks."

Both educators were suspended when the allegations came to light. Vnuk went back to work late last month and told school officials he would stop working with the production company.

Foley, meanwhile, is stepping down.

"The Granby Board of Education has accepted the resignation of Dr. Mark Foley from his position as Principal of Granby Memorial Middle school," Granby superintendent Dr. Alan Addley said in a statement Wednesday. "Dr. Foley has served successfully as Middle School Principal since July 2013; however, Dr. Foley acknowledges the distraction caused by the recent publicity concerning his involvement in Moongoyle Entertainment LLC."

Addley said Foley's involvement in the production company was "completely legal" and that the principal had been trying to end his involvement with Moongoyle Entertainment.

But members of the school community have expressed concern over the allegations, according to Addley.

"Dr. Foley acknowledges that the confidence in the principal by the school community is imperative for the success of the school and Dr. Foley does not want the issue of media coverage of Moongoyle Entertainment to distract parents, students or staff from the important work at the school," Addley said.

The Facebook page for Moongoyle Entertainment was deleted after the allegations came to light in early October.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Granby Public Schools

Cops Bust Manchester Meth Lab


Residents of Seaman Circle were evacuated from their homes Wednesday night after police discovered a meth lab, according to the fire department.

Manchester Fire Chief David Billings said the fire department was placed on standby as a precaution. Police are investigating and homes were evacuated because many are duplexes and are close together.

Police have not released any additional information.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Debra Dilworth

Hartford Committee to Probe Problems at the Polls


The Hartford City Council voted 8-1 on Wednesday to create a committee that will investigate the problems that caused delays at Hartford polls and sent voters home on Nov. 4.

"This is about getting to the facts and getting to them quickly," said Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden.

Both the city council and the secretary of the state have announced their intentions to investigate what went wrong on Election Day.

The late delivery of voter registration forms caused major delays at a number of polling places around the city and sent some voters home. A judge extended voting hours at two Hartford precincts to compensate.

Now a five-member panel will probe the issue. Members of this Committee of Inquiry will hail from the city council and will take a hard look at Hartford's Registrar of Voters.

"This was a colossal failure, make no mistake about it, and now I'm hopeful... that us in City Hall and those at the Capital are ready to act now," Wooden said.

The council also approved a resolution aimed at restructuring the Registrar of Voters.

Registrar Urania Petit said in an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut that she took responsibility for the issue and would welcome an investigation.

“I welcome the investigation," Petit said. "I think that they ought to have an investigation because I think that some good will come out of it, because this investigation is going to teach us what all was broken and how we fix it.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bus Accident in Manchester Cleared


An accident involving school bus accident at the bottom of the Interstate 84 and Interstate 384 merger in Manchester has been cleared.

The accident happened where the two highways merge in the westbound direction.

There is no word on whether anyone was injured.

Traffic was heavy in that area on the Manchester and East Hartford line at about 8:45 a.m., where there was another crash reported earlier.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

WATCH: Store Owner Fights Off Armed Robbers


"My message is, next time you do it, you're done."

That's what Connecticut convenience store owner Malik Ali has to say to the four robbers who held him up at gunpoint late last week in a violent encounter that was caught on camera. 

According to police, four suspects entered the Dairy Market at 241 Silver Lane in East Hartford around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Two of the men had guns and lunged toward Ali.

"One of them jumped over the counter. We entered into a fight, and at the same time, within seconds, another group came," Ali explained. "There were two guys, too. One of them had a big gun in his hand. I grabbed the gun from him and we had a fight."

The store owner said he fought hard to fend off his attackers. One of the robbers held a gun against Ali's stomach, but he wrestled it away from the suspect and ended up with little more than a few scratches.

Ali said he tried twice to call police but the calls didn't connect, so he took matters into his own hands.

"If you're a man, come face to face, you know? Fight like a man. You can give a gun to any kid and that's not the fight. You want to fight, fight like a man," Ali said.

When police finally arrived, Ali was holding one of the robber's guns and handed it over to the officers, he said. The robbers had run off.

Although Ali escaped serious injury, his store suffered a more serious blow. Police said the robbers made off with $3,000 worth of cigarettes and a register drawer full of money.

"I'm not just concerned about myself," Ali said. "I'm concerned about the rest of the people working in the community, and they're working very hard."

Witnesses saw the suspects drive off in a newer black or dark-colored four-door car, possibly a Ford, police said. The suspected robbers were last seen entering the HOV lane on Interstate 84 eastbound.

Police have released surveillance footage from the attack and are working to identify the suspects.

In the meantime, Ali is getting a gun to protect himself and has a message for the criminals:

"Don't come with the guns, because I'll kick your a--," he warned.

Anyone with information is urged to call East Hartford police Det. Dan Ortiz at 860-291-7669 or email dortiz@easthartfordct.gov.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/East Hartford Police Department

House Fire in Canton


A house caught fire in Canton early Thursday morning.

There were no fire hydrants nearby to put out the fire at 11 Silver Mine Acres, so crews had to bring water in, Canton fire officials said.

No one was home at the time during the heavy blaze on the second floor, according to neighbors who said the house was being remodeled. The roof collapsed into the second floor and the fire was contained to that floor, according to neighbors.

Firefighters from surrounding towns were also called to the scene to assist. No firefighters were hurt.

The fire remains under investigation.

Water Issues Close Lyman Hall HS Early


Lyman Hall High School is closing late Thursday morning due to a water main break nearby on Wharton Brook Drive, according to school officials.

The school posted an alert on its website notifying parents that students will be dismissed early at 11:55 a.m. due to the ruptured water main.

"The water will be turned off to the school so that the Water Department can resolve the problem. Transportation for those students who normally take the bus home will be provided. We apologize for any inconvenience however it is essential that we work with the water department to rectify its problem," the school said on its website.

Repairs to the water main will begin once the students have been dismissed, according to officials at the scene.  The problem is expected to be fixed before the start of school on Friday.

The broken pipe feeds the school only, so no other structures or homes are affected, officials said.


Firefighters Respond to House Fire in Southbury


Fire crews are responding to a fire in Southbury.

The fire is at a building on Berkshire Road.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Deer Hunter Hospitalized After Falling 25 Feet: DEEP


A 50-year-old Plainville man was injured after falling 25 feet while hunting deer with a bow and arrow on private property in Canton early Thursday morning.

He fell after climbing to his post on a "hunting tree stand" on private property off Spaulding Road, according to Dennis Schain, spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Hunters uses stands like these built in trees to get a better vantage point. The incident was reported to DEEP just after 6:30 a.m.

The man had archery equipment with him to hunt deer.

He broke his leg, injured his back and had cuts on his head, Schain said. An ambulance responded and he is in stable condition at an area hospital.

Emergency crews from Canton and New Hartford responded to the area of  Spaudling and Indian Hill to help him.

The man has a valid hunting license and the private landowner gave him written permission to be on that property. No hunting-related charges were filed against him.

His name has not been released at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Driver With Pants Down Picks Juvenile Up at Graveyard: Cops


A juvenile got into a car with a stranger near Plainfield cemetery and noticed that his pants were down as he drove the juvenile around town, police said.

Plainfield police arrested Eric Parisek, 40, of Willimantic, after receiving a call at 7:48 p.m. reporting the incident and finding him with his pants partially down in the driver's seat of his car in the Day Kimball parking lot on Dow Road, police said. He faces a risk of injury to a minor charge.

That's after someone under 18, whose age and gender has not been released, got into a car with Parisek near the Evergreen Cemetery in Plainfield, a caller told police. They didn't know each other. While Parisek drove the young person around, the individual notice that he was "naked from the waist down with his pants bunched around his groin area," police said.

The juvenile was able to get out of the car and go to a friend's house for help. After telling the friend what happened, a concerned party reported it to police.

After locating Parisek in his car, he admitted to police that he drove the juvenile around.

Police charged him with risk of injury to a minor and are holding him in custody on a $50,000 bond until his court appearance on Thursday, Nov. 13.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police

FBI Seeks Armed, Dangerous Rolex Robbery Suspect


Federal agents and police are searching for an armed and dangerous fugitive suspected in smash-and-grab jewelry store heists in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Virginia towns including New Canaan.

Courtney Hardin, 25, of Brooklyn, New York, is suspected of being part of a robbery team that stole three Rolex watches valued at $55,000 from Henry C. Reid & Son Jewelers at 72 Elm Street in New Canaan on Nov. 6. He also goes by the names Mazie and Mozie.

After a store employee locked the door to thwart a group of men from getting in close to 4 p.m. that day, one of them smashed the front display window with a tool that looked like a sledge hammer to steal the watches. The group likely fled the scene in a gold Chevrolet Malibu with tinted windows and New York license plates.

Police, who found blood and skin tissue at the scene, recently identified Hardin Ryan "Shaky" Campbell, 36, of New Jersey, as suspects, in addition to Ryan Roberto "Berto" Grant, 33, also known as Roberto Cross, 28, Ralik Hansen, also known as Ralik Taylor, Rahlik, Rah and Ratchet, Ronald "Rondu" McIntyre, 36, Sean Robinson, 42, also known as Sean Vicks, Luca and Luca Brasi, and Allen Williams, 35.

Grant, McIntyre, Robinson and Williams were arrested and are in federal custody awaiting trial.

Hansen took his own life when a delivery service representative knocked on his door in Brooklyn, New York and he shot himself thinking it was police coming to take him into custody, New Canaan police said.

The FBI and NYPD are also searching for Hardin, along with Jamal Dehoyos, who they believe are suspects in a team of robbers who stole more than $700,000 in watches from Cartier in midtown Manhattan in January of this year. Hansen, who had ties to Georgia and Panama, was also wanted in connection to the robbery.

"The robbery crew conducted similar smash-and-grab jewelry store robberies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia," the FBI said in a wanted poster for the two men.

Police described Hardin as a black male who is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds and said he frequents Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights neighborhoods in the Brooklyn part of New York City.

Dehoyos, described as a black male in his late 30s who is 6-foot-1" and about 200 pounds, was not named in connection to the New Canaan heist.

The FBI is offering a reward for anyone who gives investigators a tip that results in an arrest of either Hardin or Dehoyos. The bureau asks anyone with information to call the FBI at 212-384-1000 and said that tips can be made anonymously.

As for the New Canaan smash-and-grab robbery, the Connecticut State Forensic Laboratory and FBI assisted New Canaan's investigative and patrol divisions in the ongoing investigation.

Photo Credit: FBI
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