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Man Convinced Girlfriend Cheated Stabs Another Man: PD


A man was stabbed several times in a Hartford apartment late Monday night and he told police it happened after the attacker accused him of cheating with the man's girlfriend.

Police responded to a second-floor apartment at 240 Sargeant St. in Hartford at 10 p.m. Monday.

A man with multiple stab wounds told police that the boyfriend of a woman visiting him came to the apartment and stabbed him after accusing his girlfriend of cheating on him with the victim.

The boyfriend ran from the scene and the victim was transported to an area hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition.

Police are looking for the man the victim identified.

Major crimes detectives are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Arrested in Accidental Shooting


A man who drove a 20-year-old gunshot victim to the hospital after an accidental shooting in Mansfield is under arrest, state police said.

Stephen Ferriss, 21, is facing multiple charges including assault after state police responded to Windham Hospital at about 6:16 p.m. on Sunday to investigate a report of a patient brought in with a non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, according to state police.

Ferris told police he drove the victim, 20, to the hospital. State police determined in a preliminary investigation that a gun was fired accidentally in Mansfield and later found the weapon in the victim's home in the town.

The address where the incident occurred has not been released at this time.

State police major crime detectives from the eastern division are investigating the case.

Ferriss faces charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm and interfering with an officer.

State police released him after he posted a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Rockville Superior Court on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Sold Pot Legally Obtained at Bristol Dispensary


Police arrested a 22-year-old Middletown man suspected of selling medical marijuana he obtained legally.

Officers initially pulled Edward R. Goralnik Jr. over on Pearl Street in Middletown after noticing unauthorized blue LED lights installed throughout his vehicle and a broken brake light. Police smelled "fresh unburnt marijuana" in the car when he rolled down his window and Goralnik Jr. admitted to having "a little bit" in a bag on the floor, police said.

Goralnik told police that he obtained the marijuana legally and showed officers a state-issued medical card certifying him to have 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

He admitted to police that he bought medical marijuana legally from The Healing Corner dispensary at 159 East Main Street in Bristol, divided it up into baggies and sold it on the street. Several empty bags found in the car carried the dispensary's label.

Police seized three clear plastic baggies "twisted shut and heat sealed," 17 smaller baggies and two dime bags that contained a "brownish-green" bud-like substance like marijuana, weighing 26.8 grams total. They also found a black digital scale that was about the size of a cell phone, 51 empty "dime bags, a small inch-long glass cylinder containing green marijuana powder called "Kief" inside and $127 in cash.

Two black bottles and five smaller white bottles of marijuana were found were also concealed under the subwoofer in the truck of Goralnik's car, weighing a combined total of 16.5 grams.

Police also confiscated four cell phones found on Goralnik and in the car.

Officers charged Goralnik with possession with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school zone, possession of marijuana within 1,500 feet of a school zone and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also cited with having an unauthorized color of lights and a broken brake light.

Goralnik has a previous criminal history. Middletown police said he was arrested eight times from June 23, 2011 to Nov. 6, 2012 on charges including first-degree trespass, sixth-degree larceny, six counts of violation of probation, six counts of third-degree burglary, operating under the influence and possession of drugs or marijuana.

Animals Safe After Barn Fire


A barn burst into flames in Torrington early Tuesday morning.

About half a dozen fire departments responded to the barn in the area of 54 Starks Road near Saw Mill Hill Road to battle a 1:45 a.m. barn fire, according to Litchfield County Dispatch.

Icy conditions caused troubles for crews fighting the blaze and sand had to be sprinkled on the ground. Water was also be brought in from another location to extinguish the flames because there was no fire hydrant.

The barn was deemed a total loss, but no one was injured and the owner was able to evacuate all the animals safely.

The road, a dead end, and Cardinal Circle road nearby are closed to traffic.

Crews were still on scene at 6:34 a.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

3 Yale Students Robbed at Gunpoint


Three Yale undergraduates were robbed at gunpoint while walking on a trail in New Haven on Monday night and their backpacks were stolen, according to Yale University Police.

The students were walking on the Canal Line in New Haven -- or the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail -- between Munson and Division Streets, at 6:35 p.m. on Monday when two men on bicycles approached them from behind, according to a message Yale University Police Chief Ronnell Higgins sent to faculty, staff and students.

One of the men pulled out a gun and demanded the students’ backpacks, according to police, then the robbers ran toward Division Street.

No one was hurt and New Haven Police are investigating, according to Yale University Police.

Anyone with information about the robbery should call Yale police at 203-432-4400 or text and anonymous tip to 67283; begin the stream with yaletip.

Police urge students to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to walk in well-populated and well-lit areas.

They also urge not displaying valuables, including cash and portable electronic devices.

The Yale Daily News reports that the robbery happened around a mile from campus.

NBC Connecticut reached out to Yale Public Safety, but we were referred to Yale Public Affairs and no one has yet responded.

On Friday, Yale University Police Chief Ronnell Higgins had issued a separate public safety reminder to students.

In November, Yale University issued a warning to student about some unruly teens on hicycles harassing people waling in the area.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Rollover on I-91 South in Rocky Hill


A vehicle has rolled over on Interstate 91 South in Rocky Hill and an ambulance is at the scene.

The crash is between Exits 24 and 23. It happened around 12:20 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation Web site, and the windshield has been cut from the vehicle.

Traffic cameras show heavy backups.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Traffic Camera

Police Seize Almost $6,000 in Hamden PCP Bust


Police said they made a big PCP bust in Hamden on Monday and seized almost $6,000 worth of the drug.

Police , who have been working on a drug investigation, stopped a car in the parking lot of a business at Dixwell Avenue and Morse Street on Monday and found Carl Myers, 32, of Hamden, in the car with 11 folds of PCP, police said.

Police later searched Myers’ girlfriend’s apartment on Burke Street, where they found another 575.1 grams of PCP, with an estimated street value of $5,750.00.

Myers was charged with possession of a hallucinogenic substance, possession of a hallucinogenic substance with the intent to sell and risk of injury to a child.

Myers, who was detained on a $50,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Feb. 4.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

NYC Bomb Plotter Had Help: Feds


Two Yemeni terror suspects were flown to New York for trial amid allegations they had helped a Long Island man who plotted to bomb the Long Island Rail Road meet al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan, federal agents say.

Saddiq al-Abbadi and Ali Alvi are charged in Brooklyn federal court with conspiracy to murder Americans and material support for terror, authorities said.

Prosecutors said the men are al-Qaida operatives who targeted U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. FBI agents said Alvi also helped Long Island native Bryant Neal Vinas meet and train with top al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan in 2008.

Vinas was captured by Pakistani forces in 2008 and transferred to FBI custody. In January 2009, he pleaded guilty to all three charges against him in the plot to bomb LIRR trains heading to and from Penn Station and is now cooperating with U.S. investigators as part of a plea deal.

Alvi, 30, is accused of traveling from Yemen through Iran to meet with al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan, including a top explosives expert with the terrorist group. Federal prosecutors said Alvi trained with explosives, AK-47’s and other weapons before crossing into Afghanistan in late 2008 to scout U.S. military positions for an attack.

Al-Abbadi is also accused of helping target U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Prosecutors said one attack in May 2008 killed a U.S Army Ranger and wounded several other military members. The 36-year-old allegedly fought U.S. forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2007, according to court documents.

Both Alvi and al-Abbadi were captured by Saudi security forces and turned over to the U.S. for trial, officials said.

"There is no escape from the reach of our law for violent terrorists, especially if they target our military,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. "Al-Abbadi and Alvi may have operated in the mountains of Afghanistan, but now they face justice in a courtroom in Brooklyn.”

A detention memo filed by prosecutors said Vinas plans to testify against the two men, including how he met them, trained with them and knows first-hand some of their past plans to target U.S troops. Investigators said Alvi made statements about his alleged involvement when questioned.

Alvi was in court Sunday and al-Abbadi is expected to appear Tuesday afternoon. Both men, if convicted, could face life in prison.

Photo Credit: AP

Sears Employee Steals $1,600 From Store: Cops


A Sears employee is facing larceny charges after stealing more than $1,600 from the Milford store in the fall, according to police.

Police said Allan Garcia, 27, of Bridgeport, credited $1,666.76 from a Sears internal account to his personal credit card in October.

Garcia was arrested Monday and charged with fourth-degree larceny and two counts of sixth-degree larceny.

He was released on a promise to appear and is due in court Feb. 17.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bodybuilder Hit by Train Was Running Between Rails


A bodybuilder who was struck and killed Saturday by a train in Burbank was shooting a promotion for one of his sponsors and running between the rail tracks when the train caught up with him, police confirmed Tuesday.

The new details provide insight into the events that led to the death of 37-year-old bodybuilder, inspirational coach, actor and model Greg Plitt. Investigators have said they believed his death was an accident based on their preliminary investigation.

Plitt, who was to be featured in a new Bravo reality series that premiered Monday called “Friends to Lovers,” was struck at about 4 p.m. Saturday on the tracks at Front Street, just north of the Burbank Metrolink Station.

Until Tuesday's confirmation from police, it was not clear whether Plitt was running alongside the tracks or between the rails. He was with two others during the shoot and did not respond to a horn blast from the Metrolink train before it caught up to him, Burbank police said.

He died at the scene.  Police learned he was shooting a promotional video for sponsor Shadow Beverages, which includes brands such as No Fear and WheyUp.

"We are extremely saddened by the suddent and tragic loss of our spokesperson and part owner of the WheyUp brand, Greg Plitt," reads in part a statement posted on the WheyUp website.  The statement did not address the circumstances of the video shoot or the death.   

A call Tuesday to the energy drink company's office in Phoenix was not immediately returned.

A filming permit had not been issued, according to police, and Metrolink had not been contacted tp arrange for a traffic stop and other required safety precautions before a crew is allowed to enter railway right of way, said a spokesmn for the regional rail service that owns and operates the tracks where the incident occurred just north of the Burbank Station.

A former U.S. Army Ranger, Plitt grew to fame as a fitness guru, model and motivational speaker. Plitt had previously worked out next to, and even on, train tracks, according to videos he posted. The videos include scene that appear to have been shot at the same location as the site where he was killed.

Police have not released video from the promotional shoot.  Late Tuesday police were to begin reviewing additional video from a nearby business's security camera that looked out over the tracks.

A public memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. A second service is scheduled for next week in his hometown of Baltimore.

"We are devastated over the loss of our son," Plitt's family posted on his website. "Your messages have uplifted us and give us strength. We thank you for that. Greg's soul is now with our heavenly Father. May his spirit live on through his website and through each of you."

Bridgeport Police Department Seeking Recruits


With scores of police officers about to retire, Bridgeport wants to recruit new cops, with special preference on testing given to city residents.

"Citizens get an extra 15 percent on the exam," said Capt. Lonnie Blackwell. "If you're from this community, you can be a great officer."

Improved pensions are leading veteran officers to retire, he said, and Bridgeport officials want to be able to replace them as needed.

The test is scheduled for April 11, said Chief Joseph Gaudette.

"Everybody knows somebody who'd be a great police officer in the city of Bridgeport," Gaudette said.

He said the list of candidates could cover two years of new classes of officers, at 32 per class.

Mayor Bill Finch made a special appeal to women to consider becoming cops because of their sensitivity to domestic violence, "a scourge on the state of Connecticut," he said.

Police have distributed flyers in the city.

"We're in the eateries, we're in the barber shops," explained Blackwell.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Former Fire Chief Sexually Assaulted 11-Year-Old: Police


A former fire chief in Thompson is facing sexual assault charges after molesting an 11-year-old girl in 2011, according to court paperwork.

A plaque bearing John Joyal’s name still stands next to the West Thompson Fire Station in North Grosvernor Dale, but according to volunteer fire department president Todd Mountford, the 79-year-old former chief took a voluntary leave of absence after he was arrested on sexual assault charges in May 2014.

According to documents released in court, Joyal admitted to inappropriately touching the girl and said “she may have tried to get away from me when this was happening… I don’t remember.”

Mountford declined to comment on the case but said he remembers Joyal as a man dedicated to the department.

“He has been an outstanding citizen and protector of the area as far as fire and emergency,” Mountford said. “He dedicated his entire life, over 50 years, to the fire service.”

Joyal has been charged with first-degree sexual assault of a person under the age of 13 and illegal sexual contact, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges and is due back in court Friday, Jan. 23.

Information on an attorney for Joyal was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Plans Epic Proposal With Foxwoods Flash Mob


It was a proposal unlike any other and a night Mark Porcaro and Sharmin Islam won’t soon forget.

The soon-to-be engaged couple joined onlookers when a flash mob broke out at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Grand Pequot Tower on Jan. 3. It was the site of the couple’s first kiss, and little did Islam know, the whole event was arranged for her.

“We saw a movie a long time ago and she made a joke about this so I figured, what the heck, let’s give it a host,” Porcaro explained in a video of the proposal Foxwoods released Wednesday.

As dancers twirled to the tune of “I Think I Want to Marry You,” Porcaro pulled Islam into the center of the circle, pulling her close and kissing her hair. He then dropped to one knee and pulled out a ring, slipping it onto Islam’s finger as dancers and bystanders cheered and clapped.

“Foxwoods was great. They were really helpful with everything,” Porcaro said as Islam grinned ear-to-ear.

Porcaro and Islam both work as pharmacists at CVS Pharmacy and live in Charlton, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Foxwoods Resort Casino/YouTube
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Man Robbed at Gunpoint in New Haven


Police are searching for the robber who confronted a New Haven resident as he got out of his car early Sunday morning and stole his phone and $140 cash.

According to police, the victim had just parked on Diamond Street when a man wearing a blue ski mask and brandishing a black handgun approached him and demanded his valuables.

The robber stole his cash and iPhone and got away in a dark-colored Toyota or similar-style car, according to police.

The victim was able to provide officers with the car's license plate number and police are investigating.

Anyone with information is urged to call New Haven police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

"I'm Not Proud": Accused Gravestone Gambler Apologizes


A Newington man who police say admitted to stealing from grieving families is apologizing for taking their money and never delivering the headstones he promised to engrave.

Already facing four larceny charges, Larry Sirovsky, 22, appeared in court Tuesday, where prosecutors added three more counts. He’s accused of pocketing $18,000 from at least 15 customers while running the Farmingdale Monument Company in New Britain and gambling it away.

“Believe me, I lose sleep over this too,” Sirovsky said after his court appearance in New Britain. “I’m not happy. I’m not proud of what happened.”

Sirovsky said he never intended to make false promises and painted the picture of a situation that quickly spiraled out of control. During interviews with police at the time of his arrest, Sirovsky admitted to having a serious gambling problem and said he could not return the customers’ money because his addiction took a toll on his bank account.

“I never too money thinking I wasn’t going to do the job. I just, you know, screwed up,” he said. “I screwed up as a young kid trying to do my job and I got myself into a deeper hole thinking I could get out, but I just kept digging it deeper and deeper.”

Sirovsky said he has paid back several customers in full and added that “every dollar” he makes goes toward refunding the others.

“I’ve apologized to everyone emphatically. I’m extremely sorry for what I did. I’m not heartless,” he said. “I’m making my payments and I’m just trying to put this behind me.”

Court records suggest the three latest victims approached police requesting criminal charges after seeing news reports detailing Sirovsky’s original arrest in September.

Sirovsky has been released on a promise to appear and is due back in court in March.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/New Britain Police Department

Air Force Veteran Shocked By Nasty Note at Store


An Air Force veteran was shocked to discover a nasty note slamming her for parking in a spot saved for servicemembers taped to her car during a routine trip to a North Carolina grocery store.

Four-year Air Force veteran Mary Claire Caine was loading her groceries into her car at a Harris Teeter store in Wilmington on Friday when she found the note on the passenger-side window, according to NBC affiliate WECT.

“Maybe [you] can’t read the sign you parked in front of. This space is reserved for those who fought for America…not you. Thanks, Wounded Vet,” the note read.

Caine, who served overseas in Kuwait and on the flight line of the F-117 Nighthawk, told WECT that she’s proud to hold a “Veteran Parking” tag and never expected any backlash.

“The first thing I felt was confusion that there was a mistake,” Caine said

She initially wanted to speak with the person who wrote the note to understand why they were so quick to assume she wasn’t a veteran and that the parking privilege didn’t belong to her. She also wondered whether she received the note because she’s a woman.

"I think they took one look at me when I got out of my car and saw that I was a woman and assumed I wasn't a veteran and assumed I hadn't served my country," Caine said.

While the likelihood of finding the person is slim, Caine hopes her ordeal will teach others not to make assumptions about veterans.

“I want them to know they owe me and every other female service member who's fighting now and who's fought in the past, an apology for jumping to conclusions," Caine told WECT.

Photo Credit: WECT

Pair Nabbed While Breaking Into Stratford Home


Police have arrested the man and woman accused of breaking into a Stratford home on Tuesday and leading officers on a chase when police tried to intervene.

According to police, investigators watched as Nelson Gonzalez, 40, and Betsy Rodriguez, 42, set up surveillance outside a house on Kenyon Street and tried to burglarize it.

Police said a resident came home and interrupted the burglary, at which point police pursued the suspects. Gonzalez and Rodriguez got into a van and led officers onto Broadmere Road, where Gonzalez got out and Rodriguez was caught.

Gonzalez tried to run but police chased him and took him into custody. Authorities said they found evidence linking the pair to the crime.

Gonzalez was arrested and charged with reckless driving, engaging officers in pursuit, third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal trespass, fourth-degree larceny and interfering with an officer. He was held on $50,000 bond.

Rodriguez was charged with third-degree burglary, fourth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit burglary and larceny. Her bond was set at $25,000.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department

Marine's Widow to Attend State of the Union


The widow of a U.S. Marine who took his own life in October 2013 will join Sen. Richard Blumenthal at the State of the Union Address to drum up support for the Department of Veterans Affairs and push for more help for troubled vets.

“I think Justin’s story fits in the best with all of this because he did end his life, even with the help that was provided," Joanna Eldridge said of her late husband. "It didn’t work for him and what is happening now isn’t working for soldiers.”

Justin Eldridge joined the Marines in 2005 as an engineer and later served an emotionally trying eight-month tour in Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, his bouts with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder began.

“My husband was a very private man as far as his illness went. He put on a very good face for other people but he struggled. It was a very, very long, arduous process to get him into the VA," Joanna Eldridge explained.

She admitted to having dark thoughts about where his behavior might take him.

“I have to be honest. I felt that something like this may happen somewhere down the road simply because of how bad his injuries were," she said. "I was 31 when he passed and [had] four small kids. It really was a very difficult transition. We’re very lucky to have so much support from my family and my friends."

Joanna Eldridge said she feels she has an obligation to attend the State of the Union to rally support for other military families affected by the terrors of war.

Blumenthal has presented legislation for the second straight year that, if passed, would provide millions of dollars to doctors and mental health professionals, as well as increased research into health issues facing veterans.

“I think there needs to be more help. I think there needs to be different kinds of help. I think they need to be researching more into PTSD and traumatic brain injury because most of the time those are going hand in hand, and the correlation between those and how they affect the soldiers, the marines and the sailors coming home,” Joanna Eldridge said.

She said if her story helps another family somewhere that's dealing with similar issues, her trip to Washington will be worthwhile.

“My number one priority with this is to get veterans help because I do not want to see another family go through what my family went through," she said. "To see children deal with this type of loss is just heartbreaking.”

Photo Credit: Joanna Eldridge

New Haven Names Public Works Director


After 17 years with the New Haven Department of Public Works, Jeff Pescosolido has a new title: director.

City officials said he's already hitting the ground running and trying to improve how Public Works operates.

"As a director, and as a department, we're going to try to refocus on our basics, restructure our needs based on the basics and the delivery of those services to the public," said Pescosolido.

This season, the department is zeroing in on winter weather. The Public Works Department just added new trucks to its fleet to help with efficiency in removing snow so residents aren't stuck like in years past.

"Right now the focus is on snow and snow removal. The last two years were very difficult for the city," said Pescosolido.

"We have to have better facilities for our employees to operate out of. There's no sense in buying a snow truck for $200,000 and sitting outside instead of a garage where it can be heated and maintained," explained New Haven's Chief Administrative Officer Michael Carter.

The department will also take a look at scheduling to cut down on overtime and make sure crews are available around the clock, as well as brainstorm ways to tackle more with existing resources.

"Under Jeff's leadership, Public Works will be able to do more of the work in house, which really basically means we can expand the amount of work we do in this city around sidewalks, especially some of our smaller streets, taking care of road maintenance, and that sort of thing," said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford Lawmakers Seek to Remove Registrars


The Hartford City Council is pushing to remove the city's three registrars of voters as officials probe problems at the polls that caused confusion and delays on Election Day.

A spokesperson for the mayor's office said the city council is meeting Tuesday night to discuss the proposal. The registrars – Democrat Olga Vazquez, Republican Sheila Hall and Urania Petit of the Working Families Party – are at the center of the city's investigation into what went wrong Nov. 4.

The city council's Committee of Inquiry, which was commissioned to examine the issues and formulate a plan to ensure a smoother process next election cycle, released a report Friday that identified "multiple, serious errors" at the polling places, as well as a dysfunctional working relationship among election officials.

"The poor personal relationships between and among the three Hartford Registrars contributed to their failure to carry out their official election duties before and after the November 4 General Election," the report alleges.

According to the mayor's office, the city council is introducing a resolution at a Tuesday night meeting that would bring in outside attorneys to "draft charges" against the registrars and move forward with a plan to remove them.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra declined to offer an opinion on the situation but said he has faith in the committee and its findings.

"I have made my position on this subject pretty clear. I support any decision that prevents our citizens right to vote from being further compromised in any way," Segarra said in a statement Tuesday. "I applaud City Council for taking swift action on this issue."

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