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Snow to Start Up Saturday Morning


Winter weather is making a comeback Saturday.

Snow showers, possibly mixed with rain in southeastern Connecticut, will leave most of the state with a fresh coating to 2 inches of accumulation, according to First Alert Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan. There's a slight chance for more snow in northeastern Connecticut.

Precipitation is expected to start up in the morning. We'll see periods of snow throughout the day with moderate to heavy snowfall at times. Snow is most likely to accumulate on top of existing snow piles, but pavement will be mostly wet.

Expect temperatures in the upper 20s and lower 30s during the day, nearly 20 degrees below average. Snow will linger through midnight and roads could become slippery after dark.

Sunday is the pick of the weekend, with a forecast for sun and highs near 40.

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

Cops Chase "Support Police" Car


The driver of a vehicle with a message on its rear window that read "We Support Our Local Police Dept" drove the wrong way in traffic and slammed into shopping carts in a parking lot before surrendering to authorities in Anaheim.

Police pursued the stolen car on Orange County freeways and city streets Friday afternoon near Disneyland, officials said. The pursuit began in Buena Park, said the California Highway Patrol.

The Toyota Corolla was rammed by a police car in a shopping center's parking lot, but evaded immediate capture. The vehicle slammed through shopping carts before exiting back onto the street.

After racing through red traffic lights and making a U-turn around a street median, the driver and passengers surrendered in the middle of a street just after 1 p.m.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Vigils Held for Slain Calif. Cop


The man who authorities said killed a San Jose police officer suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, depression and alcoholism, according to his niece, Amber Golart.

Scott Dunham died from a gunshot wound suffered from a shootout with police late Tuesday that left veteran Officer Michael Johnson dead.

Golart attended a memorial for Johnson held late Friday on Senter Road. More than 100 people showed up to the vigil held near the scene of the fatal shooting.

"We are sorry for the loss of the officer. This is a tragic accident," Golart said. "No one meant for this to take place. But as a family, we feel like we're caught in the middle. We're mourning for the officer, but we're mourning for our uncle."

Golart added the last few days have been also hard for the Dunham family, especially knowing it was a loved one who took an officer's life. Dunham's family is calling Tuesday's incident suicide by cop.

Another memorial for Johnson was held Friday night in the courtyard at San Jose City Hall and was hosted by Star of David Ministries and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association.

“We have suffered a very devastating loss to our community, and we need to show officer Johnson’s family and the SJPD that we support them, “ said Kathleen Flynn, president of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association.

A formal memorial service for Johnson will be held April 2 at 11 a.m. at the SAP Center at San Jose

In addition, Owen Nolan, a former San Jose Shark who is a part owner of the Brittania Arms, is hosting a fundraiser April 2 at the restaurant, located at 5027 Almaden Expressway.

Also, the San Jose Police Officers’ Association is helping raise fund to provide financial assistance to his family.

The 38-year-old Johnson was killed on Tuesday when he arrived at an apartment building after a caller told 911 that Dunham was drunk and despondent and was threatening to harm his wife. When Johnson arrived, Dunham killed him from his balcony with a high-powered rifle.

Dunham's body was found Wednesday morning on the balcony. He had died of a gunshot wound, police said.

Checks can be mailed payable to the SJPOACF at: 1151 N. 4th St., San Jose, CA 95112 or online.

Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Firefighters Rescue 4 Trapped in Crash Wreckage


Fairfield and Westport firefighters rescued four people trapped in a serious double vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 95 north on the Fairfield-Westport line early Saturday morning and three were hospitalized.

Crews from both towns responded to the crash on the highway between exits 18 and 19 near the Sasco River Creek overpass at 1:55 a.m. Two cars were overturned on their sides. An uninjured person was trapped in one car and three people with moderate to serious injuries were stuck in the other vehicle, Fairfield fire officials said.

Firefighters extricated all four people from the crash wreckage.

“This was a serious accident and a very complicated extrication," Asst. Chief George Gomola said in a statement. "The high level of professionalism and cooperation demonstrated by the Fairfield and Westport Fire Departments during this extrication helped to saved lives and reduced the impact of this accident on the victims. This was a job well done by all.”

Two people were transported to Bridgeport Hospital and another was taken to Norwalk Hospital to be treated for injuries. There is no word on their conditions or the circumstances of the crash.

Firefighters cleared the scene by 3 a.m.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

Bikers, Runners Remember Sandy Hook Victims


Runners, riders, and walkers battled the elements Saturday morning to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and put an end to gun violence.

“I wanted to do it for the babies of Sandy Hook. Even though it’s snowing out, it was well worth it, so rewarding, and I wouldn’t have passed it up for anything,” Kirsten Martin, of Brookfield, said.

About 1,500 people pounded the pavement in support of various Sandy Hook charities. Others, like a team of two dozen firefighters, walked the course in full gear to honor first responders.

“Every time I hear Sandy Hook, I say let’s go do something. This is our way of supporting them,” explained firefighter Jeff Kozo of Washington.

They were led by Team 26, a cycling group that uses pedal power to push for new gun laws. The group will ride 400 miles over the next four days, stopping for rallies in five states.

“It’s really energizing. It gives me a lot of hope that we’re moving in the right direction," team founder Monte Franke said, adding that as they "go to these communities and we lock arms and join together, Congress has to see that all of America’s coming together."

Before pedaling off to the nation’s capital, the group held a rally in Newtown.

“The fact is, we now have a voice we didn’t seek, and didn’t want,” Newtown First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra told the crowd of pastors, politicians, and parents.

“We’re creating communities. We’re connecting and we’re showing that we’re engaged and we’re willing to come together to do bring about change,” Dr. Jeremy Richman, who lost his daughter Avielle in the tragedy.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said Newtown is inspiring the nation.

“By the men and women who light a candle rather than curse at the darkness, who keep moving forward on bicycles or on foot making sure that America remembers that we have a cause that we cannot abandon,” he said.

Whether on two wheels or two feet, Saturday’s participants were moving forward with a message for change.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

7 Shot at Spring Break Party: Cops


A spring break party in Panama City Beach, Florida, turned violent early Saturday morning after police said seven people, including students, were shot.

Gunshots rang out at the house party around 1 a.m., according to NBC affiliate WJHG. Bay County Sheriff spokeswoman Ruth Curley told NBC News that some of the victims are students at Alabama A&M University who were visiting the area for spring break.

Officials said 22-year-old David Jamichael Daniels of Mobile, Alabama, was arrested after police set up a perimeter. Daniels is being held at the Bay County Jail on seven counts of attempted murder.

Curley said police recovered a .40-caliber handgun in the backyard of a nearby home.

Deputies responding to the scene found three victims shot in the street, one outside the house, and three others inside.

Police identified the victims who were visting from Mobile, Alabama, as 20-year-old Kearria Freed; 22-year-old Henton Franklin; and 22-year-old Tykeria Ethridge. Freed was shot in the head and remains in critical condition, Curley said, while Franklin was shot in the side and Ethridge was shot in the neck and shoulder.

Police identified the remaining victims as 21-year-old Devanta Moore, who was shot in the chest; 20-year-old Anesia Powell, who was shot in the left arm, chest, and knee; 22-year-old Jacole Young, who was shot in the back; and 21-year-old Kelli Curry, who was shot in the leg.

All of the victims were transported to area hospitals. Freed, Franklin and Moore are in critical condition, Curley said, while the others remain in stable condition.

Photo Credit: Bay County Sheriff's Office

Shots Fired at West Haven Home


Police are investigating after shots were fired at a West Haven home early Saturday morning.

Police found shell casings from a pistol outside a two-family house near the Washington Avenue and Leete Street intersection, police said. The gunfire happened at about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday and targeted the second floor of the house, police said. At least two bullets hit the house, according to police.

A dark SUV was seen speeding in the northbound direction on Washington Avenue soon after the gunshot incident, police said. The car may have been a Nissan Murano.

No suspects have been identified at this time.

Police ask anyone with information to call West Haven Police at 203-937-3905 or to reach out to them on Facebook, www.facebook.com/westhavenpd, or Twitter (@WestHavenPD).

Correction Officer Faces New Charges


A Bridgeport correction officer who pleaded guilty earlier this month to manslaughter charges in a fatal hit-and-run crash was arrested a few days ago on new charges.

Patricia Daniels, 46, of Bridgeport, was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child and third-degree assault on Tuesday for an incident on March 14. Police have not released details on the incident that prompted the charges.

Days before on March 11, Daniels pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the early December hit-and-run crash that killed Evelyn Agyei, 51, a mother of three and injured her 11-year-old son.

The court set her bond at $10,000 and a judge is awaiting her plea. She is scheduled to appear in court again for that case on April 8.

Daniels has served as a correction officer at the Bridgeport Correctional Center since 1998 and was placed on administrative leave after her arrest tied to the fatal hit-and-run, according to a Department of Correction spokesperson.

Dispute Over Woman May Have Triggered Shooting: Cops


A man, 38, was seriously injured Friday night after he was shot in the leg during a possible argument with another man over a woman outside a Waterbury store on Willow Street.

The shooting happened at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday in the area of 185 Willow Street. Police said that it appears the shooting stemmed from a dipsute over a female.

He was taken to Waterbury Hospital to be treated for serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The man is recovering in the hospital and is listed in stable condition. Police have not released the identity of the victim.

Police have identified a suspect, but have not released the name and have made no arrests. 

The road was closed near the Hillside Avenue intersection as investigators gathered evidence.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Moosup Man Accused of Deliberately Hurting 3-Month-Old


Plainfield police have arrested a man accused of deliberately hurting a 3-month-old girl in his care.

Robert P. Tarkowski, 36, of South Main Street in the Moosup section of Plainfield, was charged Saturday morning in connection with the alleged child abuse. Police said the baby suffered multiple fractures to her arm and skull.

She was taken to Windham Hospital in Willimantic, then transferred to Connecticut Children's Medial Center in Hartford, where she's undergoing treatment.

Police searched Tarkowski's home on Friday and arrested him Saturday morning at 14 Miller Road in Sterling. He was charged with first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment.

Tarkowski is being held on $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Danielson Superior Court on March 30.

Route 37 Reopens in New Fairfield


Route 37 has reopened in New Fairfield after a two-car crash injured two people late Saturday afternoon.

One car crashed at the center line. The collision wasn't head-on, but it was close. The crash happened near Pine Hill Road at 3:30 p.m.

Two people were injured, one from each vehicle, and are in stable condition.

State police closed the road as they investigated, but the road has since reopened.

Firefighters and an ambulance also responded.

Photo Credit: Ryan Ptakowski

NYC Building Blast Search Continues


Emergency workers continued searching Saturday for at least two people still missing after an apparent gas line explosion leveled three Manhattan apartment buildings, though authorities cautioned that chances of finding survivors are slim.

Meanwhile, investigators piece together what exactly caused the blast that injured 22.

Authorities are investigating whether the gas line in a basement below a sushi restaurant was rigged in a possible gas-theft scheme, causing the leak that may have set off Thursday's fiery blast that leveled three buildings in the East Village.

"There is a possibility here that the gas line was inappropriately accessed internally by people in the building," but officials need to get access to the wreckage to explore it further, Mayor de Blasio said during a news conference Friday. He wouldn't say more about why officials believe that's a possibility.

Sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC 4 New York that in August inspectors found the gas line in the basement rigged with a rubber hose to circumvent the Con Edison gas meter. This could have saved money and perhaps allowed for gas to flow to some apartments that had not yet been cleared for service. Safety violations were registered and an immediate shut down was ordered until the problem was corrected, the sources said.

No one was charged with any wrongdoing at that time and the case was treated as a safety violation by inspectors, the sources said. Investigators now want to know if a similar gas-theft scheme was being employed again. The investigation is in its beginning stages and nothing has been ruled out, the sources said.

The contractors working on the Sushi Park restaurant did not have permits for gas work, the mayor said Friday.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office has joined the NYPD, fire marshals and building inspectors in the probe into the cause of the explosion that sparked a fire that could smolder for days in the rubble of three buildings that once occupied Second Avenue and E. 7th Street.

About 60 firefighters were still working to put out hot spots on Saturday, and rescue workers with K9 units were on the scene searching for the two missing people. Earlier, Con Ed shut off gas to 187 residential customers and 32 commercial customers in the area while the search and recovery work continued.

Residents of three nearby buildings were still barred from entering, but about 40 apartments in five other buildings were reopened to residents as of Saturday. Some 20 apartments in those buildings were to remain closed until damage could be repaired. Officers were escorting residents into buildings when possible to help them retrieve pets and personal belongings, officials said.

On the day of the explosion, inspectors with Con Ed had been to the East Village building to check on ongoing work to upgrade gas service. The utility said the work didn't pass inspection, so gas wasn't introduced to the line, and inspectors gave instructions and left at around 2:45 p.m. Inspectors didn't smell any gas, Con Ed said.

But at around 3 p.m., the sushi restaurant owner smelled gas and called the landlord, who then called a general contractor, Boyce said. No one called 911 or Con Ed, however, de Blasio said.

The contractor, Dilber Kukic, and the owner's son went into the basement and opened a door, and then the explosion happened, burning their faces, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.

"The whole area was shaking," said Moishe Perl, who works next door. "We couldn't imagine what was going on."

The building had an existing gas line intended to serve the sushi restaurant; the work underway was to put in a bigger line to serve the entire building, Con Ed President Craig Ivey said. As for whether the apartments were getting gas from the existing line, "That's a great question," he said.

"We'll have to find out, through the investigation, what's going on there," he said.

Con Edison later added in a statement: "As we do in all cases when a customer is upgrading to a new gas service, we conducted careful inspections at 121 2nd Avenue. Our records show the work of the building's plumber failed two inspections, including the inspection our personnel conducted yesterday afternoon. At no time was use of the new service line authorized by Con Edison. That service was locked to ensure that it would not be used. The ground-floor restaurant was being served by its current, smaller gas service line."

Calls to the building owner were unanswered. The owner's son reached by phone in his hospital room declined to comment. The listed contractor did not return messages. A subcontractor hired to handle gas lines did not return calls for comment.

City records show the contractor, Dilber Kukic, got a permit last June for plumbing, flooring, removing partition walls and other work at the building.

Kukic had tried to help people escape the explosion and had been helpful to authorities, Boyce said.

The contractor -- who's facing unrelated charges of bribing an undercover investigator posing as a housing inspector -- was injured in the blast and declined through his lawyer to comment on the circumstances surrounding the explosion.

Kukic is a relatively minor player in a 50-person bribery case that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and other authorities unveiled last month. They said city inspectors, landlords and contractors formed a network of graft that exchanged $450,000 in payoffs to get safety violations dismissed, procure phony eviction orders and get fast, favorable and sometimes nonexistent inspections.

Kukic is accused of paying $600 in cash to try to get housing violations dismissed at two upper Manhattan properties he owned. He has pleaded not guilty.

Twenty-two people were injured in the blast, four critically, city officials said Friday. Among the injured were six firefighters. Patients with non-life threatening injuries were continuing to be treated and released from local hospitals.

Residents Rebuild After NYC Blast


Some of them had only moments to get out. The residents of the area surrounding the East Village explosion that destroyed three buildings this week ran for their lives. Now they're working to pick up the pieces.

Chelsea Blampied, who lived in one of the leveled buildings, said she'd stopped home to get a work file from her third-floor apartment when she heard and felt the blast.

"I thought a plane crashed into my building. Glass was blown everywhere, and it was just so surreal," she said.

"I just heard a really loud boom," recounted neighbor Justine Miller. "I could feel it in my chest."

Neighbor Troy Hinson was walking to the sushi restaurant when it "literally blew up in front of my face," and said "it really felt like my internal organs were reverberating. It just feels like everything was shaking, including my teeth."

"You just don't know what hit you, it just feels like a sonic boom, there's no real other way to describe it," he said.

Blampied left behind all her belongings and ran through smoke and debris down the stairs to safety as her building began to crumble. She's now staying with friends and is grateful she made it out alive.

"It's so overwhelming. Everyone lost everything," she said.

Blampied was among more than 125 people displaced at least temporarily by the blast. Aside from the three buildings leveled by the explosion, eight more were ordered vacated. As of Saturday, five of those had been partially reopened, and NYPD officers were allowing some other residents to return briefly to their apartments to grab pets and personal items.

At the time of the explosion, Gregory Dohdanowycz was in his top-floor apartment in the building next to where the blast happened.

"I look out the window, and I see two buildings south of me, there's smoke rising from the windows and their roof windows," he said.

He only had time to grab his dog before running outside, and was overwhelmed by the horrific sights and sounds when he got outside.

Neighbor Miller said: "There was blood on the ground. There were people laying up against buildings and other people trying to help them."

Actress Drea de Matteo is among the residents who lost her home and belongings in the explosion. She took to Instagram Thursday to share two dramatic photos of firefighters battling smoke and flames. "A hole where my NYC home of the last 22 years once stood," she wrote in one caption. "RIP 123 2nd Avenue." The photos appeared to be taken from a rooftop across the street.

Naya Jones, who spent the night at the YMCA after being told to leave her building near the blast site, went to the Tompkins Square Library Friday, where the Red Cross and other relief groups were offering financial assistance, food, vouchers and advocacy help.

The Red Cross said it has helped more than 120 people since the blast and gave housing assistance to dozens. The Standard Hotel is giving anyone displaced by the blaze three free nights of lodging. Sprint has also donated 25 cellphones.

The ASPCA is also providing pet supplies for owners in the affected area.

"It's a small community," said Bohdanowycz. "I think everyone is trying to help out when something bad happens."

Hinson, who's lived in the neighborhood four years, said, "I love the sense of community, and everybody comes together and helps each other out and is here for each other."

Several long-standing businesses were also affected by the destruction. Pommes Frites, a favorite spot for fries, was destroyed by the blast, and the nearby Orpheum Theater had to cancel performances of the off-Broadway production of "Stomp."

Robert Seniuk, the chef at Stage restaurant across the street, is determined to get back to work.

"We open, we don't give up. This city is 24 hours," he said.

Nevertheless, the frightening explosion has taken a toll on the psyche of New Yorkers everywhere.

"Yesterday was a very scary day. Now all I can do is think about the people who lost their homes and people who've been living here for decades," said neighbor Adam Mashaal.

Hinson said he had stopped on the corner to say goodbye to his friend just before the sushi restaurant exploded.

"The fact that I was literally - if I didn't stop and talk to my friend, I would possibly be in that building," he said. "That's kind of what's messing me up. ... All these crazy thoughts are going through your head after this happens, like, why me? Why am I safe, why is something again happening to me? It's just crazy. I'm having just a hard time processing it."

Health officials say the air quality in the area has returned to normal levels and that short-term exposure to elevated particulate levels Thursday didn't pose a significant risk to the public. They say the smoke odor may linger, but isn't harmful. Still, those with respiratory or heart problems should remain extra vigilant.

The explosion came a week after the one-year anniversary of the East Harlem explosion that leveled two buildings and killed eight people. The blast also injured dozens of people and left many homeless for months.

Since the 2014 explosion, the FDNY has been given a much greater role in responding to reports of possible gas leaks and New Yorkers are now encouraged to call 911 about gas leaks and odors rather than 311.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hartford Registrar Files Complaint Over Plans to Remove Her


Hartford's registrar has filed a complaint in court as the city moves forward with plans to remove her after issues at the polls this past election, according to her attorney.

Olga Vazquez filed a complaint against the city of Hartford and the Court of Common Council, including Kyle Anderson, Alexander Aponte, Joel Cruz, Jr., Raul de Jesus Jr., Cynthia Renee Jennings, Kenneth H. Kennedy Jr., David MacDonald and Shawn T. Wooden, arguing that a section in Hartford's charter allowing the removal of elected officials defies Connecticut's constitution and is therefore illegal, according to the complaint filed March 28. The provision is in Section 3a, Chapter IV of the city's 2002 charter revision.

The complaint also requests an injunction against the council to halt them from plans to remove her from her position as the Democratic registrar of voters in Hartford because "the Common Council does not possess the legal authority to remove elected officials," according to the court documents. A hearing is scheduled for April 7 on the subject of removing Vazquez as registrar.

The removal proceedings stem from issues at Hartford polling places Nov. 4, 2014, such as running out of ballots and delays, that led to an extension of voting beyond the usual 8 p.m. end time. The plan to remove her as registrar is due to the claim that she was responsible for the voting delays, according to the court documents.

Vazquez is blaming the delays on budget cuts and said funds were no longer available that would have funded hiring 8 to 10 more temporary employees to work the polls as needed, according to the court documents. Instead, the budget only covered hiring six more at most, the documents said.

Her complaint requesting an injunction would stop the council from removing her from her role as registrar until a court determined whether the action is illegal and unconstitutional so that the "status quo" could be preserved in the meantime.

CTfastrak Opens With Free Rides


Connecticut's new quick bus line between Hartford and New Britain opened Saturday morning.

CTfastrak buses began running at 5 a.m. at several brand new stations like the one on Flatbush Avenue in Hartford.

Commuters who were some of the first to board got to ride for free. And the free rides continue for eight days.

“My daughter Eloise loves the school buses," Betsy Sanborn said. "So, we promised we would take her for a ride.”

This opening day for CTfastrak was a chance for people to check out the shiny new rides and slick bus stations.

People can cruise between Hartford and New Britain on a dedicated busway without having to worry about traffic.

“I think it’s going to make it a lot easier for people to get around and I think people are into alternative forms of transit and I’m hoping a lot of people are going to use it,” Matt Gordon said.

That’s the hope of supporters.

On Friday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and others celebrated the start of the new bus system.

After more than a decade of debate, they hoped to put controversies involving this more than half-billion dollar project in the rear view mirror.

Saturday was a chance for people to see if it all was worth it.

“I think it’s great. You know, the access," Sanborn said. "It’s totally affordable and just the access to some of the bigger cities around here I think it’s going to be great.”

These green buses will stop at ten stations between New Britain and Hartford.

Normally the fare will be $1.50.

Supporters hope this changes how people travel in the most congested corridor in the region.
At least some say it likely will.

“I like that it goes right to downtown Hartford, go to the UConn games. That’s what I’m planning on doing," Paul Sanborn said.

CTfastrak will not charge riders for the next eight days.

Riders will be able to download apps for the smartphones, including Transit App and Ride Scout for live updates on when the buses will arrive.

For more information on the bus line, visit ctfastrak.com.

Police Union Refutes State Rep.'s Racial Profiling Claims


The Norwalk Police Union is refuting a state representative’s claims that he was racially profiled during a traffic stop in the city.

According to the union, State Rep. Bruce Morris, a Democrat representing Norwalk, told the Judiciary Committee on March 20 that an officer had pulled him over for no apparent reason as he was returning home from meetings in Hartford one night.

Morris “made a claim that he was recently the victim of racial profiling when he was stopped by a Norwalk Police Officer” in a part of the city “that isn’t HIS area of town,” police union president Sgt. David Orr said in a written statement.

“If considered without any further information this might lead someone to believe that Mr. Morris was the victim of racial profiling,” Orr wrote.

According to the Connecticut Post, Morris said he drove through a green light the night of March 17, while the officer claimed it was red. Morris was not cited or charged.

"That gentleman knows he had no right. As a grown man, to go through the humiliation I went through was unnecessary. They treat us as less than human, less than equal. Racial profiling is alive and well in the state of Connecticut," Morris said at the Judiciary Committee meeting, according to the Connecticut Post.

Or, on the other hand, called the allegations “misleading, inflammatory, and just plain ridiculous” and said the officer who stopped Morris is a department veteran with nearly 20 years of experience. According to Morris, the officer is known around the state as a “prolific expert” in motor vehicle law and traffic enforcement.

Orr also said it’s “nearly impossible” to determine the race of another driver at night.

“Mr. Morris seized the opportunity to publicly make an accusation of racial profiling against a police officer knowing very well that because he hadn’t filed a formal complaint there would be no opportunity for the officer to refute the allegation and no real finding of facts to support Mr. Morris’ accusation,” Orr said in the statement. “The fact is that Mr. Morris committed a traffic violation in a highly active business district and that he was pulled over by an officer just doing his job. That’s all, nothing more.”

Morris has not returned a request for comment.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Canadian Sprinter, a Weaver High Grad, Drowns During Training


Canada's athletic federation is mourning the death of a runner on the Canadian track team, who went to high school in Connecticut, after he drowned in the ocean during training camp.

Daundre Barnaby, 24, of Brampton, Ontario, went swimming with teammates in the ocean during East Hub training camp at the West Indies island of St. Kitts when he disappeared at about 11 a.m. on Friday, according to Athletics Canada. The graduate of Weaver High School in Hartford was swept out to sea by a strong current and his teammates tried to rescue him, but were unable to, according to the federation's website. Crews searching for him found his body at about 3:30 p.m.

“This is such a sad and profound loss, Daundre was an outstanding athlete and an even better young man,” Rob Guy, chief executive officer of Athletics Canada, said in a statement on the federation's website. “On behalf of Athletics Canada I offer my sincere sympathies and condolences to Daundre’s family and teammates. Athletics Canada will do whatever is necessary to support the athletics family through this tragedy.”

Before becoming a member of the Canadian national track team, Daundre Barnaby was a standout track star at Weaver High School in Hartford. Barnaby ran the 400-meter dash for Canada in the 2012 Olympics in London.

The federation is making a grief counselor available to Barnaby's teammates, coaches and staff at St. Kitts.

Peter Eriksson, the head coach of his team, was heading to Ottawa from Porland, Oregon when the incident happened and will instead travel to St. Kitts to be with his team after hearing the news, according to Athletics Canada. He also recently competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Barnaby was born in St. Ann Jamaica on Dec. 9 in 1990 and became a Canadian citizen in time the year of the 2012 Olympics, according to Athletics Canada. He has also run for the Bramtpon Track Club, Project Athletics and the Flying Angels, according to the federation.

He ran at the NCAA level in college for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, according to the federation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

6-Car Crash Snarls Traffic on Route 8 South in Derby


Route 8 southbound was closed for nearly two hours in Derby near the Shelton town line Saturday night while emergency crews responded to a crash involving six vehicles, according to the Shelton-based fire company Echo Hose Hook & Ladder.

The highway was shut down between exits 15 and 14 near the Shelton town line between about 7:45 and 9:30 p.m. State police said they responded to a number of accidents in the area, all of which were minor.

State police said icy roads have caused dozens of crashes "all over the place."

Driver Hospitalized After Car Veers Off I-84 in Farmington


A driver was taken to the hospital Saturday night after his car spun out of control on Interstate 84 westbound in Farmington, smashed through a guardrail and rolled down an embankment, according to state police.

State police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hassett said the driver received a verbal warning for traveling too fast in icy conditions. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford for treatment of minor injuries.

The crash – one of dozens around the state – shut down the highway for almost two hours near exit 39 in Farmington. Traffic cameras showed firefighters searching the woods off the side of the highway, and a wrecker towed the damaged car once crews were able to lift it back onto the road.

Slick conditions have caused spinouts and crashes around the state, and drivers are urged to use caution.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Teen Stabbed Mom to Death: Police


A teen, who neighbors say suffered years of abuse, killed his mother and put his grandmother in the hospital in a stabbing attack in their feces-covered Pennsylvanian home Friday, police said.

Police charged 19-year-old Zachary Pritchett of Bridesburg with murder, criminal homicide, aggravated assault and related offenses.

Neighbors on the 2800 block of Reynolds Street-- many who claim they often heard yelling coming from the home -- heard screams Friday morning and called police.

Pritchett directed responding officers to the second floor where they found 53-year-old Melizza Wiley dead from multiple stab wounds to her face, neck and upper torso, according to officials.

The teen's 73-year-old grandmother, who was in a hospital-type bed in the first floor living room, had also been stabbed in the face, neck and upper torso. Medics rushed her to Aria Torresdale Hospital, where she remains in critical, but stable condition, officials said.

Investigators told NBC10 police have visited the home several times in the past. Several others who live on the block claimed they called police and the Department of Human Services, because they were concerned for the teen's welfare.

"I called DHS many times," said Kelly McGrath, a neighbor. "I know other neighbors who have called. I also called the school board to inquire about his homeschooling."

The home reportedly did not have running water and the gas was shut off.

"He wasn't born with outward signs of problems, physical or mental or developmental," said McGrath, who recalled one instance when Pritchett, as a young boy, was "playing" with another child.

"Zach stood and looked out the front storm door and the other kid would play with his cars. And Zach just watched him and that's how he played," she said. "We all said something bad is going to happen."

Pritchett rarely left the home, according to multiple neighbors.

The teen had lacerations on his hand from the incident and was treated at Aria Torresdale Hospital and released.  When officers first arrived at the home, Pritchett told them three unknown men entered the house and attacked the family, investigators said.

Many in the community have said they hope authorities consider the years of alleged abuse Pritchett suffered in their investigation.

"The ones of us who knew what was happening," McGrath said, "are all in support of him getting some sort of help rather than incarceration."

Photo Credit: NBC10
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