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Monroe Man Stole Landscaping Equipment, Rolex: Cops


Police have arrested the man accused of stealing landscaping equipment and scrap metal from one home in Monroe and a Rolex watch worth thousands from another.

Authorities arrested Gary Simna, 56, of Maple Drive in Monroe, on Nov. 22.

Simna is accused of stealing a chainsaw, leaf blower, weed whacker, hedge trimmer and 250 pounds of scrap copper from a home on Spring Hill Road in Monroe on June 19, then breaking into a house on Maple Drive and stealing coins and a Rolex watch valued at more than $4,000, according to police.

Police said a minor also helped with the burglary on Maple Drive.

Simna has been charged with third- degree larceny, third-degree burglary, sixth-degree larceny, risk of injury to/impairing the morals of a minor.

He was released from custody after posting $35,000 bond and is due in court Dec. 2.

Sandy Hook Dad Dedicates Album to Daughter's "Beautiful Life"


As the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings draws near, one young victim lives on through her father's music.

Six-year-old Ana Grace Marquez-Greene is the inspiration behind a new jazz CD entitled "Beautiful Life."

"Anna loved to sing and she loved music and she had a really beautiful singing voice," explained her father, Jimmy Greene. "I thought it would be a fitting tribute to have singers and vocalists on a recording of mine."

Greene, an established saxophone player who teaches music at Western Connecticut State University, said one song on the CD is a jazz version of "Maybe" from the musical "Annie," which Ana loved.

"She used to sing all the songs. She would sing all of them," said Greene. "'It's a Hard Knock Life,' 'Tomorrow,' but 'Maybe' was the one she especially loved to sing. Her little voice sounded so beautiful singing it."

Other tracks on the album hold sentimental value for Greene and remind him of memories made with his wife, Melba Marquez-Greene, Ana and son Isaiah, even if they were just playing in the background during a car ride together.

Greene composed three original songs, including the title track "Beautiful Life," inspired by the picture on the album cover of Isaiah and Ana embracing.

"Melba has such an eye for these great moments and she said, 'Why don't the two of you put your arms around one another?' The lighting, it's so beautiful," Greene recalled.

NBC's "The Voice" winner Javier Colon is featured on the album singing "When I Come Home." Colon and Greene, both Connecticut natives, met while studying at the University of Hartford's prestigious Hartt School.

A 13-piece string ensemble from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra also performs on the album.

Musician Harry Connick, Jr., who has supported the Sandy Hook community since the tragedy two years ago, recently tweeted his support for Greene.

Greene, who stays busy touring and teaching, is donation a portion of his CD's proceeds to two charities: The Ana Grace Project, which helps children who are victims of violence in partnership with Klingberg Family Centers, and the Artists Collective, which brings the arts to young people in Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Access Health Enrollments Ahead of Schedule


Officials with Access Health CT said sign-ups are ahead of schedule in the week after open enrollment began for the second time.

Jason Madrak, chief marketing officer of the state's health care exchange, described "a lot of pent-up interest" and said "people are really coming to us right out of the gate.”

Overall, more than 11,000 people signed up for coverage on Connecticut’s health care marketplace.

The state aims to enroll 70,000 people by the end of the open enrollment period on Feb. 15, and officials said they're pleased with the numbers so far.

“Keep in mind that this a very short cycle and we only have a very short period, 90 days and we do have some lower volume holiday weeks that come into play," Madrak said.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who toured a community health center in Bridgeport, said the news that Connecticut is still leading the way is a great way to show other states how they can be successful.

“The news is good but it will only get better if we can cut our uninsured number down to two or three percent,” Murphy said. “That would be a huge achievement during this period of open enrollment.”

The Access Health CT website has experienced some minor glitches.

According to Madrak, an internal web-based system did not function properly for a short time. As a result of the delays, some people called Access Health call centers and waited for longer-than-expected periods of time.

“The problem has been resolved,” Madrak said. “People should get through cleanly and have that positive enrollment experience.”

Some delays were also reported as a result of consumers not remembering their log-in information. Madrak explained that even though password resets could be completed online, some people probably hadn’t used the information since last year when they initially enrolled.

While Access Health is ahead of schedule, Madrak said officials are hoping to keep up the momentum through the winter months.

“It’d be nice to exceed but I think we’re going to keep our fingers crossed on that,” Madrak said.

Expected Snow Sidelines Travel Plans


With several inches of snow expected to fall Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, many people are scrambling to change their holiday travel plans.

Some say they're considering staying home.

"We're not sure. We're kind of still debating if we should go or if we should stay home and do our own thing instead of trying to go out," said Sage Hall, of Southington.

Others are still hoping to make it to their holiday celebrations.

"I'm planning to go Wednesday. If we have 10 inches of snow on the ground then maybe I'll change my mind," said Jessica Backer Wilde, of West Hartford.

While the pending storm is causing travel concerns, people who are planning to stick around Connecticut are getting prepared. Pfau's Hardware in West Hartford is seeing no shortage of people picking up supplies.

"As the storm approaches, I've been seeing more people buying the ice melt, you want to increase your traction, anything that's going to be pet safe we have a lot of that and we have shovels as well," said Pfau's employee Daeshawn Kelley.

Towns across the state are gearing up for what could be a busy holiday clearing roads. At the West Hartford Public Works Department, salt is piled high and the town's brand new plow and other vehicles are ready to go.

"We're fully stocked on all levels. Our residents of West Hartford should anticipate no issues by our efforts to get the storm cleaned up to meet their holiday needs," said Public Works Director John Phillips.

And if there's a bit of good news in all of this, AAA says gas prices in Connecticut and nationwide are expected to be at their lowest since 2009.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

UTC CEO Steps Down Immediately, CFO Takes Over


 The chairman and chief executive officer of Hartford-based United Technologies Corporation has retired, effective immediately, according to a statement on the company’s Web site.

Louis R. Chenevert served as UTC’s CEO since 2008, according to Business Week. Prior to that, he served as the company’s president and COO. 

Fifty-four-year-old Gregory J. Hayes, a 25-year veteran of UTC, will take over as president, CEO and director.

He has been serving as the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer for the last six years.

Chenevert took over as chairman after George David retired in 2010

"I am honored by the Board's selection and I am excited to be leading this terrific company," Hayes said in a statement. "Our focus will remain on creating innovative products and solutions for our global customers and delivering best-in-class returns for our shareowners, all supported by our highly skilled and talented workforce."

United Technologies is a high-technology products and services company focused on the building and aerospace industries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lanza Report Spurs Mental Health Discussion


Last week's report detailing the mental health history of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza has spurred officials to demand that more must be done to reform the state's mental health system.

“The Lanza report is damning in the sense that it tells us what we already knew that our mental health system is totally siloed where you have school psychologists not communicating with primary care, not communicating with our community mental health system,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.

Murphy held his fourth round table discussion on the mental health system at the Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven and used the Lanza report to start the conversation.

Clifford Beers Executive Director Dr. Alice Forrester explained that the report highlighted many wrongs in the system.

“Our system is fragmented and broken, so that someone who is seeking services can go out and get a list of services, maybe that they should have, but they're really on their own to find them,” said Forrester.

She said she agrees that the system must be reformed.

“Some of the folks that are not being served currently are the folks in the middle class, who have private insurance or who have no insurance,” said Forrester.

Many also argue that the federal government must step in to support those with mental health challenges.

“Resources are absolutely critical. We are shortchanging, particularly our children, and all men and women who are suffering from the profoundly hurtful and harmful, disabling effects of mental health,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Murphy plans to bring a reform bill to Washington during the next session. He said he'll be using the round table information to draft the bill and hopes it will receive bipartisan support.

Fire Marshal Impaired at Scene Suspended Without Pay: Report


A fire marshal in Cromwell is on unpaid suspension after allegedly showing up to a fire scene impaired on Halloween night, according to reports from the town fire and police departments.

Fire broke out at 134 Coles Road around 10:30 p.m. on Halloween. While crews beat down the flames, Fire Marshal Todd Gagnon, a 23-year veteran of the department, was called to the scene to investigate. He showed up 75 minutes later, according to the fire district’s investigation report obtained by the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

According to a report from Fire Chief Stephen Pendl, Gagnon called dispatch four times to verify the address of the fire scene. Police and fire officials said Gagnon appeared to be impaired when he arrived.

“I observed Fire Marshal Gagnon with red blood shot eyes, slurred delayed speech, and he was swaying back and forth,” Cromwell police Sgt. Steven D. Penn wrote in a memo to the police captain on Nov. 3.

In a statement included in the report, Gagnon told investigators he had been taking medication to help him sleep following a recent injury. Gagnon said the call from the fire department woke him from a deep sleep and he “went into auto-mode, going through a mental checklist” as he got ready to go.

It wasn’t until he arrived at the scene that Gagnon noticed the effects of the medication, according to his statement.

Although he later said alcohol was not a factor, Gagnon allegedly told a colleague he had been drinking earlier that evening, according to documents from the investigation.

"I may have had too much wine at dinner last night," Gagnon told Fire Marshal DJ Zordan the next morning, according to Zordan's report. "I learned something last night. When you mix [redacted] and wine, you get a good buzz."

Cromwell Fire District President Julius Neto, who drove Gagnon home from the scene, reported smelling alcohol. Penn said he did not "smell any alcoholic type beverage emanating from his person" but added that he believed Gagnon was "intoxicated," according to the documents.

Gagnon told Cromwell Fire District Executive Director Michael Dagostino on the phone that weekend that he had only taken the medication he was prescribed and there was "no alcohol involved," Dagostino told investigators in the report.

Gagnon was placed on paid administrative leave the morning after the fire.

Cromwell Fire District Executive Director Michael Dagostino told Gagnon he had “violated the Cromwell Fire District’s Alcohol and Drug Policy as well as the Rules of Conduct” and informed him of his 15-day suspension in a letter dated Nov. 7.

According to the letter, Gagnon is also prohibited from working “on call” weekends for six months and must leave his work vehicle back at the fire department at the end of each day. His suspension ends Dec. 3.

The Cromwell Fire District declined to comment further on the matter. The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have reached out to Gagnon but have not heard back.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Encourage Safety Precautions in Wake of Simsbury Homicide


Police are encouraging Simsbury residents to "continue with general, day-to-day safety precautions" as they work to identify the person who killed a local insurance executive and mother last week.

Police have not said whether they have identified a suspect or person of interest in the death of 54-year-old Melissa Millan, who was found stabbed in the chest on Iron Horse Boulevard last week and died of her injuries.

Her death has been ruled a homicide and police said they're stepping up patrols in response.

"The Town of Simsbury has historically been a very safe place to live, work, visit, recreate and travel through," police said in a statement Monday. "Crimes of this magnitude are extremely infrequent in this community, but when a tragedy happens, there is safety related worry, concern and fear."

Residents are encouraged to report safety concerns to police.

"We will consider and respond to each and every community and individual safety concern and provide timely information to the public when applicable," police said.

Simsbury schools are also providing emotional support to students affected by the death of Millan, who had children of her own.

"The recent news of Ms. Melissa Millan's death certainly has impacted our Simsbury community – a community of which the schools are an integral part," Supt. Matthew T. Curtis said in a statement Monday.

Residents held a vigil on Sunday to remember Millan, an active community member, athlete and executive at MassMutual Insurance.

Police said they are following leads in the case. Anyone with information to call detectives at 860-658-3145.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/MassMutual

Public Transportation Important for Employment


A new study has found that many people in the greater New Haven area depend on public transportation as their only way to get around, which means they must take jobs located along bus lines.

“Currently, I have people who live in certain neighborhoods in New Haven, if they're going to work for example out at the mall in Milford, it takes them an hour and half to get to work, and to get home late at night,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Harp said residents need access to timely transportatino, not only within the city but outside in the suburbs.

“We're looking at all forms of transportation, CT Rides as well as CT Transit and other types of transportation to assure that we can come up with new ways to get people to work,” said Harp.

New Haven is also conducting its own transportation study independent of the report from the South Central Regional Council of Governments.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Boxing Champ Tribute Flick to Film in Connecticut


Former featherweight boxing champion Willie Pep once called Connecticut home, and before he died eight years ago, people were calling him to pitch various projects to tell the story of his life.

Now, one of those projects has the approval of Pep's children Billy and Mary.

"It's about time," said Billy Papaleo, leaning against the apron of the ring inside Dressler Arena at the San Juan Center in Hartford, where Pep used to train.

Next year, David Gere plans to start shooting "Will o' the Wisp", which was Pep's nickname when he reigned as champion from 1942 to 1950, with only one bad break.

The film, which chronicles Pep's success, includes scenes from his former home state of Connecticut. Gere said he plans to use the old Hartford gym and the building in Norwich where Pep fought Sugar Ray Robinson in 1938.

He plans to hire Connecticut vendors, extras and crew members.

"Willie Pep famously came back from a plane crash where he broke his back, and a leg, and he came back within six months to fight again," said Gere. "That's an apex moment."

Donny Lalonde, who fought Sugar Ray Leonard in 1988 for the light heavyweight title, said boxing movies have made money before, and the sport could use a boost.

"Like Rocky did," he said. "Boxing exploded after that."

Churchgoer Donates Kidney to Priest


A Simsbury priest is thankful for his life this Thanksgiving.

A year and half ago, doctors told Father Michael Whyte, who suffers from type 1 diabetes, he needed a kidney transplant or would be hooked up to a dialysis machine with five to seven years to live, according to the archdiocese of Hartford.

When Maggie Domashinski, a member of the congregation at St. Catherine of Siena in West Simsbury, heard the news, she started undergoing tests to see if she could help.

“I knew I was a match. I know that’s kind of spooky, but I did,” she said, according to the archdiocese. “I asked him at one point, ‘What is your blood type?’ When he said, ‘O positive,’ I told my husband, I’m a match for him.”

Both Domashinski and Whyte are Irish and Italian, both are Catholic and both share similar upbringings and family values. They are almost the same age, too: He is 54 and she 53, the according to the archdiocese.

Domashinski turned out to be a match and the transplant was scheduled for Sept. 9.

On the day of his surgery, Whyte's doctor at Yale-New Haven Hospital told Whyte his kidney was working at three percent of capacity. Without the transplant, Whyte could have died within six months, according to the archdiocese.

“It is very difficult when someone tells you that they are considering getting tested or they would like to give you a body part,” Whyte said in a statement. “Thank you doesn’t seem to be quite appropriate.”

Whyte said he is looking forward to completing renovations to the church’s sanctuary, while Maggie is making plans to continue her missionary work in Uganda.

Photo Credit: Archdiocese of Hartford

Snow to Make Travel Messy on Wednesday


A storm moving this way could bring as much as 10 inches of snow to parts of the state on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

A disturbance racing south from Canada, into the Plains states, will help to develop a low-pressure system along the East Coast late Tuesday night into Wednesday.

This storm will quickly intensify and produce accumulating snow during the day Wednesday and into Wednesday night.

This will cause major travel issues throughout the northeast as Wednesday wears on, and road conditions will deteriorate during the day.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the state, except for the immediate shoreline, where mostly rain should fall.

The storm will move quickly away on Wednesday night and we should see fair and chilly weather on Thanksgiving Day.

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Protests Erupt After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision


Violent protests and acts of civil disobedience - from car burnings to marches on highways - broke out in several U.S. cities overnight after a grand jury decided against indicting a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

The grand jury's decision was announced by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch more than three months after Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in a sharply disputed encounter in the St. Louis suburb.

Riots, looting, fires and gunshots erupted in Ferguson -- the community first rocked by the Aug. 9 shooting -- shortly after the decision was announced. Protesters hurled bottles at officers near police headquarters, and flames engulfed at least a dozen businesses.  St. Louis County police deployed tactical units and fired tear gas and smoke to break up unruly crowds. 

At least 150 gunshots were fired and a semi-automatic handgun was seized, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference early Tuesday. 

Police released records early Tuesday showing 61 people were arrested in Ferguson on charges that included burglary and trespassing, The Associated Press reported. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said early Tuesday that 21 were arrested in the city.

"I'm disappointed I didn't see more peaceful protests out there," Belmar said. "What I've seen tonight is probably worse than the worst night we had in August."

Across the country, reaction ranged from marches that threatened to shut down busy streets to gatherings near national landmarks. Most remained peaceful, officials said.

In California, a large crowd marched through the streets of Oakland, and protesters shut down Interstate 580. A bank window was broken and several people were arrested, The Associated Press reported.

Crowds in Los Angeles blocked traffic and stopped traffic briefly on the 10 Freeway. The USC campus was placed on lockdown as demonstrators marched by.

In Philadelphia, angry protesters took to the streets after the announcement, chanting "No Justice. No Peace. No Racist Police," and holding both arms in the air. Albeit loud in voice, they remained peaceful in actions as police trailed their march.

A man was arrested after hurling fake blood on NYPD Chief Bill Bratton in New York's Times Square during a demonstration. Hundreds marched from Union Square to Upper Manhattan through traffic-clogged streets, with signs such as "Jail killer cops."

At the Chicago police department's headquarters, several hundred people chanted "This is what democracy looks like," and carried photographs of those they said were killed by officers.

Outside the White House, roughly 300 gathered for a peaceful demonstration, chanting "black lives matter." Some carried signs urging the demilitarization of police.

Officials and lawyers for Brown's family had appealed for calm. At a press conference before the announcement, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley had said, "I want people to think with their heads and not with emotion."

"I do not want people in this community to think they have to barricade their doors and take up arms," he said. "We are not that kind of a community."

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for protecting lives, property and free speech, but fearful that protests would turn violent -- as sometimes occurred during the tense days after the shooting -- schools closed and shop owners boarded up stores.

The Missouri grand jury considered everything from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter to no charge against Wilson.

Photo Credit: AP
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Police Search for Would-Be KFC Robbers


Police are searching for the men who were caught on camera trying to rob a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Bridgeport over the weekend.

Surveillance footage shows two men wearing hooded sweatshirts walking into the store on Boston Avenue around 9:10 p.m. Police said one suspect pulled out a gun, and a store employee ran into the back office and called 911.

The would-be robbers tried to open the cash register but left without taking any money, according to police.

Both are described as tall and slim. Police said the men were both wearing black hooded sweatshirts and black-and-white sneakers. One had on sweatpants and was armed with a handgun. The other was carrying a military-style backpack.

Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call Bridgeport police Det. Jason Ferri at 203-581-5232.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Tanker Rolls in Milford Affected Morning Commute


A diesel refueling tanker rolled over on Interstate 95 South in Milford this morning, causing some traffic delays during the early morning commute.

State police said the tanker was refueling construction vehicles parked in the center median at a construction zone near the Moses Wheeler Bridge.

The cleanup effort required pumping fuel out of the tanker and cleaning up what spilled onto the ground.

It’s not clear if the driver was injured.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Convict Charged in West Hartford Burglary Spree


A man suspected of breaking into several homes in West Hartford in a single day has a long criminal history, including convictions for past burglaries in Hartford and West Hartford, police said.

Joseph “Willie” Joiner, 55, of Springfield, Massachusetts, is accused of nine burglaries in West Hartford between the night of June 18 and June 19 as residents were sleeping.

Police said he broke into several homes along the Farmington Avenue corridor by cutting holes in screens and climbing through windows or entering homes through unlocked doors.

DNA left behind at a crime scene linked him to the crimes, police said.

Joiner has an extensive criminal history, going back to 1975, and was convicted of 20 counts of second-degree burglary in West Hartford, 30 counts of second-degree burglary in Hartford and for armed assault in a dwelling in Massachusetts, police said.

Joiner has been charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief for the recent cases. He was held on a $50,000 bond and is due in court today.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police
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Would-Be Thieves Couldn’t Get to Cigarette Stash: Cops


Police have arrested five people who they said smashed the glass front door of the Family Dollar Store in Hamden and tried to break into the store’s cigarette storage locker.

Police responded to the Family Dollar Store at 1245 Dixwell Avenue at 1:05 a.m. on Tuesday when he burglar alarm went off, according to police.

Surveillance footage showed a pipe was used to break the glass before five people broke in.

When the would-be burglars couldn’t get to the cigarettes, they hurried out of the shop and it does not appear anything was actually taken, police said.

Sgt. Michael Nawrocki and his police dog, “Hank,” started following the track, which led them to a vacant third-floor apartment at 35 Gorham Avenue, police said.

Inside, police found Frank Pepe, 19, of Branford, Jaquan Beal, 18, of New Haven,
and a 14 year-old Hamden resident hiding in a closet, police said.

Desmond Howard, 20, of Hamden, was arrested while trying to run away, police said and Amber Mugford, 18, a resident of the Hamden building, was also arrested and seized evidence from the home.

All five were charged with third-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree, criminal mischief in the second degree and conspiracy to commit criminal mischief in the second degree.

Pepe, Howard, Beal and Mugford were detained on a $5,000 bond and the juvenile was released to a relative.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Manchester Thanksgiving Road Race Expected to Go On


The 76th annual Manchester Road Race will go on as planned on Thanksgiving morning, unless the governor declares a state of emergency because of the storm heading this way, according to the town’s newsletter. 

The race is set to start at 10 a.m. on Thursday and parking lots will be plowed, as will the roads leading to the race.

Before, during and after the race, there will be some road closures.

Main Street will be closed to traffic between Bissell and Maple streets from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. to allow the construction crews to put up fencing and ropes along the roadway.

At 6 a.m., Main Street will be closed from Center to Charter Oak streets until the end of the race.

At 8:45 a.m., the Interstate 384 exit ramps, both eastbound and westbound at exit 3, will be closed.

At 9:15 a.m., the entire race route will be closed to cars.

Most roads will open after the tail car of the race passes, but Main Street will continue to stay closed from Center to Charter Oak streets until after the cleanup, which is expected to happen around 1 p.m.

Photo Credit: clipart.com

Airlines Offer Waivers Ahead of Thanksgiving Eve Storm


With snow looming in the forecast for the Northeast region of the United States, several airlines announced this week the option for their passengers to change their scheduled flights from Wednesday to Tuesday or Thanksgiving Day for free.

Travelers with American Airlines flights on Wednesday to 18 different aiports along the East Coast, including Philadelphia International and Newark Liberty International Airport, can change their tickets so they fly Tuesday or Thursday, according to a company news release.

Passengers scheduled to fly into 19 Mid-Atlantic airports -- including Philly's and Newark's -- with Delta Airlines Wednesday can also change their flight. Delta ticket-holders can rebook their Wednesday flight for Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday.

JetBlue also announced the ability to adjust one's Wednesday flight to 17 airports in the Northeast, free of charge.  JetBlue passengers can move their Thanksgiving Eve flight to Thursday or Friday.

United Airlines and US Airways also announced similar waiver deals.

Photo Credit: clipart.com

Window Washer Who Fell 11 Stories "Fighting for His Life"


The window washer who fell  about 11 stories in San Francisco last week is a "stubborn, strong man," who is "fighting for his life," according to his family.

The 58-year-old window washer, whose name has not been publicly revealed, has had several surgeries at San Francisco General Hospital and was still in critical condition on Monday, when his family issued a statement by email to the media asking that their privacy be respected.

The statement, provided by the hospital, added that the family is so grateful to everyone at the accident scene at the bottom of the Sterling Bank and Trust building in the 400 block of  Montgomery Street who assisted the window washer when he fell on Friday about 10 a.m.

"We would like to thank everyone at the scene of the accident who helped, especially the nurse who ran to him, the firefighters and the driver of the car that broke his fall," the statement read. "We are amazed that he fell from such a high distance and still survived. Landing on the car really helped, and we are so thankful for that."

The window washer, who is married and has three children, landed on top of a green Toyota Camry, driven by Mohammad Alcozai, who at first thought it was a bicyclist who accidently hit his car. Despite his own car being severely damaged from the fall, Alcozai quickly ran to the man's aid. About 20 others, including a nurse and a retired Army general, were also there helping out.

"He was shaking pretty bad. He was shaking and wasn't able to talk," Alcozai said. "He was breathing hard."

The window washer worked for Century Window Cleaners of Concord, which has been fined for safety violations in the past. A complaint from 2008 resulted in a $2,700 settlement. The state ordered the company to train and “supervise the use of equipment and safety devices to insure that safe working practices are observed.”

NBC Bay Area contacted the company for comment, but the man who answered the phone declined. The company's website states it carries a $5 million worker compensation insurance policy and a $5 million general liability insurance policy.

The fall comes about two weeks after two window washers were stranded on top of the World Trade Center in New York City. On Nov. 12, two workers were rescued in dramatic fashion after scaffolding collapsed.

Window cleaning is one of the safer industries, according to Stefan Bright, the safety director for the International Window Cleaners Association based in Zanesville, Ohio.

Among the 15,000 to 20,000 professional cleaners working on high-rises each year, there are typically fewer than three fatalities a year, he said.

While figures for window washers specifically were not available, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that seven workers in the janitorial or cleaning professions died as a result of on-the-job injuries sustained while working with scaffolding from 2011 to 2013.

NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews and Cheryl Hurd, and NBC Universal's Noreen O'Donnell and Torey Van Oot contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper
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