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Ambulance Crashes Into 7 Cars


One person was killed Sunday when a stolen ambulance crashed into as many as seven cars before overturning in a Greenbelt, Maryland restaurant parking lot.

The ambulance was stolen from the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department at about 5:45 p.m. on I-495. The ambulance crew, just returning from transporting a patient to Holy Cross Hospital, saw a car off the road and stopped to help.

The driver of the car then attacked the ambulance crew and stole the ambulance, officials said. The crew was unhurt, but the stolen ambulance drove on down 495, exiting at Kenilworth Avenue.

Shortly afterward, the stolen ambulance crashed at Greenbelt Road and 62nd Avenue.

The victim who died was the driver of a car that was involved in the crash. A passenger in that same car was injured and transported to a hospital in critical condition; that passenger was pregnant, authorities said.

Three or four other people at the scene were hurt, though none seriously.

The ambulance hit as many as seven cars before it came to rest in the parking lot of Joe's Crab Shack, according to Prince George's fire department spokesman Mark Brady.

The person who stole the ambulance is in custody and in critical condition, officials said. The investigation into the theft and crash is continuing.

Stay with News4 and NBC Washington for more on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Marc Bashoor

Driver Charged in Crash That Hospitalized 2


A driver has been charged with driving under the influence in the Vernon crash that sent two people to the hospital Saturday night and closed Hartford Turnpike for a couple hours.

Driver Michele Dankowski, 57, crashed head-on into another car at the Bolton Road intersection while trying to turn left at about 6 p.m., according to police. She faces multiple charges including operating a motor vehicle under the influence and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, police said.

The driver of the car Dankowski struck was transported to the hospital after crews extricated the person from the car, according to police. An ambulance also took a passenger from that car to the hospital, police said. The severity of their injuries was not immediately clear.

Dankowski was also charged with possessing a weapon in a vehicle after police discovered she had a gun. Police additionally cited her with making an improper left turn.

She was released after posting a $10,000 surety bond.

The intersection was closed for about two hours and reopened close to 8 p.m..

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

Brown’s Father Speaks at SF Church


The father of Michael Brown, whose unarmed son was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, came to San Francisco Sunday to speak at the Third Baptist Church.

More than a dozen speakers addressed the congregation before a packed house, calling for change and underscoring what they see as a pattern of injustice against men of color.

"That needs to stop in America, where we claim to be a land of equality of opportunity and respect for the worth and dignity of all human personalities," Rev. Amos Brown said.

The large crowd, which had waited for more than an hour to hear Michael Brown Sr. speak, grew silent when he took the podium.  Brown's father was very brief and told the crowd he appreciates the support. 

"We got a major fight going on," Brown said. "I got to stand up, so that’s all I'm doing — standing up for our rights. We love the Bay...and like I said, enough is enough. We gotta stand strong. Together. Thank you."

Friends said he had come to San Francisco from the "Justice for All" march and rally in Washington, D.C. After the speech, he took some photos with the crowd who came to see him.

The event lasted over two hours, and it was peaceful.

The cause was fought not just in the churches Sunday.

Sparked by Michael Brown's case, protests have broken out in the Bay Area and cities across the country carrying messages like "black lives matter."

Another group on the Golden Gate Bridge demonstrated against police violence Sunday.

"The more you are out in the streets, giving your message that peace and justice matter for all people, the more people will see the message," Code Pink spokeswoman Renay Davis said.

And in San Jose, about 20 protesters met outside City Hall dressed in all black and holding signs. The group marched to San Jose's Christmas in the Park, where they held a short "die-in."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Police Arrest Suspect in Hartford Homicide


Hartford police have arrested a suspect in the stabbing death of a 34-year-old man killed in Hartford on Saturday morning.

Lashawn Davis, 27, voluntarily went to the Hartford police station on Sunday and asked to speak with investigators, police said, and he has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of Jonathan Lamont Cox, 34, of Hartford.

Cox was stabbed in the chest at 165 Benton Street at 10:09 a.m. on Saturday and transported to Hartford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Davis was charged with murder and was held on $500,000 bond.

Police are continuing to investigate two other acts of violence in the city over the weekend.

A woman was sexually assaulted and stabbed on Marshall Street in Hartford early Sunday morning, according to police.

The woman first told police a man dragged her to the back of the building and into the basement laundry room and sexually assaulted her, police said. Her accounts of the incident have since varied, according to authorities.

Early Sunday morning, police found the body of a man with a gunshot wound to the head face-down at 35 Bond Street.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Gas Prices Drop 75 Cents Since Last Year


Gas prices in the greater Hartford area have fallen 6.9 cents per gallon in the past week and the average price on Sunday, was $2.89 a gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 418 gas stations in Hartford.

However, the average price here is 30 cents more that the national average of $2.57 per gallon.

Gas prices in the Hartford area are almost 75 cents per gallon lower than they were at this time last year and 24 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

The lowest gas price in Connecticut, according to GasBuddy.com, is $2.52 at the Mohegan Sun Employee gas station, followed by $2.55 at Gasman in Southington. See the full list here.

The national average has dropped 33.2 cents per gallon in the last month and 67 cents per gallon lower since last year.

“By tomorrow, more stations in the U.S. will be charging under $2.50 per gallon than over, a remarkable milestone,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Video Shows NYC Protesters Chanting for "Dead Cops"


Video captured from Saturday's protests in New York City appeared to show demonstrators apparently calling for the deaths of police officers, hours before violence on the Brooklyn Bridge marred the massive march in protest of police killings of black men, including Eric Garner on Staten Island.

The video, posted on YouTube, shows a few dozen protesters marching down Fifth Avenue at 32nd Street Saturday afternoon. After a few seconds of chanting "Hands up, don’t shoot," the demonstrators changed their cry, apparently yelling out in unison "What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now."

The protesters repeated the chant for nearly a minute before again changing their cry.

The video was captured at about 4:30 p.m., a few hours before two police officers were hurt by a man who tried to throw a garbage can from the Brooklyn Bridge's pedestrian walkway onto the officers below.

Police later arrested Baruch College adjunct professor Eric Linsker in the assault. Police said that Linsker allegedly had recently purchased hammers and a black face mask in his bag.

Linsker was charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest, first-degree rioting, unlawful possession of marijuana and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He was released without bail after an arraignment Sunday.

In a separate confrontation on the bridge, a person was arrested for disorderly conduct after an NYPD traffic agent's car was smashed.

The arrests marred the massive, otherwise peaceful march, which police said included at least 25,000 demonstrators.

Protesters carried signs reading "Jail Killer Cops" and "Black Lives Matter." They chanted "I can't breathe," the last words of Garner, who died after he was placed in a police chokehold while being arrested on Staten Island.

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Man With Suspended License Left Scene of Crash: Police


Police have charged a 28-year-old South Windsor man who they said was driving with a suspended license and left the scene of a crash.

Police responded to a crash at Ellington Road near Kupchunos Drive around 6 p.m. on Friday and found Tyler Smith, 28, of South Windsor, a short time later.

He was charged with operating a motor vehicle while license is suspended, evading responsibility and failure to drive a reasonable distance apart.

Smith was later released on $1,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on Dec. 22.

Police Respond to Rollover on I-84 West in West Hartford


Police responded to a rollover crash on Interstate 84 West in West Hartford on Monday morning.

The scene is clear, ,but there are heavy residual delays.

Minor injuries are reported, according to police.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT Traffic Cameras

Tower Avenue in Hartford Closed After Crash


A car crashed into a home on Tower Avenue in Hartford this morning and police are trying to figure out what led up to the crash.

The driver of a BMW SUV was ejected after hitting a utility pole, then a hydrant and the house at 648 Tower Avejust before 2 a.m., according to police.

The woman was the only person in the car and was transported to St. Francis Hospital, which is right across the street.

After the crash, the road was closed and immediate neighbors were told to evacuate because wires were down.

Neighbors, including Dorothy Barnes, said they heard three explosions and the trees caught fire.

Neighbors reported seeing the driver being fitted with a neck brace.

The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, according to police.

Neighbors reported heard explosions and said this is second crash in this yard and the fifth crash in the neighborhood in seven months.

Power is out to the residential street and utility crews have responded to fix the pole.

There is no estimate for when the road will reopen.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspected Shoplifter Shoved Security Guard: Police


Hamden police arrested a suspected shoplifter at a Wal-Mart store who is also accused of shoving security staff.

Police responded to the store on Saturday afternoon to investigate a shoplifting and physical altercation and were told the shoplifter was running toward Dixwell Avenue.

Moments later, Officer Dennis Putnam arrested a suspect, Cornelius Green, 52, of New Haven, and said he had a stolen tool in his possession.

Police said Green removed an alarm clock from the shelf and returned it with a receipt that he had in his pocket, then pushed a security officer who approached him and fled from the store.

Green was charged with robbery in the third degree, larceny in the sixth degree, possession of a shoplifting device and breach of peace.

Green, who was detained at police headquarters on a $5,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Dec. 29.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Gas Leak in Killingly Led to Evacuations


Route 12 in Killingly was closed at Morin Avenue because of gas leak late Monday morning and residents in a quarter-mile radius were evacuated, according to police.

State police said a backhoe hit a Yankee Gas main at 524 Main Street and evacuations were underway between Morin Avenue and North Street, near Larry's Auto, encompassing a quarter mile around the site.

The Red Cross opened a shelter at the Old Killingly High School for residents who had to leave their homes, but the leak is contained and the emergency shelter is closing, according to the Red Cross.

Seventeen people used the shelter while it was open.

Person Struck by Train in Meriden


A man has been transported to Hartford Hospital to be treated for lower-bodies injuries after what police said was a suicide attempt in Meriden late Monday morning.

The man was lying down on train tracks in the area of Cooper Street in Meriden when he was struck by a freight train, according to authorities.

LifeStar medical transport helicopter brought the man to Hartford Hospital.

No passengers were on the train when the man was hit.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Driver Accused in Christmas Display Crash That Hurt 13 Had Revoked License


A suspected DUI driver accused of crashing his truck into a van and sending it into crowd of pedestrians in Alhambra, east of Los Angeles, Sunday night has a revoked license and several prior convictions including DUI and hit-and-run, according to court records.

Police said Ismael Soto, 28, hurt 13 people when he plowed into a minivan where families had gathered to look at Christmas decorations at Fremont Avenue and Poplar Boulevard Sunday night.

Eleven people went to the hospital, including a 27-year-old woman who remained in the intensive care unit for a head injury Monday morning, police said.

The youngest victim is 7 years old, police said.

Court records show Soto was convicted in February 2013 of driving with a suspended license and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, and November 2013 for driving under the influence and hit-and-run, according to LA Superior Court records.

Soto was also convicted in 2013 of driving with a suspended license. A judge then revoked his license in November 2013 after he allegedly refused a chemical test, records showed.

"He does not have a current driver's license," Alhambra Police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said. "He shouldn't have been behind the wheel of that car."

Soto was on probation for one of the prior DUI conviction's at the time of Sunday's crash, Johnson said.

After the Sunday night crash, witnesses said a red pickup truck driving on Fremont Avenue suddenly made a left turn and T-boned a black minivan, sending the minivan spinning into a crowd of spectators.

"All of a sudden I heard tires screeching, but not brakes," said David Villalobos, a homeowner who saw the crash.

The truck pushed one van over a "huge curb," and sent another van into pedestrians, pinning them against a fence and a holiday display, police said.

Soto is behind bars on $130,000 bail for suspicion of felony DUI and is due in court Wednesday, police said.

Photo Credit: Alhambra Police Department

Teens Arrested, Accused of Stealing Scooters


Hamden police have arrested two teens accused of burglarizing a home and stealing scooters.

Police responded to a home on Pinerock Avenue around 5 a.m. on Thursday after someone forced their way into the garage and stole two scooters worth a combined $2,000, according to police.

Around 1 a.m., four hours earlier, Officer Dennis Putnam had seen two juveniles, 17 and 13-years-old, standing next to two scooters on Davis Street, but they didn’t have the keys or driver’s licenses, so police had the scooters towed away, police said.

As authorities investigated, they determined that the scooters had been stolen in the burglary on Pinerock Avenue, so they arrested the teens and charged them with second-degree burglary, fourth-degree larceny and interfering with a police officer.

The juveniles are due in juvenile court in New Haven on Dec. 18.

Second Arrest in Glastonbury Golf Club Thefts


Police have arrested a a second suspect in the thef of high-end golf clubs from homes in Glastonbury.

The person who stole the clubs appeared to be dressed for the country club, in a polo shirt, dark windbreaker, khaki pants and dress shoes, when he took golf clubs from six homes in the south and southeastern part of town, then left in a brick-red colored 2000 Acura and Lexus with stock wheels, according to police.

Police said Derek Benson, 29, of Glastonbury, is suspected of playing a role in the thefts.

He turned himself in to police on Dec. 12, when he learned there were seven active warrants for his arrest.

Police said Benson participated in the burglaries and then sold many of the stolen clubs at a golf outlet in

Earlier this month, police arrested Justin Scalise, 22, of West Hartford, who they said is suspected of being an accomplice to the man who stole the clubs. Scalise is due back in court later this month.

Benson was not able to post his court-set bond and was held to appear in court.

Anyone with information on the thefts is urged to call Glastonbury police at 860-652-4269.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

Orange Man Set Fire to His Own Home: Police


Orange Police have arrested a man accused of setting fire to his home.

Thomas McMahon, 65, of Orange, is accused of setting fire to his home at 496 Golf Road in Orange on Oct. 27, while it was occupied, according to a post on the police department's Facebook page.

Police said it appeared the fire was set from inside the home and caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.

No one was injured during the fire and the Orange Volunteer Fire Department, Milford Fire Department, Orange fire marshals, Orange Police and Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Unit responded and extinguished the fire.

On Saturday, McMahon turned himself in to police on an arrest warrant and was charged with first-degree arson 1st degree, which is a felony, and providing a false written statement.

He was released after posting a $50,000 bond and is due in Derby Superior Court on Jan. 5.

Photo Credit: Orange Police

High Carbon Monoxide Levels Led to Evacuation of North Haven Town Hall


North Haven town hall was evacuated for around an hour on Monday after high levels of carbon monoxide were detected.

First Selectman Michael Freda said town hall was evacuated around 11:30 a.m. after someone in the finance department, on the lower level of town hall, opened the door to the furnace room and became disoriented after a blast of air.

Town officials called the fire department, which evacuated the building, and found carbon monoxide levels of about 200 parts per million. The furnaces were immediately shut down.

The middle level of town hall tested in the 40 parts per million range, while upstairs tested in the 20s, which are both above normal.

As a comparison, the average level from a home without gas varies from .5 to 5 parts per million, while a home with a properly adjusted gas stove has 5 ppm to 15 ppm., while poorly adjusted stoves might have 30 ppm., according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Two employees received oxygen, including the one who went to the furnace room first. Both are fine, officials said.

The car5bon monoxide levels within town hall have all returned to normal as well, according to the first selectmen.

The furnace company responded and is evaluating the boilers and ventilation system.

Everyone has returned to the building and town officials said it is warm enough to remain inside.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Chinese Food Delivery Man Robbed at Gunpoint


An employee of a Hamden Chinese restaurant was robbed at gunpoint while making a delivery on Sunday night, police said.

Police said the victim, a 49-year-old employee of China Wok, at 1245 Dixwell Avenue, was delivering food to a Duane Road address at 6:45 p.m. when he was robbed.

After the robbery was reported, police responded to the area of Circular Avenue and Bradley Avenue and learned that the employee arrived at the home, where he encountered a 5-feet-6-inch tall man in a brown coat, then a 5-feet-11-inch masked man pulled out a gun and demanded his belongings, police said.

The robbers took money and the flood, then ran toward Wilbert Street, police said.

Hamden Police searched the area and brought in a police dog, but have not found the people responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Division at (203) 230-4040.

Suspects in Hamden Shooting Arrested


Hamden police have arrested two suspects after a 20-year-old New Haven man was shot in the chin in in sent to the hospital.

Police said Corey Bell, 20, of New Haven, was shot near Sammy’s Grocery Store at 871 Dixwell Avenue around 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4 and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for serious injuries.

A second person, Jaywon Lacy, 18, of Hamden, was also shot, but was not injured, police said.

Police said six or seven people on bicycles had fired at the two victims and a bullet apparently ricocheted and struck one person's waistline.

Police said they have obtained warrants for Tasheem Scott and Shamont Newton, who are both 18-year-old Hamden residents.  

On Dec. 8, police arrested Scott. He had turned himself in at Hamden Police Headquarters and was charged with first-degree assault, criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Scott was detained on a $250,000 court-ordered bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Dec, 22.

On Dec. 12 Hamden Police arrested and charged him with first-degree conspiracy to commit assault and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Newton, who was detained on a court-ordered $200,000.00 bond, is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Dec. 29.

The Major Crimes Unit is continuing with the investigation, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Detective Division @ (203) 230-4041.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Enroll in Access Health CT by Midnight


Connecticut residents who want to have heath coverage through the state healthcare exchange as of Jan. 1 have until midnight to enroll.

"The deadline to sign up for quality, affordable health care coverage that begins on January 1, 2015 is tonight at midnight," Jim Wadleigh, acting CEO of Access Health CT said in a statement. "If customers have an application started and select a plan before midnight tonight, they can still get coverage beginning January 1, as long as they complete the application and get us all the relevant information by midnight this Friday, December 19."

Residents can still buy health insurance after the deadline, but coverage won't start until March 1.

In addition, people must purchase health insurance by Feb. 15 to avoid hundreds of dollars in penalties on their income tax returns.

Access Health CT call center representatives are available at 1- 855- 805-HEALTH (4325) and in-person assistance is available at the AHCT enrollment centers in New Britain and New Haven, at 12 Community Enrollment Partner sites, and via licensed insurance brokers. More information is available on AHCT's website at www.accesshealthct.com

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