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LifeStar Airlifts Motorcyclist Injured in Crash


LifeStar airlifted a motorcyclist to the hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in a crash with a car in the Gales Ferry section of Ledyard that closed a portion of Long Cove Road Friday.

The accident happened near the 900 block of Long Cove Road near the Hyde Park Road intersection about 1:29 p.m., according to Ledyard police and Gales Ferry firefighters. A LifeStar helicopter transported motorcyclist Lucas Page, 21, of Gales Ferry, to William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich.

Long Cove Road was closed for several hours between Route 12 and Baldwin Hill Road, but the road has since reopened.

Charles Grant, 76, of Gales Ferry, the driver of the car, wasn't injured.

Police have not released the names of the involved parties at this time.

Gales Ferry, Ledyard and submarine base firefighters responded, as well as the Ledyard Volunteer Emergency Squad.

No information has been released at this time on the motorcyclist's condition.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Former Cop's Alleged Facebook Threat Scrutinized


East Windsor police are looking into allegations that a former officer at the department posted comments provoking violence on a police department Facebook page.

Doug Humphrey, who voluntarily left the department more than eight years for a law enforcement job in Florida, is accused of posting "For any of my law enforcement friends who may not have seen this [sic] if this (expletive) approaches [sic] you kill him dead" as a comment on a Chicopee Police Department Facebook post, according to baystateexaminer.com.

He was reportedly responding to Chicopee Police Department's Dec. 22 Facebook post about a criminal investigation into Chicopee resident Charles DiRosa's "Put Wings on Pigs" Facebook message referencing what shooter Ismaaiyl Brinsley said before ambushing and killing New York Police Department officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in their police cruiser in Brooklyn following nationwide uproar over the death of Eric Garner.

Chicopee police had posted that DiRosa would be issued a court summons on a charge of threat to commit a crime and that the department notified surrounding law enforcement agencies as a precaution.

"After the events of the past few days, the PD took this threat very seriously," the Chicopee Police Department posted on Facebook.

East Windsor police also said that they are taking Humphrey's reported response to DiRosa's statement seriously and looking into the facts to determine if a crime has been committed and the department has jurisdiction to take any action.

"Before the East Windsor Police Department takes any official steps or actions [sic] we must ensure that an impartial and comprehensive investigation is completed," East Windsor Police Chief Edward J. DeMarco Jr. said in a statement. "....The East Windsor Police Department will use all of its available resources and legal assistance to assure that this happens in a timely fashion."

DeMarco Jr. stressed that if indeed Humphrey did make those comments, the department has no connection to him or his current place of work and that the comments don't reflect the "the beliefs of the East Windsor Police Department, our culture of fair and equitable public service, our long earned trusted community member status, or thoughts of any individual members of this dedicated public safety agency."

"Everyone should know that we, the East Windsor Police Department, do not tolerate this type of activity or beliefs, in any way," DeMarco Jr. said. "We would like to thank the community for promptly bringing this matter to our attention. We are taking this matter seriously and will work diligently for a successful conclusion."

Humphrey's only remaining connection to East Windsor is that he "may or may not" be receiving a penchant due to his former employment with the police department.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Black LAPD Officer on Protesters


A black Los Angeles Police Department officer has accused some people protesting perceived law enforcement discrimination of being guilty of the same thing.

Sgt. James Baker, who has been on the receiving end of verbal volleys from protestors, has rejected comparisons between the racism he experienced growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, during the civil rights movement and the discrimination police are accused of now.

The officer said he himself had been the victim of discrimination from African-American communities due to his profession.

"I saw things in the South that I knew was horrible. It was bad in those days," said Baker, who has been a law enforcement officer for the past 28 years. "If I judge you on a particular thing, you say I’m racist, the LAPD is racist. But you judge me, you say you're right, you're factually right, (it) doesn't work that way.

"Sometimes my worst critics were the African-American community," Baker added. "They say, ‘You turned against us. You're an Uncle Tom.’ I think, 'How can people say that to me?'"

Baker also rejected claims from protestors that he has been held down by his race, and pointed out he is in charge of coordinating the LAPD's response to demonstrations.

But he said he still enjoys interacting with protestors, even when things become heated, as he believes it's the first step towards mutual understanding.

When he retires in three years, he said, he may accept a challenge from a protestor during a recent exchange.

"(He said) you should take that uniform off and come out here with us. I said, 'You know when I retire maybe I will, and do it the right away.'"

Car Flips on Roof in I-84 Crash


Lanes have reopened on Interstate 84 west in West Hartford after a car crashed Saturday morning just before 7 a.m. and flipped onto its roof.

State police and Hartford firefighters responded to the crash between exits 43 and 42.

Two of three lanes were closed earlier.

There is no word on whether anyone was injured.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Thief Returns Gifts to Family


A Kaufman County, Texas, family had their gifts stolen from their porch just two days before Christmas, but the alleged front porch bandit later had a change of heart.

The Carsons were at the supermarket Tuesday when Jordan Carson got a text message notifying him his packages had arrived to his Forney home. The packages were gifts for his 3-year-old daughter.

Then, about 10 minutes later he received a second notification from his surveillance system that someone else was on his porch. This time, they were taking the packages that had just been delivered.

"I was pretty upset, really upset," said Jordan Carson. "Everyone was just kind of shocked it happened."

Police were called, and, amazingly, the alleged thief came clean, Carson said.

"He actually handed them to my wife and he apologized," said Carson. "It actually happened to one other neighbor and they got theirs back, too."

In the same neighborhood, you can see a cartoon depiction of the Grinch on a front lawn, and now the Carsons felt like they dealt with a real-life Grinch, who had a change of heart just in time for Christmas.

The neighbor with whom the alleged thief was staying has since kicked the man out of their home and neighborhood.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

CT Police Attend NYPD Officer's Funeral


More than 250 police officers from across the state of Connecticut boarded buses at Hartford Police Headquarters early this morning, headed for New York for the funeral of slain New York Police Department Officer Rafael Ramos. A line of motorcycles representing Hartford, East Hartford and UCONN police took off for New York. Shortly after, more police.

"Police officers were a brotherhood, so when one of us falls, a small part of us dies. So were going down there to show that we're a brotherhood," said Lt. Gerardo Pleasant of Hartford Police

A motorcycle brigade representing Hartford, East Hartford and UConn police left for New York City early Saturday morning, followed by more police on three buses.

More than 50 Bridgeport police officers traveled to New York City for the funeral.

“In every city and town, every new officer takes an oath when they put on the badge. Brave men and women sacrifice their lives fulfilling that obligation,” Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. said in a statement. “Every time that happens, we will mourn with their families, we pray for their children and, as a community, we will honor them as heroes when they are laid to rest.”

Officers were dressed in full uniform, and wearing black bands over their badges to show a sign of respect for fallen officer Ramos.

"They were targeted because they were wearing blue, they were targeted because of what they do for a living," Windsor police Officer Russell Wininger. "It’s a show of support. We’ve had two officers that were murdered in the line of duty, and given the political climate that’s in our country right now; we feel the need to support our fellow officers."

Ramos and Wenjian Liu were ambushed last weekend and shot to death in their police cruiser in Brooklyn. Police say the shooter may have acted in retaliation for Eric Garner's death.

East Haven police also went to the funeral, posting on Facebook, "In NYC paying our respects to a fallen officer who has joined a list that is way too long."

North Haven, Greenwich and Fairfield officers also were in attendance.

Police officers heading to New York said that there is a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood in police work.

"Being a part of this is like being a part of a huge family, nationwide and worldwide. Brothers in blue." Officer Joel Otero of Hartford Police.

The officers will likely be making another trip to the city in the coming days once funeral arrangements for Officer Liu have been announced.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Tries to Steal Groceries in Self Checkout


Waterford police are looking for a woman suspected of shoplifting at a Stop & Shop in town.

The female suspect attempted to steal hundreds of dollars worth of groceries on Dec. 18 at about 2:40 p.m. by going through the self checkout and only paying for a few of them, Waterford police said on Facebook. She fled when Stop & Shop employees confronted her, leaving several items behind in the parking lot and took off in a black Pontiac Sunfire with a Pennsylvania license plate, police said.

Police released a surveillance photo and ask anyone who recognizes her to call the Waterford Police Department at 860-442-9451, email atran@waterfordct.org or to send the department a private message on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Waterford Police Department

Tractor Trailer Catches Fire in Building


A tractor trailer caught fire on Saturday morning inside a metal building in Portland.

Wilcox Hill Road was closed as crews responded.

There's no word on injuries or on how the fire started.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crash Closes Rt. 44 in Canton


Two people were transported to area hospitals after a crash that briefly closed Route 44 in Canton.

The crash happened at about 5:32 p.m. and the state road was shut down near La Trattoria at 21 Old Albany Turnpike (Route 44) for about an hour. The road reopened shortly before 6:30 p.m.

Ambulances transported two people to the hospital to be treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

It's unclear many vehicles are involved and police did not release further information on the circumstances of the crash.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Car Hits 2 Crossing Street for Pizza


Two pedestrians were hit by a car while trying to cross Commerce Drive in Fairfield to get to Pepe's Pizza on Friday night, police said.

Chourouk Abourazzouk, of Fairfield, struck James and Jeanette Stelato, of Fairfield, while driving westbound on Commerce Drive, police said. The two pedestrians were crossing the road from the Master Electric parking lot to get to the pizzeria when they were hit, according to police.

The two pedestrians and the driver were both transported to area hospitals to be treated for injuries that aren't life-threatening.

Fairfield police responded to the crash near the Commerce Drive and Brentwood Avenue intersection at about 7:49 p.m.

A Fairfield police accident investigation team is investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Threatened Police in 911 Call: State Police


A Bridgeport man was arrested after calling 911 and threatening police on Friday, according to the incident report.

The dispatch center at State Police Troop G in Bridgeport received a 911 call from Alexander Rosa, 28, of Bridgeport, "warning all police officers that if they kept killing people, their (police officer's) mothers, daughters and sons were all going to be killed," according to state police.

State police arrested Rosa at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, charging him with second-degree threatening, second-degree harassment and failing to submit finger prints.

He was held on a $50,000 surety bond and released to judicial marshals custody to be arraigned in court that day.

The arrest comes on the heels of nationwide protests responding to the choke-hold death of Eric Garner and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, but state police did not say if Rosa is suspected of making a threat due to the protests.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ct. Man Arrested for 911 Threats


A Bridgeport, Connecticut, man was arrested after calling 911 and threatening police on Friday, according to the incident report.

The dispatch center at State Police Troop G in Bridgeport received a 911 call from Alexander Rosa, 28, of Bridgeport, "warning all police officers that if they kept killing people, [the police officers'] mothers, daughters and sons were all going to be killed," according to state police.

State police arrested Rosa at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, charging him with second-degree threatening, second-degree harassment and failing to submit finger prints.

He was held on a $50,000 surety bond and released to judicial marshals custody to be arraigned in court that day.

The arrest comes on the heels of nationwide protests responding to the choke-hold death of Eric Garner and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, but state police did not say if Rosa is suspected of making a threat due to the protests.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Two Dogs Escape Torrington Fire


No one was home when a fire ravaged a Torrington home except two dogs that escaped unscathed, but now a family is displaced after the blaze destroyed their house.

A fire broke out at 545 Westledge Drive at about 11:15 a.m. and firefighters responded to the two-alarm blaze. About 75 percent of the home was engulfed in flames and it took firefighters about 45 minutes to knock it out.

The family wasn't home at the time of the fire, but their two dogs got out of the house on their own unharmed. No one was injured and no one was taken to the hospital.

The home however was significantly damaged, rendering it uninhabitable. The residents have been displaced.

Firefighters checked for hot spots to ensure the fire doesn't start up again.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Wheelchair-Bound Woman, 29, Needs Van With Ramp


A wheelchair-bound 29-year-old Waterbury resident from Puerto Rico is appealing to the public in a GoFundMe campaign to help her family raise $5,000 for a van with a wheel chair ramp.

Lismarie Echevarria has already had more than 18 surgeries for spina bifida and was clinically dead three times after going into cardiac arrest, which preventing her from getting a necessary surgery at birth, she said on her GoFundMe page. She was born in Puerto Rico with the condition, which prevents her from walking or moving her legs.

"I have no sensation from the waist down that is why I am in a wheel chair I have been like this since I was born," she said on her GoFundMe page. "When I was born I died three times in [sic] the operating table because doctors took me for surgery to put in my head what is called a VP shunt because the liquid from the spine was going up to my head and made my head grow and so the doctors needed to put that shunt in my head to make that liquid go back down."

Right now, the Mazda her family has is too small and doesn't have a ramp to make it accessible with a wheelchair, she said on her GoFundMe page. Echevarria wants a van with a wheelchair ramp to help her get into the car to get to her doctor's appointments safely. While her dad typically lifts her into the car, she said he might need surgery and recovery time soon that would prevent him from getting her to her doctor's appointments.

"A van with ramp is important for me because it enables me to get to, not only my doctors safely, but it will give me a quality of life that I can only imagine," Echevarria said on her Go Fund Me page. "I can do many things with my family if I have a van I can go to the park; I can go out to eat with them or go to the mall and have a lot of fun with them.

She was born with an "open wound" on her back and the nerves controlling the movement in her legs and arms were on the outside of her body instead of inside, she said. At 16 days old, an ambulance rushed her to another hospital and she was placed in an incubator. Her father came with her while her mom recovered in the hospital where she gave birth.

Financially struggling and being without insurance in Puerto Rico, obtaining necessities like a wheelchair or medical supplies was difficult, she said. The wheelchair she had was slightly small for her and had some broken parts, so she was in desperate need of a new wheelchair and that was expensive, she said.

"For that reason, my mom had to make many sacrifices in order to get the money so she could purchase my medical supplies," Echevarria said.

Her mom would make cakes and sweets to sell to make money. She and her father would go to stores like K-Mart and stand outside with a can to ask people for a donation for her to get a wheel chair. Her family also hosted fundraisers. Eventually they collected enough to get her a new wheelchair.

Her Puerto Rican doctor later encouraged her and her family to move to the United States because he didn't believe she could continue to get the support she needed in her home country, she said. So, her family packed up the next day and moved to New York for a couple years before settling in Connecticut. Now she has insurance to help her afford things like wheel chairs and other medical necessities.

But she still needs more funds for the van and ramp and is asking the public for help. So far, 41 people have donated a total of $2,845 in a month, according to her GoFundMe page, which has gotten about 8,800 shares on Facebook.

For more information, you can visit her Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/lismarie.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Two Hospitalized After Car Hits Tree, Catches Fire


Life Star transported a driver to the hospital and his passenger was also hospitalized after a serious fiery crash in Somers Saturday night.

Stephen Bradle Hulevilch, 21, of Vernon, was driving eastbound on Mountain Road in a Chevrolet Cruze and crossed into a westbound lane to pass a Honda CRV, state police said. He lost control, crashing into a tree off the westbound shoulder near 349 Mountain Road at about 8:45 p.m.

The car was severely damaged and caught fire.

Life Star transported Hulevilch to Hartford Hospital to be treated for a serious head injury. His passenger, Tyler Joseph Shackway, 20, of Somers, had a serious leg injury and was transported by ambulance to Hartford Hospital.

Firefighters sprayed foam on the car to extinguish the flames. Police said that the fire itself didn't appear to harm the men.

It's unknown why Hulevilch was passing the other car, state police said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

State police ask anyone with information to call Trooper Hernandez Garcia at the Troop C barracks in Tolland at 860-896-3200.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Swastikas, Slurs Painted in Md.


Swastikas, racial and ethnic slurs, and profane words were spray painted over some holiday decorations in the Kensington neighborhood of Montgomery County, Maryland, on Saturday.

Montgomery County police said because of the nature of the symbols and racial epithets found, the vandalism is a possible hate crime.

"I think it was probably just some dumb kids that are expressing themselves in an inappropriate way," said resident David Bowie, whose home was vandalized. "I feel bad for the parents."

Investigators believe the vandalism occurred overnight between Friday and Saturday. They said an inflatable Christmas lawn decoration was one of the items defaced.

Bowie said he's going to have to have an uncomfortable conversation with his 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

"I don't think they understand what a swastika is, and we haven't gone through the history of it yet, but we certainly will," he said. "This is probably for them a good lesson to learn hateful crimes still exist in this country, and that's a sad truth."

The locations of the incidences were confined to one area on Brookfield Drive, Matthews Lane and Summit Avenue.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 301-279-8000.

River Search for Student Resumes


Nearly 10 divers returned to the Schuylkill River Sunday to resume the search for Shane Montgomery, the West Chester University student who went missing early Thanksgiving morning after a night out with friends in Philadelphia.

Nine divers from the Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit, a volunteer diving recovery team, began combing the river near the parking lot where the 21-year-old Roxborough native's keys were found last week.

The crew is making their way to Venice Island -- a piece of land located between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River that holds a playground and a performing arts center.

Surveillance video captured Shane walking toward the Manayunk Canal after leaving Kildare's Irish Pub around 1:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

The college student spent the night before Thanksgiving out with friends along Manayunk's Main Street.

The month-long ordeal is wearing on Shane's parents, Karen and Kevin Montgomery, who have vowed to continue searching until their son is found.

"I'm not going to stop until I find Shane," Karen told NBC's TODAY Show last week. "I text him everyday to ask him to help me find him."

The search for Shane has garnered attention nationwide, as well as throughout the local region.

A group of Mummers are honoring Shane by wearing special ribbons during their annual New Year's Day parade in Philadelphia. The ribbons' color -- green -- is Shane's favorite and is also associated with missing children.

Various restaurants, organizations and West Chester University student groups raised funds to help increase the reward for information that leads investigators and the family to Shane.

The reward stands at $65,000. Anyone with information should contact Philadelphia Police at 215.686.TIPS.

Man Hit Girlfriend with Truck: Cops


A New Jersey man who allegedly choked his girlfriend before striking her with his pick-up truck, pinning her between the vehicle and a gas pump was arrested Sunday night.

Police charged James Crudup, 44, of Toms River, with attempted murder after he brutally attacked his 35-year-old girlfriend at a Hess Gas station early Sunday morning, police said. Crudup was apprehended around 7 p.m.

Crudup and the woman pulled into the gas station on Route 37 East in Toms River around 12:30 a.m., exited the pick-up truck and began arguing, authorities said.

The verbal fight escalated to physical violence within moments as the man threw his girlfriend to the ground and began choking her, officials said.

The woman was able to free herself and began running toward the gas pumps as he returned to his truck and began driving towards her, investigators said.

A station attendant tried to push the woman out of the way, but it was too late. 

Crudup struck his girlfriend, pinning her between his truck's bumper and the gas pump, before backing up and driving at her for a second time, running over her legs as she remained on the ground, police said.

Her boyfriend backed up and struck her with his truck a third time, before speeding away from the scene, authorities said. The suspect was last seen heading west on Route 37, police said.

Medics rushed the woman to Jersey Shore Medical Center. Officials said her injuries appear to be non-life threatening.

Officials have not yet revealed Crudup's bail information.

Man Charged with DUI After Plainfield Crash


Plainfield police have arrested a man accused of crashing a stolen car into a guardrail Saturday.

Police say Jacob Hughes, 21, was observed driving erratically around 11:39 p.m. on Prospect Street. When an officer attempted to pull the vehicle over, Hughes turned left, missed a cut through road between Prospect Street and Ward Avenue, and crossed the grass median. The vehicle stopped when it struck a metal guardrail on Ward Avenue, according to police.

According to police, Hughes told officers on scene that he was uninjured, that had been drinking and that the vehicle, a 1999 Chevy Prizm, was stolen. Police say officers then attempted to administer a field sobriety test but Hughes refused. Hughes was taken into custody.

Meanwhile, the registered owner of the vehicle contacted police to report her vehicle stolen. The registered owner reported that Hughes had been at her home earlier that day with a mutual friend. The owner said that all of them left the home together, and she dropped her keys in the car while she ran back inside. This is when Hughes took the vehicle, according to her report.

Hughes was charged with DUI, reckless driving, failure to maintain proper lane, operating a motor vehicle without a license, and third-degree larceny. He is being held on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned at Danielson Superior Court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police Department

East Lyme Police Investigate Threat Posted Online


East Lyme police are investigating an anonymous posted threat of violence against the town, according to town officials.

East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica says the threat, posted on social media site YikYak, is being taken “very seriously,” and that East Lyme police, state police, and the FBI are all involved in the investigation. He added that he was first made aware of the threat early Wednesday.

Officials have not determined whether the threat specifically targets a particular town building or department. The investigation is ongoing and few details are available at this time.

Check back for updates.

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