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"Black Lives Matter," Protesters at Yale University Chant

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Protesters from Yale University fielded one of the biggest demonstrations New Haven has seen, chanting "Black Lives Matter" outside the courthouse, in sympathy with the victims of police the students believe should have been indicted.

Earlier, hundreds of students had stepped onto the pavement in front of Yale Law School. They lay down in a "die-in."

Another group had uncoiled from there three and a half blocks down Wall Street, glove to glove, in a human chain to the courthouse on Church Street.

One Yale junior who said she left the Sudan when she was 4 said there, black lives don't matter. She demonstrated here for the same reason.

"It feels strange," said Emtithal Mahmoud, "that even though we spent so much time fighting the crimes over there, in Darfur, that we have to fight the same battles here."

"It really gives us a sense of empowerment that we can actually enact change," said graduate student Kevin Brown. "You let everybody know how angry you are at the failings of the system."

Protest managers coordinated the event with police, who blocked several streets for the demonstration.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Simsbury Selectmen Reconsider First Selectman Salary

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On Monday, the Simsbury Board of Selectman will consider whether to take another look at cutting the first selectman's pay by 35-percent.

That comes after a week of intense public reaction to First Selectman Mary Glassman announcing her resignation in the face of a pay cut from $113,000 to $75,000 next summer.

“I have never been involved in an issue like this,” says Mike Paine, a republican Simsbury selectman. “I’m hearing a couple different camps, a lot of concern, a lot of emotion.”

Earlier this week, Glassman announced she would resign from the position next month. She's held the position for more than 15-years. The democrat said it was an effort to protect her pension and called the select board's decision, “personal and political.”

Last week, three republicans, including Paine, voted for the cut. One republican and one democrat voted against.

“I think there are some misconceptions out there that this was personal. It was partisan and everything else. I don’t believe it was,” says Paine. “I know it wasn’t for me and I was really. My job on the board of selectman is to look out for the town’s best interest and that’s done in a multitude, by looking at a multitude of different things and that’s why I was trying to do.”

Selectmen argued this was a part of a plan to reorganize positions in town. The town had hired a consultant to improve operations. Glassman said she had supported the pay trimming as of the next election, not mid-term.

A petition started on Moveon.org called for the select board to reconsider its decision. As on Friday night, more than 1350 people had signed it.

The agenda for the upcoming board meeting on Monday now includes an item, “Reconsider Action taken on November 24, 2014 regarding Compensation for the First Selectman.”

It still also includes an item to “Accept the resignation of Mary A. Glassman (D) as the First Selectman of the Board of Selectmen effective January 2, 2015.”
 

Shopping On An App? Consumers Warned to Be Careful

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Shopping through mobile apps might make holiday purchases easier, but they could come with a security risk, a Connecticut senator warns.

Shopper Ashley Hitchcock from Bristol says she loves using apps on her phone for online shopping.

“I use the Groupon app a lot, especially a lot now for Christmas stuff,” she said.

Because the apps save her information, it’s easy for her to make purchases at the click of a button.

“A lot of things I get emails. I get recommendations and that’s how they get me, “said Ashley Hitchcock said Bristol. “And I’ll go into the app and I’ll find local deals or other things that are a good price or products and I get them shipped to my house.”

Although apps are convenient for shoppers like Hitchcock, they do pose a risk.

“These apps are potentially get boons for consumers but they are potentially a bad deal,” said Richard Blumenthal.

According to a recent study by the consumer electronics association, most apps don’t have clear privacy and security policies.

Allowing companies to use and sell shoppers personal information without their permission.

“Consumers ought to be wary and aware of the deal that comes with these apps; it may be a bad deal if they are sacrificing privacy of key, personal information.”

Senator Blumenthal says he’s calling on the companies to clearly disclose how they use information meanwhile asking app users to carefully read the fine print.



Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man Killed Wife, Faked Suicide: DA

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A 47-year-old Queens man has been accused of stabbing his wife to death and faking a suicide note in her name, then going to work and wiping her blood off his shoes, prosecutors said Friday.

Prosecutors say Luis Paguay stabbed his wife, 39-year-old Maria Paguay, multiple times in the chest and neck with a knife sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday evening.

He then allegedly wrote a note in his wife’s name claiming her death was a suicide before going to his Whitestone restaurant dishwasher job. Video surveillance from the restaurant shows Paguay washing what appears to be blood off his shoes in one of the restaurant’s sinks, officials said.

The victim's 19-year-old son discovered his mother’s body at about 6 p.m. Thursday when he got home from school.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called the case a "devastating example of the horrors of domestic abuse."

Paguay is charged with second-degree murder, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence. If convicted, Paguay faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.
 

Man Arrested in Hartford Baby Burn Case

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Police have arrested a man accused in the case of a burned baby in Hartford.

Tylon L. Graham, 31, is facing a risk of injury to a minor charge in the case. He is the boyfriend of the baby's mother and not the biological father of the child, police said.

Hartford police responded Sunday to reports of a baby scalded by hot water, discovering her with first- and second-degree burns. The 10-month-old baby was taken to Connecticut Children's and transported to a hospital in Bridgeport w"with burns to over 80 percent of her body," according to Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.

Police have notified the state Department of Children and Families, which is working with investigators.

Graham was taken into custody without further incident.

He is being held on a $35,000 bond.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

At Least 4 Stabbed on Amtrak Train

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A 44-year-old man was taken into custody after stabbing four passengers aboard an Amtrak train traveling from Chicago Friday.

Niles, Michigan, Police Chief Jim Millin told the South Bend Tribune police arrived at the scene after someone on the train called to report a suspicious person. The stabbing, which occured around 7:10 p.m. was already underway when police arrived at the Niles station.

One female victim and three male victims were injured and taken to the hospital. The severity of their injuries are unknown.

A witness told NBC affiliate WNDU the attacker first stabbed a nearby male passenger before lunging towards two other female victims.

"I was like 'Oh my God, he's punching the guy. I saw him bring his fist back up and I noticed there was something in his fist resembling a knife blade and bring it back down," the passenger reported.

Amtrak officials are working to arrange alternate transportation for 172 passengers. Police said the investigation into the attack is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

Concerns Raised Before Firefighter Death

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Two months after a Hartford firefighter was killed while battling a blaze, newly released documents reveal that several concerns had been raised about the Hartford Fire Department engine company just days before the fire.

Firefighter Kevin Bell, 48, was killed while responding to a fire in the city’s North End on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 7 and sources have told The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that investigators determined Bell was low on air before collapsing on the night of that fire.

Among the documents city officials released on Friday was a letter Lt. John Nolan, a member of Engine 16, sent to Fire Chief Carlos Huertas two days before the fatal fire that mentioned issues with the preparedness at the firehouse.

Two of the bottles, which supply firefighters’ air packs, that were supposed to be full, were found empty on one of the fire trucks, Nolan wrote in the letter.

"Currently there are ongoing active investigations into the tragic death of Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell," Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas said in a statement. "These investigations will be a thorough examination of the totality of circumstances surrounding this incident. When the investigation is complete, it will provide clarity and understanding into the very sad events of October 7th, 2014. Until the investigation is complete it would be improper for me to comment."

Sources within the Hartford Fire Department tell the Troubleshooters that there had been issues like this and others within Engine 16 for some time.

Following is the full letter:
October 5, 2014
Carlos M. Huertas
Chief of Department

Sir,  This fire service is to inform you of an ongoing problem at Engine 16.  I have repeatedly spoken to Lt. Simon about the Company members on his shift regarding daily apparatus checks and house work not being completed on his shift.  I have informed Captain Dalton of this problem and he has spoken to Lt. Simon on numerous occasions.  Often times Captain Dalton came in on his off time to do this.  Last tour I came in to find out that the machine shop had dropped off our apparatus after having a PM performed.  When my driver relieved Acting PO, F.F. James Eaton, he told PO Gauvreau that he had checked out the apparatus thoroughly and it was all set.  P.O. Gauvreau pulled the apparatus out on the ramp and began his checks. He found it was 25 gallons low on fuel, generator empty of fuel, gas can empty.  The pump was not primed even though F.F. Eaton said he flowed water.  The relief valve was set below 100, 2 empty Scott bottles.  Just 2 tours before this the EMS bags on the apparatus were not stocked and had no BVM which we needed for a medical call.  House work has not been performed any where near satisfactory, if at all.  I strongly recommend that both Lt. Simon and F.F. Eaton be sent for retraining.  Life safety cannot be taken lightly.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lt. John Nolan #624
Engine 16 Tour 

Man Tries to Kidnap 2 Boys: Police

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A man is in police custody after he tried to take two children from an Otay Mesa West recreation center, telling witnesses "I have to do this," San Diego Police say.

The 26-year-old man entered the Silver Wing Rec Center at 3737 Arey Drive on Friday. Police say he grabbed a 9-year-old boy and tried to walk away, but a coach stopped him.

The man put the child down, but soon after, another 9-year-old boy was in his clutches. When he tried to escape a second time with the boy, a coach and an off-duty federal agent confronted him.

He told them, "I have to do this," police say, but they refused to let him.

The agent and several people standing by got into a fight with the suspect, forcing him to release the child.

They held him until police came to arrest the man. The children were not injured, the SDPD says.

Before the kidnapping attempt, the suspect was first spotted across the street when he walked into at a house under construction.

The owner, who did not want to be identified, said the man made some strange statements.

"He said, 'I'm sorry. I made a mistake.' He used a couple of words and then he said, 'I'm going to die, I'm a dead man,'" the woman said. "He was scaring me, and I told the guy who was here for cabinets, 'I don't know this guy. Don't leave me.'" 

She asked two construction workers to kick the man out, so he walked over to the rec center.

The incident is under investigation.

Gun Buy-Back in Hartford

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104 weapons were collected at the sixth annual Community Gun Buyback Program in efforts to get guns off the streets.

Held at the offices of the Community Renewal Team, the event was a collaboration between Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical CEnter, Hartford police, the Hartford state's attorney's office, Hartford 2000, a coalition of 13 Neighborhood Revitalization Zone committees, the city of Hartford and CRT.

"Unwanted firearms in the home are dangerous," Linda A. Bayer, a civic engagement consultant for Hartford 2000 said, said in a statement. "Turn in a working gun in a clear plastic bag and receive a gift card as follows."

People who turned in an assault rifle got a $200 gift card, handguns and revolvers were exchanged for a $100 gift card and a $25 gift card was given to anyone who turned in a shotgun or rifle.

Guns that don't work, black-powder weapons, flare guns, pellet or BB guns, ammunition and magazine clips can also be turned in, but they did not qualify for a gift card.

People turning in guns can do so anonymously.

Sponsors included the city and 10 partnering organizations and the service is also offered with the help of the Hartford Public Library, according to a news release.

More information is available at 860-249-1072. The Community Renewal Team building is located at 555 Windsor Street in Hartford.

The gun buy-back goes until 3 p.m.



Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Garner Supporters Rally

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Advocates for the families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and others on Saturday turned their focus to a national protest effort, detailing plans to march on Washington to call for Congressional action.

"We're going to the national government where we can get some permanent justice," the Rev. Al Sharpton said at a rally in Harlem, where he appeared with Garner's family and Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

Marchers will gather Dec. 13 in Washington to call on Congress to hold hearings and pass legislation improving the state grand juries that choose whether or not to indict police officers who kill civilians, Sharpton said.

They are also calling for increased funding for civil rights investigations and a shift in federal rules that would make it easier for the U.S. Justice Department to take action in similar cases, Sharpton said.

"I just hope that this march on Washington really brings some attention," said Esau Garner, the widow of the unarmed 43-year-old who died after being placed in a police chokehold while being arrested. "I have two sons that I still have to raise out here, and I don't want this to happen to my sons or anybody else's sons, father, husband."

The rally Saturday followed three days of demonstrations around the city after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner's death.

Protesters tried to provoke police at Grand Central Station after staging a "die in" Saturday, but officers remained composed. About 150 people packed the station, just one stop in a day of protesting that crisscrossed the city.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets and stores in Manhattan Friday night, starting at Columbus Circle. They marched to the flagship Apple store on Fifth Avenue and stormed the famous glass cube, going down the stairs and flooding the shop as they chanted "Black lives matter" and "I can't breathe."

Customers inside the store and employees appeared surprised as the protesters started filing in, then watched as the protesters marched, chanted and later, staged a "die-in" and lay on the ground.

Police officers walked along with the protesters, monitoring the demonstration and keeping order.

After leaving the Apple store, the protesters went to Macy's in Herald Square and marched through the department store. They went on to Grand Central Terminal and then to Bryant Park, where they also staged die-ins. Others protested on Wall Street.

It's not clear why the protesters went to those particular stores to demonstrate.

"I didn't decide that [destination], but I think the message is this is not business as usual," said Joyce Skurski.

Macy's had no comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At Bryant Park Friday, Ani Charles protested along with her 9-year-old and 13-year-old children.

"I'm here because I really do not want this to be the future for our children," she said. "I want people to know black lives matter."

While large, the crowd was far from the thousands who flooded streets, blocked traffic and lay down in roads during Thursday night's protests. Police said 223 people were arrested in those demonstrations, a bulk of them on charges of disorderly conduct and a few for minor assaults on police officers. The number of arrests on Friday night was down to about 20, police said.

On Wednesday, the day the grand jury issued its vote not to indict Pantaleo, 83 people were arrested.

NBC 4 New York learned Friday that Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan asked grand jurors to consider manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges, and not a lesser charge of reckless endangerment. It's not clear why he left the lesser charge off the table, and he has said strict confidentiality laws surrounding grand jury proceedings prevent him from discussing the details of the case.

The protests have been largely peaceful and non-violent, with very little vandalism, according to NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who also praised police officers for practicing restraint during the marches.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday that fire truck and ambulance response times to emergencies have not been affected by the protests so far.

Pantaleo said in a statement Wednesday that he became a police officer to help people.

"It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner," he said. "My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”

SEE MORE COVERAGE OF THE ERIC GARNER GRAND JURY PROTESTS: 

-- Jonathan Vigliotti contributed to this report. 

Police Cruiser Ends Up in River During Chase

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A police cruiser slipped and landed in the Bladens River on Kerite Manufacturing Company property in Seymour while an officer was chasing a suspect who fled the scene of a minor car accident, police said.

While investigating a small car accident at the Henny Penny Convenience Store at the intersection of Route 67 and Day Street, Officer Dedrick Wilcox learned that a person involved in the crash was also wanted in a domestic violence assault case. The man fled the scene on foot to avoid being arrested.

Wilcox chased the man in his car, but when the man ran onto the Kerite peroperty, there reached a point where the cruiser couldn't go any further.

While trying to turn around, the police car slipped and slid into the Bladens River down an embankment.The small river is on property privately owned by Kerite, which makes electric cables, police said.

Wilcox climbed out of the cruiser onto the hood of the car, which was partially submerged in six feet of water and waited until a rescue team helped him get back to land. He made it to shore safely and uninjured.

The police car, however, was destroyed in the accident and the town will have to replace it, police said.

Seymour police know the identity of the fleeing suspect, but said that he's still at large. Officers are still searching for him and additional charges are pending.

A photo taken by the Valley Independent Sentinel and shared with NBC Connecticut shows a police cruiser with its lights on partially submerged in the water and police SUV on scene parked on the adjacent road.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.



Photo Credit: Seymour First Selectman W. Kurt Miller

Firefighters Fight at Fire Scene: Cops

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Hartford police are investigating an altercation between two Hartford fire lieutenants, police said.

The incident happened at a fire at 16 Chatham Street Saturday, police confirmed.

Police say they were dispatched to the fire house at 25 Blue Hills Ave around 1:40 p.m., after the fire, to interview those involved and a witness.

No injuries were reported and neither party wished to press charges. More details were not immediately available.

Hartford Fire Department Chief Carlos Huertas offered the following statement on the matter:

“We are a Fire Department as well as a family. The women and men of this department are performing a very technical and dangerous job during the most difficult and stressful of times. Today’s incident only proves that our brave firefighters are human. Rest assure, we will examine this incident and take appropriate action to ensure public safety."



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Struck by Car in Guilford

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A man was hospitalized after being struck by a car on Boston Post Road/Route 1 in Guilford.

According to Lt. Robert Robinson of the Guilford police, the man was crossing the street from the Guilford Plaza around 5:30 p.m. when he was hit by a vehicle traveling eastbound. He was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he is currently in stable condition in the ICU.

Robinson said police believe that weather conditions contributed to the accident.

"The person that was driving, no indication of wrongdoing at this time, but it is still under investigation," he said.

The operator of the vehicle remained on scene and is cooperating with police.

Boston Post Road/Route 1 was closed for several hours between Goose Lane and State Street while police investigated the crash.

 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Protesters Take to the Streets in Hartford

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Today people from across the state congregated in Hartford for a solidarity march, adding their voices to the national movement protesting the deaths Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Grand juries decided not to indict police officers for causing either man’s death.

Organizers called it a “March in Solidarity: Never Forgetting Ferguson” in honor of Missouri teen Michael Brown, who was shot by Officer Darren Wilson in August. Two weeks ago a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson in Brown’s death. Marchers also reacted to this week’s news that a grand jury will not indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island.

Protesters marched for more than a mile to spread their message, chanting “hands up, don’t shoot” and “We can’t breathe.”

"We're tired of our brothers dying at the hands of police authorities who are supposed to protect and serve. Not shoot and shoot again," said Hartford resident Howard Jerome.

Aswad Thomas, one of the co-organizers, said he wanted everyone to work together to make change.

Hamden resident Adam Chambers said he was happy to see everyone come together.

“It’s great to see especially because it’s raining and cold,” he said.

Attendees called for more accountability for police across the country and more transparency with grand juries. But many also praised Harford police and how they handled the march.

Many protests across the country have been taking place at night, but Hartford organizers wanted young people to be able to attend.
 

Deers Crashes Through NJ Home

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A Galloway Township, New Jersey woman received an unexpected visitor Saturday afternoon while she was in the middle of cooking.

The woman told police she was inside her home on Northampton Road and placing sweet potatoes in the oven when a deer suddenly burst through her front door and ran into her house.

The woman said she managed to follow the deer into the back of her home and lock the animal inside her master bathroom. She then contacted police.

When police arrived they found shattered glass on the front storm door and a damaged frame on the main door indicating the deer was strong enough to run through the doors and enter the home. After a brief standoff, the officers managed to safely escort the deer out of the home and release it back into the wild.

Police said the deer caused significant damage to the bathroom while it was locked inside.

The homeowner was not injured during the incident.



Photo Credit: Galloway Township Police

Torrington Police Investigate Stabbing

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Torrington police are investigating after a man was stabbed early Saturday morning.

Police say they responded shortly before 1 a.m. to the area of 149 Woodbine St. There they found a 27-year-old male suffering from a stab wound in the arm. He was transported to Waterbury Hospital for treatment.

According to police, the suspect is known to the victim. Police say an arrest is expected.

Anyone with additional information on this incident is encouraged to contact Torrington police at 860 489 2000.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1 Dead in Fiery NJ Crash

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Two tractor trailers and a car were caught up in a New Jersey highway collision that killed one person and sent flames shooting into the air Saturday, police said.

The fiery crash closed a section of Interstate 78 near Union at around 1 p.m., transit officials said. The highway was closed for several hours.

Police identified the person who died as James Pinaire, 24, of Chatham, New Jersey, who was the driver of a 1999 Audi sedan.

One of the tractor trailers was a tanker truck, loaded with 9,000 gallons of fuel, police said.

Balwineer Singh, 36, the driver of the tanker, was taken to University Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition, police said.

Pinaire's sedan pulled into the path of the tanker, which then struck the sedan, investigators said. Both vehicles then skidded into the express lane of I-78 and into the path of a truck loaded with mulch. The trucks collided and caught fire.

Mario Quiroz, 53, of North Bergen, driver of the mulch truck, was treated for injuries at a nearby hospital and released.

Images from the scene showed the trucks engulfed in flames, with a thick plume of dark smoke surrounding the site. By around 3 p.m., the fire was extinguished, police said.



Photo Credit: @sicvic

Driver Charged With DUI After Fiery Crash in Westport

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Police arrested a Norwalk driver after she crashed into a tractor trailer in Westport while under the influence and her car caught fire, police said.

Ainsley Friedberg, 52, of Norwalk, was charged with driving under the influence. Westport police and firefighters responded at 1:46 a.m. Saturday to a fiery crash involving her car and a tractor-trailer at the intersection of Post Road East (Route 1) and Church Street South, police said.

When police arrived, she was out of her car, which was "wedged underneath the trailer of the truck," police said, and the "engine compartment was engulfed in flames."

Firefighters put out the blaze and neither driver was injured. Police did not release the name of the tractor-trailer driver.

Friedberg was also cited with failure to drive a reasonable distance apart.

Police released her after she posted a $500 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 18.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock

1 Killed, 1 Injured in Ledyard Crash

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A driver died after veering off Iron Street (Route 214) in Ledyard and crashing Friday night, police said.

Driver John H. McGrenery, 77, of Monroe, was found unresponsive in the 2009 Chevy Malibu after crashing off Route 214 between Spicer Hill Road and Saw Mill Drive. Police received a call reporting the one-car crash at 10:47 p.m. on Friday.

His passenger, Trudy McGrenery, 77, survived, but was injured. Both of them were transported to William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, but John McGrenery was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash and are looking into the possibility that he suffered a medical emergency before crashing, police said.

Ledyard police, firefighters from the Ledyard Fire Department and Gales Ferry Fire Department and the Ledyard Volunteer Emergency Squad responded to the scene.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Graffiti Artist Run Over by Police

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A man is fighting for his life after he was run over by a police cruiser.

Miami Police said 21-year-old street artist Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez, who goes by the name "Demz," was hit while running from officers after he was caught tagging a building.

The incident has many street artists in Wynwood upset.

"He shouldn't be in the hospital with a brain injury right now," Rodriguez's friend Neo told NBC 6. "He should be out here doing graffiti with me."

According to City of Miami Police, Rodriguez was spotted by officers tagging a privately-owned building on Friday off of NW 5th Avenue and 24th Street around 2 a.m. Friday morning. Police say that once he saw flashing lights, Rodriguez ran.

"He probably shouldn't have ran, you know, considering that it is Wynwood and it's an art district and everyone is basically doing graffiti," Neo said. "The cops might have just given him a chance."

Police said when Detective Michael Cadavid turned the corner in his unmarked car, Rodriguez jumped out from between two vehicles and the detective's car struck him. Rodriguez is listed in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital with a brain injury.

It is unclear if Rodriguez had permission to "tag" the building. Street artists said that while protocol calls for artists to ask owners' permission, many opt to do it illegally.

"In the community you get more respect if you do illegal," said artist Jasmine Deardan. "You don't get permission and you just do your throw-up or your tag."

The incident happened just hours before hundreds of people took to the streets of Miami to protest, in part, the death of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez, who was killed after a Miami Beach Police officer shocked him with a taser last year.

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