Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Gun-Wielding UNH Student to Serve Prison Time


The former University of New Haven student accused of bringing loaded guns to campus last winter and sparking a massive police presence and lockdown will serve another year in prison, followed by five years of probation.

William Dong, 23, brought two handguns and a banned assault rifle to campus last December, prompting a campus-wide lockdown and building-by-building search, according to authorities.

He was arrested and charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon, breach of peace and other counts after police found 2,700 rounds of ammunition and newspaper clippings about mass shootings in his padlocked bedroom..

Dong was later charged by federal authorities with unlawful transport of a semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle.

He initially pleaded not guilty, but reversed the plea. According to the Milford Judicial District clerk's office, Dong pleaded guilty to one count of illegal sale and transfer of an assault weapon and two counts of illegal possession of a pistol.

Dong was sentenced to eight years in prison, suspended after two, but he has been in prison for the last year, so he will serve one more.

He will also serve five years' probation and will be required to register with the deadly weapon offender registry.

Dong's friends called the incident a "huge misunderstanding" and said Dong was just confused about where he was allowed to carry guns.

Dong told authorities he had been planning to visit a shooting range the next day and carried guns to protect himself in the event of a mass shooting.

Woman Charged With OUI After Hitting Cruiser and Fleeing: Cops


Farmington police have arrested a woman accused of crashing into a police cruiser while she was under the influence, then fleeing the scene.

Police said an officer was conducting a traffic stop on Farmington Avenue just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday and the emergency lights were on when Jennifer Newtown, 28, of West Hartford, hit the cruiser and fled.

Police pulled her over a short time later and Newtown was charged with operating under the influence, evading responsibility and improper passing.

She was released on bond and is due in court on Dec. 24.

Son Who Killed Politician Gets Life


Jason Beckman was sentenced to life behind bars Friday for the 2009 shooting death of his father, South Miami Commissioner Jay Beckman.

Judge Rodney Smith said Beckman will serve a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison before he can ask for parole.

"This is who you are, you're very vengeful, your personality is a ticking time bomb," Smith told Beckman as he handed down the sentence.

Beckman, clad in orange prison clothing, expressed some remorse to Smith over the shooting.

"My father shouldn't be dead, I wish he was here and not because I'm here but because I loved him and I really feel like I could have improved my relationship with him just by doing a few things differently," Beckman said.

Sentencing in the case had been delayed several times in the past year. Beckman was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting in November 2013.

Beckman was originally charged with manslaughter with a firearm after he told police that he had just wanted to show the gun to his father, but he slipped and fell causing the gun to fire. The charges were upgraded to first-degree murder after friends and family came forward saying the then-17-year-old had talked of killing his father.

A search of the son's belongings showed the former South Miami High junior had compiled a hit list of enemies, with his dad's name on the top, authorities said. Defense attorneys had argued that Jason Beckman didn't shoot the gun intentionally.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com

DiNardo Won’t Pursue Another Term as Chair of State Democratic Party


Nancy DiNardo, the first woman to be elected chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party, is stepping down after leading the party for 10 years.

DiNardo will instead pursue the vice-chair role.

DiNardo’s political career started in 1971, when she was elected to town council in Trumbull. 

"Nancy has been a truly indispensable leader of this Democratic Party for over ten years. She was an extraordinary Chair who has led our party to critical victories this past November and in years past, and the Lieutenant Governor and I are grateful that she will continue to serve Connecticut Democrats," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement.

"Going forward, I believe that Nick Balletto would do an excellent job in the role of Chair. There are important elections in our towns and cities this fall and I know Nick is committed to continuing the work that Nancy and the Connecticut Democratic Party have done to partner with Democrats running for local, state, and federal offices. In tandem with Nancy, I believe the Party will only expand to new heights, and the Lieutenant Governor and I are proud to support this ticket," Malloy went on to say.

20-Year-Old Old Saybrook Resident Hit and Killed After UConn Game


A 20-year-old from Old Saybrook has died and his 19-year-old friend is in the hospital after the young men were struck by a car while crossing a highway in New Jersey after attending the UConn game Thursday night, according to police.

Police said the victims, both Connecticut natives, and two other friends had attended the men's basketball game against Duke at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and were walking across Route 3 around 10:30 p.m. Thursday when they were struck.

Twenty-year-old Ellis Snyder, an Old Saybrook resident and Xavier High School graduate, died at the scene. Friends and community members said Snyder was a student at the University of Vermont and was home on break.

"It's just very heartbreaking and it's definitely a loss in the community, and definitely going to be felt here by the students and by the whole town," said Old Saybrook resident Kelly Ledwith, who went to elementary and middle school with Snyder.

Ledwith said Snyder had worked at Between the Bridges Marina and was well known throughout a close-knit community.

"He was very nice. A lot of people were saying he had a big personality, brought life everywhere he went," she explained.

Old Saybrook Selectman Scott Giegrich said his son played baseball with Snyder for years.

"Ellis was on many all-star teams and he played on some of those traveling baseball teams," Giegrich said, adding that Snyder went on to play baseball at Xavier. "[He was a] second baseman, dynamic young man, with a smile on his face at all times."

Giegrich worked with police and other community officials to gather friends and family members at Old Saybrook High School on Friday evening and provide support to those affected by Snyder's death.

"It's going to be sad for anyone and everyone, but the one thing that's great about a small town is you will see people come together," Giegrich said.

Snyder's friend was taken to Hackensack Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, according to police in New Jersey. Two other people with them were not hurt.

Authorities have identified the driver only as a 35-year-old man who was traveling eastbound on Route 3. No charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.

Man Stabbed to Death on Bridgeport On-Ramp


A 26-year-old Bridgeport man was stabbed to dead after an altercation with another person following a crash on the exit 5 off-ramp from Route 8 in Bridgeport late Thursday night, according to state police.

Police identified the man killed as Bryant Kelly, 26, of Bridgeport.

A witness called 911 at 11:20 p.m. and said two people were outside their vehicles on the Route 25/8 south exit 5 off-ramp at 11:20 p.m. and walking toward each other “in an aggressive manner,” according to state police.

Then, police received another 911 call. This one was from one of the people involved in the altercation, who asked for state police to respond, but the call was disconnected after sounds of a scuffle were heard over the line.

When the man called back, he told authorities that he had fled to the corner of Lindley and Capitol Avenues in Bridgeport, a short distance from the altercation, so police responded there.

Troopers also went to the off-ramp, where they found Kelly suffering from severe injuries, police said. He appeared to have been stabbed, police said. 

Troopers provided emergency care at this scene, than an ambulance arrived and took him to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after being admitted. 

The Office of The Chief States Medical Examiner determined Kelley died of a stab wound.

Police have not released the other man's name.

Police said they investigated at the scene and spoke with witnesses, but they are asking anyone else who was in the area and saw anything just prior to or during the altercation to call State Police at 203 696-2500.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Firefighters Respond to Fire in Bloomfield


The Blue Hills Fire Department has responded to a fire at 44 Tobey Road in Bloomfield.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Shoplifter Stole $300 of Perfume from Milford Macy’s: Police


Milford police have arrested a man accused of stealing more than $300 worth of perfume from Macy’s.

Police received a complaint about the shoplifting from the Macy’s at Connecticut Post Mall in Milford at 9:30 p.m. and arrested Marcus Moore, 29, of New Haven, who is accused of leaving the store with $326 worth of perfume he did not pay for.

An officer apprehended Moore on the Boston Post Road after a chase, and he struggled, resisted arrest, police said.

He was charged with sixth-degree larceny, first-degree and interfering with police.

Bond was set at $10,000.

Photo Credit: Clotee Pridgen Allochuku/flickr

Middletown Police Search for Hit-and-Run Driver


Middletown Police are trying to identify the driver who hit a parked car on Main Street on Tuesday night and fled from the scene.

A car that was heading south on Main Street around 9:30 p.m. hit a vehicle that was parked in front of the St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen in the north end, between Grand Street and Liberty Street, police said.

A witness saw the driver make a right-hand turn onto Liberty Street after the crash and video surveillance shows what appears to be a silver Honda Civic fleeing west on Liberty Street, police said.

The car, which has heavy front-end damage to the right side, stopped briefly behind a black a vehicle that stopped to let someone out.

Police ask anyone who recognizes the car or knows anything about the crash to call Middletown Police at 860-638-4000.

Photo Credit: MIddletown Police

I-84 East in Vernon Reopens After Truck Crash


Interstate 84 East was closed for hours after two tractor-trailers crashed early Friday morning, causing one of the trucks to burst into flames.

The crash happened at exit 66 just before 4 a.m. The drivers of both trucks were able to escape their vehicles and one has been taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

State Police had both sides of the highway closed, but were able to reopen the westbound lanes just before 5 a.m. 

I-84 East reopened just before 11:30 a.m. after both trucks were towed from the scene.

Officials from the state Department of Consumer Protection also responded because cargo needed to be unloaded.

According to state police, Arian Nika, 42, of Peabody, Massachusetts, was behind the wheel of one of the trucks and drifted from the right lane, into the right shoulder and hit another truck that was parked in the shoulder.

Nika's truck burst into flames. He was taken to Rockville Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the parked truck, Jonathan Oberko, 45, of Bronx, New York, refused medical attention, police said.

The commuter lot near the scene is also closed to the public and will remain closed for the day.

The crash had an impact on several roads and traffic was at a standstill from exit 64 as well as on Route 30, Bolton Road and Reservoir Road.

To get more traffic updates, follow Heidi Voight on Twitter.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

Lawmakers Celebrate Bill to Help Families With Autistic Kids


On Friday in Hartford, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal along with Congressmen John Larson and Elizabeth Esty celebrated the bipartisan passage of the ABLE Act. ABLE, which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience, is aimed at easing the impact autism has on families across the country.

“The able act allows for families to put aside money, tax free, so it can grow and then be taken out to pay for expenses such as education or housing,” said Sen. Murphy.

It is a bill Shannon Knall, a Simsbury native and Autism Speaks Connecticut Advocacy Chair, has been waiting for. Knall’s son Jack is autistic and she knows firsthand how hard looking ahead can be.

“One of the issues I often talk about when I speak about autism is that we have little to no opportunity to plan for our future,” said Knall.

According to Sen. Blumenthal, the bill was one of the most popular in Congress and now Knall is thanking them for their support.

“They said that our families matter, our children are important, that there future is a priority,” said Knall.

The bill is now waiting for President Obama’s signature. He is expected to sign it before the end of the year.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mom Slept While Toddler Wandered Off in Pajamas: Cops


A mom in Orange is facing charges after police say she fell asleep at a house on Spring Street before her 3-year-old child wandered off through the neighborhood wearing only pajamas.

Neighbors spotted the toddler in the area of New Haven Avenue and Dogburn Lane around 11 a.m. Friday. Police arrived to find the child with a passerby but said the parents were nowhere to be found.

It turns out the mother and child had been staying a home on Spring Street. Police said the toddler’s mom, 30-year-old West Haven resident Regina Yankee-Siegel, who also goes by Regina LaRocco, was sleeping and had no idea her child had left the home.

Yankee-Siegel was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor and interfering with an officer.

She was held on $5,000 bond and is due in court Dec. 22.

Photo Credit: Orange Police Department

14-Year-Old Driver Hits School Bus: Police


Authorities are investigating after a 14-year-old got behind the wheel of a car in New Haven on Tuesday and crashed into three other vehicles, including a school bus, according to police.

According to police, the teen lost control and struck two other cars and a school bus in the area of Whalley and Sherman avenues in New Haven around noon Tuesday.

The teen was taken to Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Police said her mother met her at the hospital.

No one else was hurt. Police said the school bus was empty.

Police are investigating the crash.

Bicycle Accident Reported in Barkhamsted


Emergency crews were called to East River Road in Barkhamsted on Friday night after a bicyclist fell off and got hurt, according to police.

The crash was reported in the area of Pleasant Valley Road. According to police, ambulances were sent to the scene and two victims were initially reported.

No additional information was immediately available.

3 Die in Crash En Route to Funeral


An SUV full of people on their way to a funeral rolled over on Interstate 15 Friday, leaving three dead and another three, including a 2-year-old girl, injured.

A 2001 Ford Expedition was headed south on I-15 when it flipped into the northbound lanes near Gopher Canyon Road, blocking the left lanes on both sides of the freeway and killing three people inside. CHP suspects tire tread is to blame.

Suitcases were seen strewn about among the debris. A survivor of the crash told CHP the group was traveling to Mexico to board a plane for a funeral.

Two of the deceased were women: a 22-year-old from Monrovia, Calif. and a 21-year-old from Santa Monica. CHP said it does not appear either women were wearing seat belts.

The driver, a 25-year-old man from Monrovia, had his seat belt on, but was also killed.

A 2-year-old girl restrained in a car seat survived without injuries, but was taken to Children's Hospital for "precautionary reasons." Two adults, the girl's uncle and 43-year-old grandmother, also survived and were transported to Palomar Hospital for non-life threatening injuries, according to CHP.

The child lost both parents in the crash.

Heading to her father's funeral, the grandmother saw her 22-year-old daughter died.

"I am a human being, and my heart goes out to that family, especially during the holiday season," said CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt. "That is tough."

Deputies happened to be driving behind the vehicle when they said the tread on the left rear tire appeared to separate, causing the driver to lose control. CHP said the tread on all four tires looked different.

Authorities will conduct a full mechanical inspection of the SUV, paying close attention to the tires.

Bettencourt said it's important to check the safety of your vehicle often, especially before a long trip.

"Number one: have a plan. Be prepared when you go out there," Bettencourt said. "Make sure that you take a look at your vehicle, you inspect it, you check your wipers, you check the tire pressure, you make sure your vehicle's in good working order before you travel on that long trip."

Editors note: A previous version of this story said the ages of the deceased women were 11 and 12 years old. We regret the error.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

Anti-Cop Graffiti Hits Philly


Anti-police sentiment has materialized in the form of graffiti along a busy avenue in West Philadelphia.

Three messages were scribbled in spray paint on a fence, bar and abandoned church on Baltimore Avenue between 48th and 50th streets.

They read "PPD Killed Brandon Tate Brown," "F--- the Cops" and "Cop Lives Don't Matter."

Brandon Tate Brown is the man shot in the head and killed by a Philadelphia Police officer on Monday following an altercation during a traffic stop. The last message is a play on the chant "Black Lives Matter" that demonstrators have been using recently while protesting against police treatment of African-Americans.

The protests in Philadelphia and other cities around the nation began after grand juries declined to indict white officers in two high profile cases surrounding the deaths of unarmed black teen Michael Brown and the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

It's not clear when the structures were tagged.

"Back in the day you could really run to a cop and trust the cop, but now people are scared to go to cops," nearby resident Sharon Weaver said after seeing the message on the fence.

Kale Good, another resident, said he doesn't agree with defacing a person's property, but that he understands how a person might feel it's the only way to have their voice heard.

"I think what the person is trying to express is that they feel police in general are disregarding their lives or aren't valuing their lives, and so they probably feel an amount of frustration and this is how they expressed it," he said.

A painter was removing the "Cop Lives Don't Matter" message from the fence around noon Friday.

"It’s a shame that someone defaced someone else’s property. We’re going to handle it as a vandalism case, just like we would any other,” Philadelphia Police spokeswoman Tanya Little said.

Little said it is one person's point of view and that the department has and continues to have positive interactions with the community.

"Regardless what the message said, even if it said ‘I love the police,’ this was really a crime against someone else, the property owner," she said.

There were no leads or an estimate on the vandalism's cost, police said.

The city would handle removing the other messages, Mayor Michael Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald, said. He didn't immediately have further comment on the graffiti.

NBC10 also reached out to the police union, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, for reaction.

The physical anti-police commentary comes a day after city leaders condemned online commentary by a Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic.

The medic, who works in Southwest Philadelphia, posted a photo to his personal Instagram account of two black men pointing guns at the head of a white police officer. The accompanying message said: "Our real enemy ... Need 2 stop pointing guns at each other and at the ones that's legally killing us and innocents."

The post has since been deleted, an apology made and investigation launched.

A rally in support of the city's men and women in blue is being held on Friday night in the Mayfair section of the city. According to the event's Facebook group, more than 2,000 people said they planned to attend.

Photo Credit: NBC10
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

Obama Only Picks Female Reporters


There was a lot said at President Barack Obama’s annual year-end press conference, but it was who he spoke to during the conference that had people talking.

The President took questions from reporters at the end of his speech, but he only called on female reporters, a move that set the Twittersphere ablaze.

Eight women posed questions during the conference, asking Obama about the Sony hacks, Cuba, race relations, the economy and more.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed after the event that the move was in fact intentional.

"The fact is, there are many women from a variety of news organizations who day-in and day-out do the hard work of covering the President of the United States. As the questioner list started to come together, we realized that we had a unique opportunity to highlight that fact at the President’s closely watched, end of the year news conference," Earnest said, according to Politico.

While seemingly subtle, the move didn’t go unnoticed by viewers.

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

"I Can't Breathe" Trademarked?


A Waukegan woman has filed an application to trademark Eric Garner’s dying words, “I can’t breathe.”

Catherine Crump, 57, submitted her request to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 13 in hopes of registering the phrase for use on apparel such as “hoodies and t-shirts for men, women, boys, girls, and infants.”

In the application acquired by the Smoking Gun, Crump claims to have been using the term for merchandising since “at least” Aug. 18, one month after Garner’s fatal arrest.

The July video of a NYPD officer placing a chokehold on unarmed Garner for selling loose cigarettes went viral after the father of six was seen shoved to the ground pleading, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” in his final moments of life.

When a grand jury decided not to indict the officer who killed him protesters erupted nationwide using, “I can’t breathe,” as their battle cry against police brutality.

Crump told the Smoking Gun she has “nothing to do with the Garner family,” and did not speak with them regarding her intentions to trademark the term.

Pedestrian Struck at Routes 4 and 272 in Torrington


Route 4 is closed at Route 272 in Torrington after a pedestrian was hit by a car outside Scarpelli's Restaurant on Friday evening.

Police said the pedestrian, a male, was taken to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital after being struck around 6:30 p.m. Friday. LifeStar was called to the scene but did not airlift a patient, according to the helicopter transport service.

Authorities have not released any additional information. The intersection was still closed around 11 p.m. Friday.

Check back for updates.

Shooting, Police Chase Stalls Trains, Highway in Norwalk


Metro-North cut power to the New Haven Line in Norwalk after police chased people wanted in connection with a shooting in Stamford and followed one onto the tracks Friday night.

Stamford police said a man and woman fired shots from a car driving on Anne Street in Stamford around 7:30 p.m. Friday. The victim chased them in his own car to exit 16 off interstate 95, at which point the suspect opened fire again.

Police in Norwalk picked up the chase. Stamford police said the two suspects crashed on East Avenue in Norwalk, near Penny's Diner, then got out and started a running. The man threw down a 9mm handgun while he ran, which was later found behind the diner.

Norwalk police said officers followed one person onto the train tracks in East Norwalk and took a second into custody on East Avenue. According to Norwalk police, a third suspect has also been apprehended.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said police asked Metro-North to power down trains in Norwalk while they went after the suspects.

Police asked residents to avoid the area of East Avenue and Prowitt Street in Norwalk while they investigated. I-95 northbound was closed for several hours in the area of exit 16.

The suspects' names have not been released. Stamford police said the victim is being cooperative and the incident does not appear to be random.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live