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New London Store Clerk Fends Off Armed Robber


Security footage at the Ravi Mart in New London show a masked man barge into the convenience store around 4 a.m. Tuesday and point a gun straight at the unarmed clerk.

"He said, 'I’m not going to lie down on the floor. I’m not going to give you any money,'" store manager Muhammad Samad said of the clerk who was working at the time.

Instead, the clerk, a U.S. Army veteran, chose to calmly try to talk the man down. Samad said the would-be robber is a regular customer of the Bank Street store.

“He comes three or four times a day in the store and buys things like cigarettes or milk,” he said.

At first, the suspect remained aggressive, a struggle ensued. But in the end, the would-be robber finally put down the gun and took off his mask right there in the store.

Police arrested 49-year-old Kirk Skinner at his home on Pearl Street. Skinner is now behind bars on attempted robbery charges.

Police caution that the safest course of action is to call 911 right away than to confront the suspect yourself.

Photo Credit: New London Police Department

New Haven Man Battling ALS Gets Moving


When New Haven resident and ALS patient David “Tex” McClain decided tackle the Ice Bucket Challenge, he knew he was going to do it his way. A Texan at heart, McClain poured Texas-shaped ice cubes over his head.

McClain has been battling ALS for 12 years now, surpassing the three-to-five-year lifespan that usually accompanies the diagnosis. His family said McClain is always up for a challenge and doesn't let his paralysis stand in his way or get him down.

But since McClain is confined to his bed and wheelchair, he needs help getting around. His family launched a crowdfunding page entitled “Get Tex Moving” in an effort to help McClain do and see more of the world around him.

“The GoFundMe page started because people wanted to donate directly to David and to his journey with ALS,” explained his daughter-in-law, Ashley McClain.

The support has been overwhelming and the family has raised close to $20,000 over three months. It’s enough money to get David a wheelchair accessible van.

“It changes his life,” said Ashley McClain.

David McClain first saw the van Thursday and waited for NBC Connecticut to arrive before he took the first look.

“David was only able to be out of the house I think four times last year. It was only when we had the ability to borrow a van from somebody. I know David's big thing is going to church and getting out in the community and continuing to touch people's lives, and that's something he'll be able to do,” said Ashley McClain.

Although David McClain has lost his ability to speak, he expressed his gratitude by recording a message through a special machine thanking everyone who supported him and donated.

“Well, you did it. You raised enough money for me to purchase a van. Because of you, Tex can now get moving,” said David McClain.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Southington Man Faces Child Pornography Charges


A 46-year-old Southington man is facing charges after authorities found child pornography on his computer, according to state police.

The Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Unit launched an investigation into the sharing of child pornography in October and traced suspicious Internet activity to a home on Little Fawn Road in Southington.

Authorities searched the home Nov. 20 and arrested William Kalvinek, 46, after finding child pornography files on his devices, according to police.

Kalvinek was charged with first-degree possession of child pornography and promoting a minor in an obscene performance. He was released on $75,000 bond and is due in court Dec. 1.

76-Year-Old Man Found


Police have canceled a Silver Alert for a 76-year-old man who was reported missing after his daughter lost sight of him while he was driving behind her on Route 9 in New Britain this morning.

Henry Williams Jr. has been found in Massachusetts.

His daughter, Holly Williams said yesterday that her father is new to the area, struggles with his mental health and is currently lives at the Chatfield Independent Living facility in West Hartford.

She said he was following her on Route 9 south when she lost track of him around 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

Holly said she thought her father had his cellphone with him, but she found it back at his apartment and was not been able to reach him all day.

Mr. Williams is fine and will be reunited with his family, according to state police.

Photo Credit: Holly Williams

Woman Run Over By Own Car


A woman in her early 50s was taken to the hospital Friday after she was run over by her own car, which rolled down a hill, hit a tree and light pole and then smashed into a building, according to police.

Authorities said it happened around 6:30 p.m. in the area of 900 Mix Avenue in Hamden. The woman was hospitalized for treatment of unknown injuries.

Police said the car struck a tree and utility pole on its way down the hill, then crashed into an apartment building. The city building inspector checked the damage and condemned one unit, according to police.

It's not clear how or why the car started rolling. Police have not identified the woman who was struck.

Hundreds Rally for Missing Students


Crowds of protesters swarmed the streets of downtown Los Angeles Thursday night as they marched to the Mexican Consulate-General to call for the removal of Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto and demand justice for a group of missing college students.

Hundreds of marchers could be heard chanting and counting to 43 — the number of Mexican students who were last seen alive Sept. 26 in the city of Iguala, when police reportedly attacked a group of student protesters, killing six people and taking away dozens of students.

One protester on a loudspeaker announced that the Los Angeles Police Department would give the crowds one hour to protest in front of MacArthur Park.

The protest comes after Mexico's Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam recently offered evidence of hundreds of charred fragments of bone and teeth fished from a river but admitted it would be difficult to extract DNA to confirm identities of the victims.

Mass protests were also expected in parts of Mexico Thursday in response to alleged political corruption in the disappearances.

Photo Credit: Gadi Schwartz

4 Killed in Maine Mobile Home Fire


A mother and her three young children were killed in a mobile home fire in Caribou, Maine on Thursday morning.

The Maine State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported around 7 a.m. at the Westgate Mobile Home Park. A team of fire marshal investigators and inspectors have begun working to determine the cause of the blaze.

Caribou firefighters entered the burning mobile home and removed the victims from a back bedroom. The three children - 3-year-old Trenton Delisle and 2-year-old twins Mason and Madison Delisle - were taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou, where they were later pronounced dead. Their mother, 28-year-old Norma Skidgel, died at the scene.

Their bodies will be transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta for autopsies, which are expected to be performed on Friday.

Skidgel's sister Amy Bouchard and her two sons also lived in the mobile home. Bouchard and one of her sons left the home a short time before the fire to go to a bus stop, and the dwelling was on fire when she returned. Her other son had spent the night elsewhere. Bouchard is being treated for smoke inhalation, as she attempted to gain entry to to home.

Inspectors found a smoke detector inside the mobile home, but the batteries had been removed. It isn't clear yet if there were other smoke detectors that were working.

Officials said the mobile home park is located on the city's outskirts, about four miles from Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge. The small park consists of three rows of trailers in a sparsely populated, rural area.

Public safety officials said this is the deadliest fire in modern times in Caribou. It also comes only a few weeks after six people died at a fire in an apartment building in Portland.

Twenty-five people have died in fires this year in the state, the most in 21 years. Fires killed 27 in 1993.

In light of the recent fire deaths, State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said Maine residents need to make sure their homes have working smoke detectors, and that families review and practice fire escape plans.

Photo Credit: Maine Department of Public Safety

Woman With Gun Arrested Near W.H.


A 23-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly carrying an unregistered 9 mm handgun near the White House late Thursday evening. 

April Debois of Mount Morris, Michigan, is charged with carrying a pistol without a license and will remain in custody until a preliminary hearing Monday morning.

Debois was participating in a demonstration along the north fence line of the White House when a plainclothes Secret Service officer observed the firearm holstered on the front of her hip and informed another Secret Service officer, who was monitoring the demonstration.

A U.S. Park Police officer searched Debois and found several rounds of ammunition in her jacket, according to charging documents.

Debois was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition and carrying a pistol without a license.

Debois was in the company of another person who was not arrested, according to a Secret Service official.

Debois has not been cooperative in interviews, that official said.

Her arrest came less than two days after an Iowa man was arrested. R.J. Kapheim, 43, had weapons in his car and claimed that President Obama called him directly and asked him to go to the White House, authorities said. Kapheim has pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a rifle.

The Secret Service has been under scrutiny since a Texas Army veteran, Omar Gonzalez, leapt over a White House fence on Sept. 19 and charged into the White House. Gonzalez made it all the way into the East Room before he was tackled, thanks to a string of Secret Service failures detailed in an internal review released last week.

Photo Credit: Bill Hennessy

FSU Shooter Heard Voices


Police have described, Myron May, the gunman who opened fire inside a library at Florida State University Thursday morning as in a “state of crisis.”

Team 6 Investigator Dan Krauth has obtained reports from New Mexico, where May lived, that paint a picture of delusional man on prescription medications and who had been admitted to the hospital a short time ago for a full mental health evaluation.

May, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, moved to Florida as a teenager, police said. He graduated from FSU in 2005 and later from Texas Tech Law School in 2009, police said. He only recently moved back to Florida from New Mexico.

According to Dona Ana County's District Attorney Mark D'Antonio, May was briefly employed at his office as an Associate Trial Attorney after having worked in Las Cruces as an Assistant Public defender. May resigned his position abruptly on October 6, 2014.

"[May] was an effective Prosecutor who was deeply commited to his work and serving the public while employed at our office," D'Antonio said in a statement.

While he worked there, two police reports from the past two months showed that he thought he was being watched.

On October 7, reports showed he went to his ex-girlfriend’s house and told her police placed cameras in his home and car. Police said he handed a piece of his car to her because he thought there was a camera inside.

In a separate report from September 7, May told police he could hear voices “coming through the wall” of his home. Police described May as “in a state of crisis.”

May’s ex-girlfriend told police that his mental condition was getting worse and that he was staying up for four to five days at a time without sleeping.

Police are currently searching for May’s car and cell phone trying to determine what happened in the three weeks since he moved to Florida that led up to the Florida State library shooting.

On his Facebook page, which has since come down, May frequently posted biblical verses and said that he feared the government was watching him. His last post on Tuesday was quoting Matthew 5:3 and read, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Photo Credit: NBC 6

Man Tried to Bite Bristol Cop: Police


Bristol police responded to a domestic disturbance on Thursday afternoon and ended up fending the man off when he tried to bite one of the responding officers, police said.

Police responded to the call at 2:50 p.m. and found Gregory Lamboy, 29, of Bristol, hiding in a closet, police said.

Police determined that he had assaulted a female who had a protective order against him, police said.

At first, Lamboy would not come out of the closet, police said. When he finally did, he struggled with police, as well as a police dog, spit in an officer’s face and tried to bite the officer, who sustained a minor injury, police said.

Lamboy was charged with assault on a police officer, interfering with a police officer, criminal violation of a protective order, criminal trespass in the first degree, assault in the third degree, risk of injury to a minor, breach of peace in the second degree and possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana.

He was also charged with two counts of failure to appear in the second degree on outstanding arrest warrants.

Lamboy was held on a total bond of $175,000 for the domestic arrest as well as the two failure to appear warrants.

He will be arraigned at the Superior Court in Bristol Friday morning.

Photo Credit: Bristol Police

Crash on I-91 Crash in Cromwell Clears


The scene of a tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 91 North in Cromwell has cleared.

The crash was between exits 22 and 23 and the right lane was blocked, causing traffic delays.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Cameras

Man Struck and Killed on Route 10 in Cheshire


A 67-year-old man has died after he was struck while trying to cross Route 10 in Cheshire on Thursday evening, according to police.

Police Chief Neil Dryfe said the man was crossing Route 10/South Main Street from the Dragon Buffet restaurant to get to a strip mall on the other side when a car traveling southbound hit him around 6:30 p.m.

The pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at the hospital on Thursday night.

Police have not publicly identified the man by name because his family has not yet been notified of his death, police said in a new release issued this morning.

Dryfe said the car that struck him stopped immediately and the driver, Bonnie Winter, of Cheshire, has been cooperating with police.

"There aren't any crosswalks," said Cheshire resident Katie Hereld. "If you want to go across the street, especially when there are a lot of cars, it's really hard to do."

Route 10 was closed at the intersection of Mansion Road for several hours. Traffic is now getting buy, but police are still at the scene.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mama Bear and Cub Spotted at Bristol School


Staff members at Chippens Hill Middle School in Bristol had quite the view on Thursday afternoon when two bears showed up after school.

The curious mother bear walked right up to the window of a sixth-grade classroom on Peacedale Street and peered in.

When her cub saw what she was doing, the cub followed suit and did the same, according to Carrie Aldieri, a staff member at the school, who snapped a photo.

No students were in the classroom at the time of the visit.

Police said they received a call about the bears at 3:19 p.m., but the mama and cub had left by the time they arrived.

Photo Credit: Carrie Aldieri
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Fire Breaks Out in Scotland


A fire that broke out on Kemp Road in Scotland is now under control, according to officials form the Scotland Volunteer Fire Department.

No additional information was immediately available.

9 Busted for Prostitution in Hartford


Hartford police arrested nine women in an undercover prostitution sting on Thursday.

An undercover detective posed as a john and worked with detectives from the Hartford Police Department's Vice and Narcotics Unit and South Community Service Officers to respond to complaints about prostitution in the city.

Carmen Cruz, 43, of Hartford, Kathryn Sanady, 33, of Hartford, Ashley Santo, 27, Kelly Dunnack, 24, Heidi Deming, 48, of Hartford, Jennifer Patsky, 33, of Hartford, Ivette Figueroa, 49, of Hartford, were arrested in the South End.

In the North End, police arrested Lydia Tirillo, 41, of Hartford, Monet Randolph, DOB 1-9-87 LKA 600 Garden Street, Htfd
Frank Robinson DOB 5-20-72 LKA 252 Laurel Street, Htfd (sale of narcotics)

Police also arrested a man for drug sales, police said.

Crew Hits Gas Line in East Hartford


Riverside Drive in East Hartford was closed at Ensign Street after a construction crew hit a gas line, but it has since reopened.


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Ridgefield Dad Pleads Not Guilty in Toddler's Hot Car Death


The father of a Ridgefield toddler who died after he was left in a hot car for hours in July was in court on Fridayand pleaded not guilty to one count of criminally negligent homicide. 

Kyle Seitz, 36, was charged in connection with the death of his 15-month-old son Benjamin.

When he last appeared in court, a judge riled  that he could  not have unsupervised visits with his two surviving children.

Seitz's son Benjamin died of hyperthermia after Seitz allegedly left him in the car while going to work at Owl Computing Technologies in Ridgefield on July 7.

Police said Seitz had forgotten to drop Benjamin off at daycare and left him alone "for an extended period of time" on a day when temperatures climbed to 88 degrees.

Benjamin's mother, Lindsay Rogers-Seitz, said in the past that Kyle Seitz went to pick up their son from daycare at the end of the day, then realized the little boy was still in the car and rushed his son to Danbury Hospital, where Benjamin was pronounced dead.

The little boy's death was ruled a homicide in August.

Seitz, who is on medical leave from work, is due back in court on Dec. 16.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Lindsay Rogers-Seitz

Cop Shoots, Kills Unarmed Man in Stairwell: NYPD


A probationary NYPD officer is being placed on modified duty after he apparently accidentally shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old man in a dimly lit stairwell while on foot patrol at a Brooklyn housing project late Thursday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Friday.

The officer, Peter Liang, and another officer, both with less than 18 months on the force, were part of a violence reduction overtime detail on vertical patrol, which is when police conduct floor-by-floor sweeps of a building, at the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York around 11 p.m.

They had gone to the eighth floor, the top floor, via elevator to check the roof when they noticed that there were no lights in the stairwell leading to the roof, Bratton said. Given the location and lack of light, Liang drew his weapon and a flashlight for safety reasons, Bratton said. The other officer kept his service weapon holstered.

As the officers were entering the eighth-floor landing, Akai Gurley emerged on the seventh-floor landing. He heard a noise and turned square to look up at the two officers a floor above him, a law enforcement source said. That's when Liang, who had his gun in his left hand and his flashlight in his right, fired accidentally, hitting Gurley 11 feet below him.

Bratton said no words were exchanged.

"All indications are this was an accidental discharge," Bratton said, calling the shooting "an unfortunate tragedy."

Bratton said Gurley and his girlfriend apparently had opted to take the stairs because they didn't want to wait for the elevator, and law enforcement officials say the girlfriend was a flight of stairs or so ahead of him at the time of the shooting. She didn't see the officer's gun fire.

Gurley stumbled down to his girlfriend on the fifth floor after being shot, and she ran to a fourth-floor apartment to ask for help and called 911, a law enforcement source said. She was given a towel to put pressure on Gurley's chest as she waited for paramedics to arrive. 

Liang and the other officer, who initially walked out of the staircase onto the eighth floor, soon realized someone had been shot, and went down to the fifth floor to attempt to render aid, the source said. 

Gurley was pronounced dead at a hospital. Gurley, who has multiple previous arrests on robbery and other charges, was not armed when he was shot, authorities said. He lives in Red Hook and has a 2-year-old daughter, though it's not clear where the child lives. Gurley's mother lives in Florida.

Mayor de Blasio called his death a "tragic mistake."

The Brooklyn district attorney's office and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating. The New York City Housing Authority said it was cooperating. 

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson called the shooting "deeply troubling."

"Many questions must be answered, including whether, as reported, the lights in the hallway were out for a number of days, and how this tragedy actually occurred," Thompson said in a statement.

Both officers were taken to the hospital for ringing in their ears, according to the NYPD. The housing project they were assigned to patrol has seen several serious crimes over the last month, including two robberies and two assaults. Two people were killed there this year, Bratton said.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the Pink Houses are among the city's most dangerous projects.

"Dimly lit stairways and dilapidated conditions create fertile ground for violent crime while the constant presence of illegal firearms creates a dangerous and highly volatile environment for police officers and residents alike," Lynch said. "Only time and a thorough investigation will tell us what transpired in this case."

Community leaders blasted the NYPD and called for immediate reform. 

"We should not have rookies, inexperienced police officers who are frightened of us, doing vertical patrols," said longtime councilman and incoming assemblyman Charles Barron. 

The shooting comes as the department is changing how rookie cops are used fresh out of the academy to give them more training and time with more senior officers.

Bratton is implementing a program that pairs less experienced officers with veteran officers on vertical and other patrol, but the program has had to be a roll-out process rather than an immediate overhaul due to staffing constraints, law enforcement officials said.

Lori Bordonaro contributed to this report.  

$139M Settlement in Sex Abuse Case


A settlement in the long-fought Miramonte sex abuse civil case has officially been accepted by both sides, with Los Angeles Unified School District paying a record $139 million to more than 70 victims of sexual abuse.

Each child will receive about $1.7 million, according to counsel for the plaintiffs. The total will be $139,250,000, according to the district.

The case was to be the first trial of lawsuits stemming from the sex abuse scandal at Miramonte Elementary School.

Attorneys for LAUSD and former students of teacher Mark Berndt -- who was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading no contest to 23 counts of lewd conduct with a child between 2005-10 -- have been meeting all week in an effort to reach a settlement.

"In 2012, the school district shared in the shock and disgust upon learning of the misconduct committed by one of its teachers at Miramonte Elementary School," a statement issued by the district reads. "Even though the school district didn’t know about Mr. Berndt’s behavior, we have an obligation to protect the students we serve. We are truly sorry that these students had their trust violated by this sick individual."

Read the full statement and fact sheet here.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Shepard Wiley has been urging the attorneys to try to resolve the case without a trial, but with no settlement in place, jury selection began Monday morning.

The lawsuit involves former Miramonte students, with dozens of other cases are still pending. The district has already settled more than 60 claims for about $30 million over the abuse, and this settlement will largely end all current litigation stemming from the Berndt case, the district said in its statement.

Earlier in the week, attorney Luis Carrillo, who represents some of the Miramonte students and their families, said he wanted to take the case to trial.

"We're anxious. We want to get in front of a jury, a representative jury so that the community can see 30 years of abuse," he said.

Attorneys contended the district should be held responsible for Berndt's actions, alleging district officials were aware of complaints about his behavior for years.

In a written statement, Superintendent Ramon Cortines said the settlement struck a balance between sparing the students and Miramonte community the pain of a trial and the financial burden to the district.

"Throughout this case, we have shared in the pain felt by these children, their families and the community. Each day, we are responsible for the safety of more than 600,000 students. There is a sacred trust put in us to protect the children we serve," Cortines said in the statement.  "While we know Mr. Berndt went to extreme lengths to hide his conduct, we know that our job protecting students is never done. While we are proud of the steps that we’ve taken to enhance student safety, the only way we can have the safest schools is through partnerships with parents and the community."

Read Cortines' full statement here.

The district will self-fund the settlement, according to General Counsel Dave Holmquist. The district hopes to recoup the settlement through its insurance company. Since the Miramonte scandal broke with the arrest of Berndt, the district has been putting aside a reserve fund in anticipation of any pay out.

Sheriff's officials said the investigation of Berndt began when a film processor turned over more than 40 photographs of children in a classroom, with their eyes blindfolded and mouths covered in tape. Some of the pictures showed Berndt with his arm around the children or with his hand over their mouths, according to the Sheriff's Department.

A sheriff's sergeant said some of the photographs "depicted girls with what appeared to be a blue plastic spoon, filled with an unknown clear/white liquid substance, up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest the substance."

Some photos also showed children with a large roach on their faces, sheriff's officials said. Sheriff's officials said detectives found a blue plastic spoon and an empty container in the trash in Berndt's classroom.

Both items tested positive for semen, and DNA testing matched it to Berndt, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Patrick Healy and Kelly Goff contributed to this report.

Girl Rescued From Wallingford Fire


Firefighters rescued a 12-year-old girl from a burning home in Wallingford this morning.

The girl was in a second-floor bedroom at 23 South Whittlesey Ave., watching television, when fire broke out just before 8 a.m., according to officials. 

Around seven people were home when the fire started and no one was injured, officials said.

In all, 22 people have been displaced.

A warming shelter has been set up at Holy Trinity School and the American Red Cross is offering assistance.

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