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15 Waterbury Mail Carriers Hurt Since January


More than a dozen Waterbury postal workers have been hurt since January thanks to winter weather, which has made for slippery conditions, blocked-off mailboxes and rambunctious dogs.

According to a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service, 15 mail carriers in Waterbury have suffered on-the-job injuries over the past three months.

Although most of those injuries are attributable to ice and snow, three postal workers suffered serious dog bites caused by cooped-up pups who rush out of the house when children on vacation come to the door, the USPS said.

The other dozen workers who were hurt slipped and fell on snow and ice while trying to deliver mail.

The potential for injury isn't the only challenge postal workers face in the winter. Mounting snowbanks and unshoveled walkways block access to mailboxes, preventing carriers from making their deliveries.

Body Found Hours After Police Left Crash Scene in North Haven


Police searched and found nothing after a driver reported hitting something in North Haven, Connecticut, late Tuesday night, but hours later, a neighbor found a body lying on the side of the road.

Officers responded to the area of Clintonville Road near Pool Road at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday after the driver reported that he'd struck something, according to police. They didn't find anything, and police let the driver go around midnight.

Hours later, after the sun rose, a resident called police with a chilling tip, reporting what appeared to be a body near a driveway where the reported crash occurred – Clintonville Road near Pool Road, police said. 

Officers again drove to the scene, and this time, found the body of a 50-year-old North Haven resident, dressed all in black clothing. The person had suffered traumatic injuries, according to police, who have not released the name of the victim or the driver.  

The South Central Regional Traffic Unit is investigating the crash and anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call the department at 203-239-5321.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Probe Untimely Death of 8-Month-Old Girl


Police are investigating the untimely death of an 8-month-old girl who was found wedged between the bed and wall of a Stamford hotel room on Wednesday morning.

According to police, the 27-year-old mother woke up around 7 a.m. at the Stamford Plaza Hotel on Summer Street to find the baby on a pillow, unconscious and not breathing.

She told investigators the girl must have fallen off the bed during the night and become lodged between the wall and the bed, police said. The mother called for help when she picked up the little girl and noticed she wasn't breathing.

Police said the baby's 25-year-old father woke up when the mother screamed and backed up her story. The couple's 2-year-old son, who was also in the room, was not hurt. The family told police they were visiting from Ohio.

The baby was pronounced dead at Stamford Hospital. Her body was taken to the office of the chief medical examiner for an autopsy, which is scheduled for Thursday. Police notified the Department of Children and Families and Child Guidance.

"We are exploring all avenues in this tragic situation and will have more after we receive the results of the autopsy," Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin and Lt. Diedrich Hohn said in a joint statement Wednesday afternoon.

Police said it's too soon to determine the child's cause of death. They have not publicly identified the child or her parents.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Enfield Debates Future of School Security Program


Officials in Enfield are debating whether armed guards should continue to patrol the town's public and private schools.

The town became the first in the state to launch such a program two years ago after the tragedy  that claimed the lives of 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Town and school leaders required the program to be reviewed after two years to determine whether it should continue.

That process is now underway. Town and school leaders met Wednesday night to discuss the issue.

"The key thing is, we're talking about how to make it even better – if we're going to keep it – to make sure we're addressing the mental health issues and stuff like that," said Greg Stokes, the chairman of the town's school security committee.

While some on the panel said the $700,000-per-year program is money well spent, others said the town can't afford it and should focus more on mental health programs.

A small number of residents attended the meeting.

"I feel it's a false sense of security saying one armed guard is going to save the day for our kids," said Liz Davis, of Enfield.

The head of school at the Enfield Montessori School, one of the private schools in town, supports the program and said she hopes the town keeps it.

"It adds to the well being of our children in school and I don't think we can put a price on that," said Head of School Cliona Beaulieu.

Beaulieu said the school security guard knows every student by name, patrols both the halls and the outside of the school, and greets visitors as they arrive.

"I would definitely like that to continue for our school and for every child in Enfield. I'd like to see it for every child in the country," Beaulieu said.

Town and school leaders have held public hearings on the issue already. They hope to make a decision on the program within about a month.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Stabbed During NBA Game


A man was stabbed at the TD Garden during a game between the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night, police said.

According to Boston Police, the victim was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police say the vicitm is a male in his 20s and that he was stabbed with a box cutter.

TD Garden officials say the incident stemmed from an altercation on the balcony level during the third quarter of the game.

A spokesperson for TD Garden confirms there was some sort of fight that lead up to the stabbing.

Fans streaming out of the arena said it was a chaotic end to an otherwise good game.

Police are currently searching for the suspect.

TD Garden released a statement just before noon Thursday, saying, "Fan safety is TD Garden's top priority and we operate under indusry standard security procedures for every event. We are fully cooperating with Boston Police in their investigation of an altercatoin that occurred last night, and we are also in communication with the Celtics and the NBA regarding the incident."

Deadly Hit-and-Run Was Driver's 2nd Crash of the Day: Cops


The driver suspected in a high-speed hit-and-run crash that killed a New Britain mom in Newington late last month was involved in another hit-and-run crash earlier that day, according to the warrant for his arrest.

Dennis Martinez, 36, of East Hartford, turned himself in to police Tuesday and was charged with manslaughter. He appeared in court on Wednesday, where bond was set at $150,000.

According to the arrest warrant, Martinez had backed into another car in a parking lot on Brockett Street in Newington, outside Aucello EyeCare Center, prior to the deadly collision on Feb. 27.

The driver whose car was struck told police he and his wife were going to eat next door at Puerto Vallarta at the time of the crash. He said Martinez glanced over his shoulder but didn't stop. He drove out of the parking lot and turned south onto the Berlin Turnpike, according to the arrest warrant.

Then, at around 10 p.m., Martinez's truck "slammed" into a Mazda driven by 51-year-old Sonya Atkins near the intersection of Willard Avenue and Robbins Avenue. Witnesses told police Martinez sped through a red light without ever hitting his brakes, the warrant says.

Martinez abandoned his car and ran from the scene. Police said footprints in the snow led to the back of 1099 Willard Avenue. Dogs tracked him to the area of the Indian Hill Country Club, where the scent ended and Martinez was likely picked up.

Authorities examining Martinez's truck found the speedometer stuck at 83 mph, according to the arrest warrant.

New Britain police said Martinez is also among 45 people arrested in connection with a cockfighting bust last month. According to the warrant for his arrest, police found a bond form in his truck marked with the name of another person arrested during the East Windsor raid.

They used the booking information from Martinez's arrest to track him down.

Martinez has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, evading responsibility, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, driving an unregistered motor vehicle, driving without insurance and second-degree forgery.

He appeared in court on Wednesday and is due back in court on April 15.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Newington Police Department
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Part of Somers Road in Enfield Closed


Part of Somers Road in Enfield is closed after a pole and wires came down on a car.

The road is closed between Moody Road and Route 190.

To get around the closure, use Taylor Road.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Problem on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Meriden


The Miller Avenue ramp to the Wilbur Cross Parkway southbound is closed in Meriden because of low-hanging wires. Use exit 66 as a detour.

The right lane was closed on Orange because a tractor-trailer was stuck, but it has since moved.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Tsarnaev Jurors Shown Dramatic Video


Jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial heard testimony and a 911 call from the victim of a carjacking in which Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are accused.

"Please help me! Please help me, sir! Someone took my car!" the terrified 911 caller, Dun Meng, said.

The daring escape was caught on camera.

It all played out before the jury Thursday, as Meng, allegedly taken on a harrowing ride by the marathon bombing suspects, took the stand.

"They say they are the - they did the explosion, marathon explosion!" Meng breathlessly relayed to the 911 operator.

Meng testified he had pulled his Mercedes SUV over on Brighton Ave in Boston to respond to a text message at about 10:30 p.m. on April 18, when this green Honda Civic pulled up behind him, and a man later identified as Tamerlan got out, forced his way into the car, held a gun to Meng and told him to drive.

Meng said as they drove from Boston to Watertown, he thought about trying to escape when Dzhokhar took his Bank of America debit card and withdrew money from a Watertown ATM.

But he couldn't get up the nerve to do it until the brothers drove to a Shell gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge and Dzhokhar was forced to go inside to pay for the gas in cash.

While Dzhokhar casually shopped for Red Bull and a bag of chips, Meng testified he was alone in the car with Tamerlan who had put the gun in the driver side door pocket.

"I count down 1-2-3-4, unbuckled my seat belt, unlocked the door," Meng testified. "I could feel he was trying to grab me."

But as you can see in this surveillance video Meng ran from the Shell gas station across the street to the Mobil station, running inside, holding the door shut, and pleading for the manager to call 911.

"Please help me! Please! They have guns!" he pleaded.

When the defense asked Meng if he ever saw Dzhokhar with a gun, Meng said no.

Photo Credit: AP

Drunken Man Arrested After Police Chase: Cops


A drunken man is under arrest after leading police on a chase that ended in Griswold early Thursday morning, police said.

Plainfield police tried to stop Michael McNamara 23, of Lisbon, on Academy Hill Road at 1:02 a.m. after an officer saw a red 2003 Nissan Maxima speeding and traveling erratically on Norwich Road.

However, McNamara fled from police and got onto Route 395 southbound, so local police called state police and stopped the chase between Exits 87 and 86 because of excessive speeds.

At some point this morning, State Police and Plainfield Police were contacted about a car crashing into a telephone pole at Hopeville Road and the exit 86 off-ramp, so both departments responded. No injuries were reported and police said McNamara and two passengers had run from the scene, but officers were able to locate McNamara and one passenger.

McNamara was arrested, taken into custody and transported to the Plainfield Police Department where he was charged with engaging an officer in a pursuit, reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to maintain proper lane.

He was released on a $1,500 bond and is scheduled to appear at Danielson Superior Court on March 23.

Police said McNamara’ s two passengers also face charges.

The pole has since been repaired.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Car Fire on Route 8 North in Naugatuck


The right lane of Route 8 North is closed in Naugatuck because of a car fire.

State police said the right lane is closed near exit 26. Traffic cameras show a backup with cars stopped.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Possible Carbon Monoxide Incident in Glastonbury


The Glastonbury Fire Department responded to a home on Summit Crest Drive to investigate a possible carbon monoxide problem, but meters showed no problem.

When firefighters took a reading, the meters showed zero.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Family: Coyotes Take Over Doghouse


Two roaming coyotes have taken up residence in an old doghouse in a New Jersey backyard, keeping up the family living there with their incessant nighttime howling, the family says.

Liora Sofer of Closter said the coyotes have been trotting to the unused doghouse in her backyard each night for the last three days. The coyotes sleep there and then leave in the morning.

Sofer said she first heard howling on Saturday night.

"The next morning I woke up, and I saw them again waking up from the doghouse. That's when I started to freak out a little bit," she said.

They aren't exactly respectful neighbors, either. Sofer said she and her teenage daughter have been awakened multiple times during the night by the coyotes' screeching and howling.

"They howl so loudly that I can't sleep," said Sofer.

Sofer's 15-year-old daughter Maayan said, "One time I even thought it was my mom screaming. It's so loud it sounds like shrieking noises. It's really scary."

Sofer called police, who were "very nice" but told her there was nothing they could do. They referred her to animal control, who told her they couldn't do anything, either.

Sofer said she was told to make loud noises to scare off the coyotes and to board up the old doghouse, which she did Wednesday night. But so far, it hasn't been a permanent solution.

If the coyotes continue to return, Sofer splans hire a private company to catch and remove them.

The borough of Closter was not available after hours to comment Wednesday. 

Last year, when police in the northern New Jersey community of Elmwood Park warned residents of coyote sightings and in one case, an attack on a pet dog, authorities noted that it's become "quite common for coyotes to enter into urban and residential areas and in many cases make small wooded areas their home," according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. 

Coyotes generally hide from humans but in the spring, when they give birth and begin to raise litters, they concentrate their activities around dens or burrows in which the young are sheltered, according to the Humane Society, and may become defensive and territorial.

People who encounter a coyote should never run away; instead, they're encouraged to "haze" the animal with techniques like making loud noises or throwing sticks or objects towards (but not at) the coyote.

Crash on I-84 West Ramp in Farmington


Delays are building after a rollover crash on the Interstate 84 Westbound ramp to exit 39 in Farmington.

This is the ramp to Route 4.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

GameStop Gives $50K to Family


Officials with GameStop are the latest to honor slain Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III with a large donation to his family.

GameStop executives stopped by the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police headquarters Wednesday and dropped off a $50,000 check for Wilson’s family.

“They really didn’t want any fanfare,” said FOP President John McNesby. “They didn’t want any cameras. They didn’t want any crazy stuff. They just wanted to come in very quietly. They didn’t want to take away from the heroic actions of Officer Wilson.”

In addition to the $50,000 check, GameStop officials also plan on setting up donation jars for Wilson’s family in stores along the east coast. All of the proceeds will go to Officer Wilson’s memorial fund.

Wilson, a 30-year-old father of two, was killed during a robbery at the GameStop on Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia last Thursday.

Wilson was in full uniform when brothers Carlton Hipps, 30, and Ramone Williams, 26, entered the GameStop store inside and announced the robbery, subsequently sparking a "fierce and violent" gun battle that ended with the officer being shot in the head and killed, according to officials.

"They were both firing at him," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "He was actually being hit during the exchange of gunfire but he continued to fight, continued to shoot until the fatal wound was fired and it brought him down."

Wilson is being hailed a hero and is credited with saving the lives of customers and store employees, according to Ramsey.

Both Williams and Hipps are charged with Wilson’s murder.

A trust fund was set up last week for Wilson’s two sons, a 10-year-old and a 1-year-old. The fund is being managed by the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union. Donations can be made in person at the following branches:

  • 901 Arch Street
  • 7604 City Avenue
  • 8500 Henry Avenue
  • Leo Mall, Byberry and Bustleton Avenue
  • 7500 Castor Avenue
  • 3300 Grant Avenue

Checks can be mailed and made payable to:
The Robert Wilson III Family Memorial Trust Fund
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia PA, 19107

Long Island Officer Shot: Police


A 22-year-old man who allegedly shot a Suffolk County cop once named Officer of the Year was apprehended Wednesday morning after about an hour-long manhunt, authorities said.

Sheldon Leftenant was found hiding in a shed in a neighboring yard after allegedly shooting 12-year Suffolk police veteran Mark Collins twice not long after midnight, authorities said.

Authorities say Collins, who was named the department's Officer of the Year in 2008, was shot in the neck and hip on Mercer Court, just off Jericho Turnpike, in Huntington Station, during a chase that stemmed from a traffic stop.

Collins and two other officers were attempting to stop a car that was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic, authorities said. There were four people in the vehicle and one person, allegedly Leftenant, ran from the car, police say.

Collins, who was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked police car, got out of his vehicle and chased after the man. Leftenant allegedly opened fire and ran off, eluding authorities for some time before he was found in the shed.

A gun was recovered from the shed and Leftenant was arrested on attempted aggravated murder and resisting arrest charges. At an afternoon arraignment, Leftenant denied any involvement.

Collins was flown to Stony Brook University Hospital early Wednesday in "serious condition" and put in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit.

He was out of the coma by evening and said to be conscious and responsive, Suffolk police said. Authorities said he would remain in the ICU for additional monitoring.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the officer was "speaking and able to communicate" when he arrived at the hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.

"While we are at home, sleeping comfortably in our beds, these officers are out there working to apprehend the people who are doing harm," Bellone said.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said he would seek the maximum penalty of 40 years to life for Leftenant should he be convicted. Leftenant, who was shot in a drive-by last August but didn't corporate with police on the matter, told authorities when he was arrested Wednesday that he ran because he didn't want to be caught with the gun, according to Spota.

Spota said the August drive-by was Leftenant's only other run-in with the law. 

Photo Credit: NYPD

Acupuncture For Injured Owls


A center in Spain that specializes in the recovery of injured birds of prey is using alternative medicine to nurse the animals back to health.

Cat Dead in Wolcott Fire


One cat is dead after fire broke out at 9 Edgemont Lane in Wolcott on Thursday morning.

The house is inhabitable and there were no additional injuries, according to fire officials at the scene.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Arrest in McDonald's Brawl: NYPD


A 16-year-old girl has been arrested in connection with a vicious brawl involving a group of girls inside a Brooklyn McDonald's earlier this week that sparked cries for action from community advocates who saw the brutality in a now viral video that had been posted online.

The teen was arrested Thursday, three days after the afternoon brawl at the McDonald's on Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush. Police allege she was the ringleader in the attack; specific charges against her weren't immediately clear.

Video of the attack, which was posted on Facebook, shows four girls, all believed to be Erasmus Hall High School students, repeatedly punching and kicking another teen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt while throngs of bystanders shout in the background

The larger group continues to attack the teen in the blue sweatshirt, even pulling out her hair extensions, until the girl huddles underneath a table with her hands over her head. At one point, one of the girls in the group stomps on the victim's head.

At several points during the fight, bystanders can be heard saying, "She’s dead," and, "You murdered her."

The video ends with several students picking the girl up off the ground and putting her on a bench.

Police did not get a 911 call about the fight, and said that officers didn't learn about the fight until getting an unrelated call in the area. The FDNY said it received a call to the restaurant.

The girl in the blue hooded sweatshirt did not want to make a report or go to the hospital. She went to the hospital later with a Department of Education staff member who was called after the fight and was treated for bumps and bruises, the department said.

Police said the investigation had been hampered by a lack of cooperating witnesses; neither the apparent victim nor her mother will work with authorities, they said.

One boy who witnessed the attack told NBC 4 New York Wednesday he "felt bad for the girl," but was concerned about intervening.

"I didn't know what was going on and I was kind of scared, I'm not gonna lie," said the boy, who asked not to be identified.

The Department of Education called the actions seen in the video "abhorrent."

Paul Goodman, the Flatbush Avenue McDonald's franchisee, said his employees contacted the police as soon as the brawl erupted, though it wasn't clear if they tried 911 or a non-emergency line.

McDonald's has not responded to NBC 4 New York's inquiries.

Monday's fight wasn't the first teenage brawl caught on video in recent days. Several male students attacked each other with bats and brass knuckles over the weekend on Long Island amid ongoing racial tensions between students at Connetqout High School in Bohemia. 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Marine Arrested in Ga.


A retired U.S. Marine who was imprisoned in Mexico for almost a year on gun charges has been arrested again, this time in the U.S.

Retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was arrested in Twin City, Georgia Wednesday on allegations of carrying an open container of alcohol.

Tahmooressi was arrested for drunk driving and held on $4,000 bond, according to Twin City Police Chief Johnny Lee.

The Emanuel County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tahmooressi was arrested for the following misdeamenors during the routine traffic stop: driving under the influence, reckless driving, improper passing and open container violation.

The department released this statement on the ex-Marine's arrest:

"To dispel rumors of additional charges pending against Tahmooressi as a result of the traffic stop, our department can now verify that they are untrue. This was a “routine” traffic stop by all standards and there was nothing out of the ordinary that occurred during the arrest. We certainly do not condone driving under the influence of any substance, but those matters must be taken care of by the judicial process. It appears that Tahmooressi has no criminal history and no other arrests."

Tahmooressi's family confirmed his arrest in a social media post: "We are aware that Andrew Tahmooressi is under arrest for various traffic related offenses. The family again reminds all he is suffering from a significant mental illness and respectfully requests privacy. We all remain committed to getting him the help he needs."

Tahmooressi was released in November after spending eight months behind bars for crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with loaded guns. U.S. politicians, veterans groups and social media campaigns demanded Mexican officials release the veteran who had been in treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) .

The 26-year-old Florida man said he got lost a San Diego freeway ramp that sent him across the San Ysidro Port of Entry with no way to turn back on March 31, 2014. Mexican authorities found three loaded guns and ammunition in the back of his truck.

The weapons were bought legally in the U.S. however it's illegal to possess weapons in Mexico.

U.S. politicians, veterans groups and social media campaigns demanded his release.

Tahmooressi did not admit wrongdoing, and he still maintains his innocence, his attorney said.

Photo Credit: Emanuel County Sheriff's Office
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