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New Rules Aim to Make UConn’s Spring Weekend Safer


Spring Weekend is known to be a rowdy one, filled with parties and celebrations, but this year, the University of Connecticut is stepping up security and changing the rules to make sure the festivities are safe.

Only UConn students are allowed to attend Spring Weekend at the Storrs campus and no bags are allowed.

Students must use their school IDs to obtain a wristband and wear it for the weekend to get in and no guests will be allowed in the residence halls from Thursday until Sunday morning.

“I think it should be kept under control, but limiting the people that can be invited, that’s a little too far,” Ahmad Aslam, a junior at UConn said.

Other schools, like Eastern Connecticut State University, are sending emails to their students warning them to stay away from UConn this weekend or risk facing disciplinary action.

Alcohol is also not permitted at Spring Weekend events, but police know that might not stop students from trying to sneak it in.

They suspect that is what happened last weekend at a concert at Gampel Pavillion when 15 students were sent to the hospital with alcohol poisoning.

The most tragic event during Spring Weekend was in 2010, one student died after being assaulted during Spring Weekend.

Police say they will be increasing their presence not only on the UCONN campus, but off campus too in order to make sure the Huskies celebrate Spring Weekend safely.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

$2,000 Reward Offered in Milford Bank Robbery


The Connecticut Bankers Rewards Association is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the men who robbed a Webster Bank branch in Milford on Wednesday.

Police said two men entered the bank at 314 Merwin Avenue through a back door around 1:40 p.m. April 22. They approached the teller counter and demanded money, then got away in a gray sedan similar to a Hyundai Elantra.

The getaway car was last seen driving westbound on Dunbar Road toward New Haven Avenue, according to police.

Police said one of the robbers was wearing a black coat and gray pants. The other was clad in a gray hooded sweatshirt, white shirt and light-colored pants. Both were wearing a black hat and black shoes.

A $2,000 reward is available for information leading to their arrests.

Anyone with information is urged to call Det. Sgt. Henry Chacon at 203-783-4761 or email him at hchacon@ci.milford.ct.us. You can also submit a tip by clicking "Crime Tips" on www.milfordpd.org.

Photo Credit: Milford Police Department

Teen Arrested After Violent Encounter With Hartford Officer


A 17-year-old high school student is facing a string of charges after a confrontation during which he put a police officer in a choke hold that, according to police, nearly caused the officer to lose consciousness.

The struggle, recorded on video by several witnesses, occurred Tuesday night at a Burger King on Main Street, which police say is a known hangout – and trouble spot – for teens who have brawled there before. The incident began inside the restaurant and moved outside.

A video of the incident obtained by NBC Connecticut begins with the altercation between Officer Roberto Maldonado and the teen. It's unclear what happened in advance, but the officer can be seen yanking the teen out of the restaurant. Then, when the two are next visible, the teen appears to have the officer in a headlock.

Once Maldonado is free of the choke hold, he orders the teen to the ground, hits him with a baton and further subdues him with pepper spray, according to the video.

Police said the teen has been charged with assaulting an officer and inciting a riot.

Maldonado, a 16-year veteran of the police force, has not returned to work as a result of his injuries, according to Hartford police.

Although police said no complaints have been filed against Maldonado, the department has launched an internal investigation into the incident and are asking witnesses to come forward.

Both the suspect and the officer are Hispanic.

Burger King declined to comment Thursday evening.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Home Health Aide Stole Woman's Retirement Savings: Cops


A former home health aide in Greenwich is facing charges after stealing thousands of dollars from her elderly patient's retirement savings, according to police.

Police said Laura Luzardo, 28, of Stamford, "ingratiated herself with the elderly victim and then misdirected thousands of dollars by both bank check and credit card to her personal use" over a period of about eight months.

She was working with Fairfield Family Care at the time and served as a home health aide for an elderly woman with mild dementia and impaired judgment, according to police.

Police said Luzardo spent much of the stolen cash at expensive stores on Greenwich Avenue.

She was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree larceny and illegal use of a credit card. Luzardo posted bond and is due in court May 1.

Information on an attorney for Luzardo was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Greenwich Police Department

Wife of Slain SoCal Mayor Charged


The wife of a Southern California mayor who was shot and killed in his home was charged Thursday with voluntary manslaughter.

Lyvette Crespo, 43, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment after the grand jury indictment was unsealed Thursday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court. Bond was set at $150,000 and Crespo was immediately taken into custody.

She is scheduled to return to court May 29 for a pretrial hearing. If convicted, she faces up to 21 years in state prison.

Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, 45, was shot by his wife Sept. 30 in their home in the community southeast of downtown Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies said Crespo and his wife were arguing, and their 19-year-old son intervened, leading to a struggle between the mayor and his son that ended when Lyvette Crespo opened fire.

The couple's son called 911 to report the shooting. He can be heard telling the dispatcher that his mother was "defending herself."

Daniel Crespo Jr. and Lyvette Crespo were questioned for several hours after the shooting, then released that night. She admitted she shot her husband but that it was in self-defense during a fight. Her attorney has contended that she was a longtime victim of domestic violence and shot Daniel Crespo in defense of herself and her son.

A 9 mm handgun and three expended cartridges were recovered at the crime scene.

Eber Bayona, Lyvette Crespo's attorney, maintains she was a battered spouse who was defending herself and her son.

"I am confident that when all the evidence is presented ... she will be acquitted," he said.

Daniel Crespo's brother denied the abuse claims and has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit. The lawsuit seeking punitive damages portrayed Lyvette Crespo as a "coldblooded killer" who threatened many times to kill her husband.

Patrick Healy contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: William Crespo

Family of Marathon Bomber Tsarnaev Arrives in Boston


The family of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev arrived Thursday afternoon at Boston's Logan Airport, law enforcement confirms.

A law enforcement source confirms Tsarnaev's relatives are staying at the Hampton Inn in Revere just a few miles from Logan, but would not say which relatives are here.

The family members arrived at Logan Airport's Terminal E, an international flight that landed in Boston in the afternoon. They arrived in two white vans from the airport. Revere Police arrived at the hotel a short time later.

It appears his family members have not left the hotel throughout the evening, and federal agents remain at the hotel, keeping guard inside.

Law enforcement officials confirm his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, or Tsarni, did not make the trip. Tsarnaeva has an outstanding warrant on a shoplifting case and could have been detained at Customs. She has defended her son in the past and railed against the United States.

Tsarnaev's sister, Alina Tsarnaeva, was previously charged in Boston related to a counterfeiting case and in New York with threatening "to put a bomb" on another woman.

The arrival of his family coincides with the defense giving its opening statement in the penalty phase of Tsarnaev's trial on Monday.

Tsarnaev was convicted this month of all 30 charges against him. Three people were killed and more than 260 others were wounded when twin bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon April 15, 2013. An MIT police officer was also killed in a shootout three days after the bombings.

The government earlier in the day rested their case in the penalty phase of the trial. The prosecution will get a chance for rebuttal after the defense presents its case.

A jury must decide whether to sentence him to life in prison or to death.

Photo Credit: Art Lien

Chipotle Announces Delivery


Chipotle fans rejoice! You can now get your chicken bowl delivered right to you.

The fast-casual Mexican food chain has announced a new partnership with Postmates, making them their official third-party delivery service.

The Chipotle delivery will be available in all markets where Postmates operates, including Chicago, New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas, Seattle and Philadelphia.

“There have been a lot of people that have been delivering Chipotle through various services over the years and we’ve tried to in a lot of cases shut them down, because we weren’t sure whether the quality was going to be sufficient or whether they were following our rules,” Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer at Chipotle, said in a call to investors. “This is different because we’ve made an official deal with Postmates and they have been delivering Chipotle for quite a while, too.”

Postmates said the delivery will start at $4.99 and is capped at $7.99, depending on distance.

Postmates, essentially an Uber for delivery food, was also pegged by Starbucks to test delivery in some markets.

The move comes as Chipotle announced a 10.4 percent sales increase in the first quarter of 2015.

“Strengthening our ecommerce program is a top priority for us this year,” Crumpacker said.

In addition to the delivery partnership, Chipotle also plans to incorporate a mobile payment option into its ordering apps. The chain plans to launch an ordering app for the Apple Watch, set to debut Friday, and will explore options of mobile payment services like Apply Pay and Google Wallet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bouncy Baby Baboon Makes Debut at Bronx Zoo


The Bronx Zoo has a rambunctious new addition.

The first gelada baboon born in the United States in more than 13 years made its debut at the zoo this week, the Wildlife Conservation Society says. The baby baboon was born in the fall and was introduced into the zoo’s gelada exhibit this spring after spending the winter bonding with its mother.

“This is an exciting birth for the Bronx Zoo and our visitors,” said Jim Breheny, an executive with the zoo. “To watch the young gelada race around the hillside, jumping and interacting with the adults is an experience not to be missed. It is an inspiring sight that transports you to the East African highlands.”

The zoo posted video video of the young male monkey hopping around, bouncing off of rocks and antagonizing its mother. The monkey weighed less than a pound at birth, it will likely grow to be about 65 pounds as an adult.

Geladas, sometimes referred to as “bleeding heart baboons” because of the patch of red skin on their chest, are native to the highlands of Ethiopia. Unlike other primates, they feed primarily on grasses, and they communicated with one another through a wide range of sounds and gestures.

The baby baboon isn't the only young primate making a debut this spring at the zoo. Last week, a pair of baby gorillas were added to the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit.

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher
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Hartford Proposes City ID Program Open to All Residents


Imagine not having an ID – nothing to help you get a job, home or bank account. Thousands of people face that challenge in Hartford, but now a breakthrough program is on the table.

Mayor Pedro Segarra is propsing the Hartford Municipal ID, an ordinance that would provide city residents with identity cards that would help them obtain services like banking, housing and employment.

"It’s an opportunity for many in our cities who currently don’t have the opportunities because we want to have a city that expands its services and its opportunities to all that are within our city," Segarra said as he announced the plan to the public Thursday afternoon.

There will be some requirements if the program is implemented. Applicants must have proof of identity, including a U.S. or foreign passport or birth certificate, driver’s license, social security card or EBT card.

The person must also have a proof of residency, such as a utility bill, property lease, property tax statement, employee pay stub or written verification by a hospital or social services agency.

"Our proposal emphasizes a sense of unity in pride in Hartford," said Segarra.

The program would benefit people such as Edwin Fericiano, who has been homeless the last five years and does not have a Connecticut ID.

Fericiano said it’s been difficult to get one.

"'Go to this agency. Go to this person.' All the time it’s like that. You know, it’s way too hard for me to get one when I want to get it," said Fericiano.

Segarra said all Hartford residents will be eligible to receive IDs, including the homeless, transgender population, youth in the foster system, those who were incarcerated and undocumented immigrants.

The proposed fee will be $15 for adults and $10 for those under the age of 18.

The proposal will go before the next city council meeting and will also be taken up at a public forum May 18.

The city of New Haven has used a similar program since 2007. Since then, it has issued about 12,000 cards.

New England Governors Meet to Discuss Energy Issues


The governors of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and a department head from New Hampshire met at the Connecticut Convention Center on Thursday to discuss energy issues facing New England.

"I think every governor has acknowledged that this is a crisis and that collective action needs to be taken," said Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, who hosted the event.

According to the governors, New England residents paid an extra $7.5 billion over the past two winters on heating and electric bills, a sum they contend is unmatched in other parts of the country.

The governors committed Thursday to partnering on improving the energy grid, investing in more renewable energy sources and working to trim costs for consumers.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, said the governors have to work together as a region to invoke any meaningful change.

"It's finding a way to lower the cost of energy for everyone in all New England states," LePage said. "New England states are outliers in the country."

The governors released a joint statement on the talks.

"Continued state attention is urgently needed to achieve clean, affordable, and reliable power on which our families and businesses depend. This problem is greater than any one state can solve alone. For this reason, we renew our commitment to coordinated action to address our regional energy challenge," they said in the statement.

The governors conceded that individual states have different ways of working on energy issues. In some states, governors have more control than others that have to deal directly with legislatures.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, told reporters that he ran his campaign on a platform of searching for and investing in renewable energy sources. He added Thursday that it’s in all of the states’ best interests to work together as a region.

"If you're going to pursue an all-options approach on something like this, you've got to do it on a collaborative basis working with those who rely on the same grid that we rely on in Massachusetts," Baker said.

On how the costs would be shared for potential agreements, the governors were cool to the concept of additional charges or tariffs.

When asked directly whether the federal government would help cover the costs, or if states need to work with energy companies directly, Malloy said government has to play some kind of a role.

"The marketplace itself has not resolved this issue. And by the way if I just made an extra $7.5 billion in the last two years and I was the market, I don't think I'd want to resolve this issue," Malloy said.

Malloy said the governors will hold a conference call in June and could meet again in September.

Man Arrested on Terror Charge


A San Diego man was charged Thursday with lying about his links to Islamic militants fighting in Syria after Facebook photos, posts and other evidence contradicted statements he made to federal agents, the Justice Department said.

Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati, 24, was arrested Wednesday and faces two charges of making false statements to federal officials in a terrorism investigation.

Saeed, who was born in Syria and is a naturalized U.S. Citizen, traveled to Turkey from San Diego in late 2012. He was in Turkey and Syria until he returned to the U.S. in March, according to prosecutors. He is accused of making false statements during interviews with the FBI and other U.S. authorities at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, in March, the Justice Department said.

Images and conversations on Facebook contradict information Saeed gave to federal officials, according to court documents.

Saeed allegedly told his associates he fought with Al-Nusrah in a four-month battle against the Assad regime. Al-Nusrah is affiliated with al-Qaida and was designated last year to be a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

Officials allege that Saeed originally told FBI agents and U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers that he didn’t know anyone who was a member of ISIL-- also known as ISIS-- never fired his weapon at anyone nor had been involved in any fighting while living out of the country for three years.

A photo of Saeed posted on Facebook shows him with a man who federal officials say has sworn allegiance to ISIL.

In a December 2013 Facebook chat, Saeed allegedly wrote, “I work with the brothers.”

Another photo of Saeed and his brother show them in the spring of 2014 when Saeed later admitted he had opened fire on a Syrian prison.

In initial interviews, Saeed also claimed he had never worked or volunteered at a Sharia court, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors claim a photo posted to Saeed’s Facebook page shows him wearing headphones provided to him in a Sharia court.

Saeed first came to the U.S. when he was approximately 10 years old. At 17, he became a U.S. citizen when his father naturalized, officials said.

In December 2012, Saeed left San Diego to travel to Istanbul, Turkey.

In early March 2015, when Saeed tried to fly back to the U.S., he was denied entry and told to go to the U.S. Embassy in Turkey. Prosecutors claim that Saeed provided false information to federal officials when interviewed at the embassy and later on March 23 at the airport in Charlotte.

He had arrived in San Diego by March 31 when he was interviewed by an FBI agent once again.

He was arrested by FBI agents in San Diego on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: FBI
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CTFastrak to Impose Fines for Ticket Violations


Fines of $75 await CTFastrak passengers who ride the buses without valid tickets sold at fare machines on the platforms.

"All you do is do this thing and then jump on the bus," said Chris Yarmolovich as he waited for a bus in Newington. "You don't even have to look at the bus driver or talk to the bus driver, just hop on."

The ability to "just hop on" is the reason the fare machines are on the platforms.

"In order for the bus to pull in, open all doors, people to get on and off and the bus to be on its way quickly, we like people to already have a proof of payment before they get on," said CTFastrak administrator Michael Sanders.

Sanders said the new system is in the "education and awareness" phase, but fare inspectors are preparing to enforce the proof of payment requirement.

He said tickets should be sold by the end of the year through mobile phones.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dramatic Helmet Cam Video of Fire


Dramatic video from a firefighter's helmet cam captures a spectacular blaze in New Jersey as a mansion built in the 1880s goes up in flames.

The four-alarm fire Monday at the Rumson estate known as Blithewald illuminated the sky, with giant flames leaping from the structure as sparks flickered in front of the faces of firefighters battling the blaze inside. The helmet video shows the dangers they faced as they fought through thick smoke, flames and water for nearly six hours to get the blaze under control. 

Brett Murphy, a Sea Bright volunteer deputy fire chief, told NBC 4 New York, "It's what we signed up for." Murphy's brother was wearing the helmet cam that captured the dramatic video.

No injuries were reported and the blaze at the 22-room mansion built in 1883 has been ruled accidental, though prosecutors have yet to identify an exact cause. Firefighters from 10 departments responded.

Former Sea Bright fire chief Joe Eskridge says the helmet cam is "probably one of the best tools you can have besides water" when it comes to coordinating fire response and investigations.

Before it went up in flames, the mansion was being decorated by more than 40 interior designers and landscapers for a month-long home tour fundraiser on behalf of the Visiting Nurse Association of New Jersey.

A spokesman said the nonprofit is reviewing alternatives to meet its budget. According to the group's website, the mansion was referred to locally as the "Gatsby House" because F. Scott Fitzgerald was a friend of the owner in the late 1880s and visited frequently.

The house, which has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and sprawls across 4.3 acres of land, is currently owned by Thomas Widener, a Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. executive.

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Dallas Cops Cleared in Shooting


A Dallas County grand jury has declined to indict two Dallas police officers who fatally shot 39-year-old Jason Harrison, a mentally ill man holding a screwdriver.

The grand jury no billed the officers during a hearing Thursday.

"We appreciate the grand jury's consideration of all the evidence in the matter. The City is currently defending the civil lawsuit. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those struggling with mental illness," said Chris Livingston, an attorney for both officers.

Harrison's family is disappointed and frustrated. Harrison's brother says the family hopes this case will initiate change in the way deadly officer-involved shootings are handled.

"We're not headed in the right direction for change – to try to taper off the activities these guys are doing and getting away with," said Sean Harrison. "This is not the way to correct it."

In March the attorney for Harrison's family released video of the June 2014 shooting to the media and said it raised questions about the use of force by Dallas police officers John Rodgers and Andrew Hutchins.

The video shows an officer knocking on the front door of a home in the 200 block of Glencairn Drive. Harrison's mother opens the door and calmly walks outside, inaudibly telling officers something then saying her son was schizophrenic and bipolar.

When Harrison appears in the doorway holding a screwdriver in his hand, Rodgers and Hutchins instruct him to drop the screwdriver. According to the officers, Harrison then made an aggressive or threatening move, reportedly lunging toward an officer, before they opened fire.

Harrison's mother Shirley spoke exclusively to NBC 5 and said she called 911 that day after her son stopped taking his medication and made violent threats.

“We maintain the footage shows him not stabbing, not thrusting, not lunging in a way that would jeopardize the lives of these officer,” said the family's attorney, Geoff Henley. “He never leaves the front porch and he’s gunned down.”

Attorney Chris Livingston, who represents the officers involved, said once the video is slowed it shows Jason Harrison move toward officers and his arm rotate down into a stabbing motion as the first shots are fired.

The family says a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in October will go forward.

"This is not the end, this is the beginning," Harrison said, "And, we will fight to get people in place in office that we need – we need people to address these issues and make the accountability be there so we can have a great city."

After the Dallas Police Department completed their investigation, the officers were placed back on duty as the case was handed over to the Dallas County district attorney for referral to the grand jury.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood, Johnny Archer and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

Blue Bell to Begin Cleaning


Blue Bell Ice Cream on Monday will begin an intensive cleaning program at all four production facilities in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas after a number of listeria illnesses were linked to the ice cream.

The company recalled all of its products Monday after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria in March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday the number of listeria illnesses nationwide linked to Blue Bell products has risen to 10.

At the same time they begin the intensive cleaning, the Texas-based ice cream maker will start a new training program for employees at those facilities.

"After a thorough review of operations and discussions with an expert microbiologist, it was decided this cleaning and training program will greatly benefit Blue Bell as it moves forward," the company said in a news release Thursday.

The new training, the company said, will include the following:

  • Highly aggressive cleaning techniques
  • Increased actions focused on sanitation and cleanliness
  • Strengthening of standard operating procedures
  • Enhancements to its preventive maintenance program
  • Equipment design changes 

Meanwhile the company will be producing products that will be used for testing and baseline data and not for public sale.

“We’ve always worked to make the very highest quality ice cream,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “We intend to make a fresh start and that begins with intensive cleaning and enhanced training. This is a paradigm shifting event at Blue Bell and we want to put in place new systems to drive continuous improvement.”

Company spokesman Joe Robertson said Tuesday finding the cause of the listeria contamination is a top priority.

Still, the company "cannot say with certainty" how the bacteria was introduced to its facilities, Kruse said in a statement.

Blue Bell expects to have ice cream products back on store shelves in about three weeks.

For now, outside the distribution center in Lancaster, Texas, the ice cream trucks are parked.

Grocery stores tell NBC 5 the company is aiming for Memorial Day to get the ice cream back on the shelves.

At Pokey-O’s in Dallas, owner Kathy Oszustowicz hopes its much sooner than that date.

“It’s impossible to replace a vendor like Blue Bell,” explained Oszustowicz. “Blue Bell has a corner in the market down here, they supply everyone and they do a good job at it.”

Half of her store's ice cream case is empty, where gallons of Blue Bell would normally be. It's the same situation on store shelves.

A Blue Bell representative was at the ice cream shop earlier Thursday, Oszustowicz said, asking about the most popular flavors.

“They wanted to select the top 10 flavors to start making first. They were asking local ice cream stores what the top 10 flavors were. We were telling them what our big sellers were, [and] that’s where they’re going to start,” she explained.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Vandals Strike at Mark Twain House, Businesses


Vandals left a mile-long trail of damage as they threw bricks and stones through windows of several businesses in Hartford overnight, including at the historic Mark Twain House.

Police said at least nine businesses in the area of Farmington Avenue, between Flower and South Whitney streets, were damaged at some point between last night and this morning.

A window at the Mark Twain House, a popular cultural attraction, was hit by a brick that shattered the outside pane of a window, which shocked staff members who have not experienced problems like this in the past.

"People around here respect this place. You know, it's like an oasis in Hartford, so we usually don't have this kind of problem," Will Perez, of the Mark Twain House, said.

The famed writer Samuel L. Clemens designed the home in the late 1870s and wrote that the happiest and most productive years of his life were spent in that home.

Police released a preliminary list of the damage:

  • Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave.: shattered window
  • Mo's Midtown restaurant, 25 Whitney Street: shattered window
  • Macdermid, Reynolds & Glissman Law Offices, 86 Farmington Ave.: broken front window
  • Webster Bank, 108 Farmington Ave.: west window shattered
  • Medical center, 449 Farmington Ave.: north window cracked
  • Family Dollar, 170 Farmington Ave.: cracked window
  • Island Cuisine, 300 Farmington Ave.: broken window
  • Unoccupied space, at 256 Farmington Ave., door glass cracked.

Business owners were also in shock when they arrived this morning and found the damage.  Now police are investigating and checking surveillance video.

They said they are looking for a 6-foot-tall, 170-pound bald man with a white beard. He was wearing a dark hoodie, a white undershirt, jeans and white sneakers.

"We hope that something pops up on video at this point. There's a lot of  businesses here that have external surveillance video," Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said.  "We hope somebody saw something and is going to report it to us."

If you know anything about the vandalism, call police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Trooper Crash May Have Been Due to Fatigue: Police


A state trooper crashed into a tree in Seymour on his way home from the police barracks Thursday morning, possibly due to fatigue, according to state police.

Police said the trooper, a member of State Police Troop A based in Southbury, struck a tree on Moss Avenue between Old Ansonia and Summer Hill roads around 9:40 a.m. while returning to his home in Seymour.

The trooper was alone in the vehicle and was not injured.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash, but state police said the preliminary investigation indicates fatigue may have played a part.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Pepper Sprays Driver, Infants During Road Rage Incident: Cops


Police have obtained an arrest warrant for the man suspected of using pepper spray during a road rage incident in Cromwell, exposing a driver and two infants to the irritant.

According to police, the man got out of his car in a parking lot on Shunpike Road/Route 3 near the intersection of Evergreen Road in Cromwell around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and approached the driver’s side of another vehicle.

The victim, who was bringing two infants to daycare, rolled down his window, at which point the suspect started yelling at him and discharged pepper spray through the open window, according to police.

Police said the suspect was gone when they arrived. Medical personnel treated the victim and children at the scene.

Investigators have identified the suspect, whose name has not been publicly released, and have obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Man Stabbed in Chest and Neck at New Haven Soup Kitchen


Police have arrested a homeless man accused of stabbing another man in the chest and neck at a soup kitchen in New Haven and leaving him in critical condition.

Police said Quan McCloud, 33, got into an argument with the 38-year-old victim in the lunch room of the Community Soup Kitchen at 84 Broadway in New Haven shortly after noon Thursday.

The argument escalated to a fist fight, at McCloud stabbed the other man with a knife, according to police.

Medical personnel rushed the victim to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he went into emergency surgery and is listed in critical condition.

Police tracked down McCloud near the Yale University Police Department headquarters on Ashmun Street and took him into custody. He was arrested and charged with first-degree assault.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Autism Advocates Fight for Funding at Capitol


Several dozen supporters of funding for Connecticut’s autism programs met at the Capitol Thursday to deliver nearly 12,000 signatures to the governor, who proposed millions in cuts to the state Department of Developmental Services.

"It's disgusting, honestly. I don't know how else to put it," said Dr. Michelle Rivelli, mother of a 20-year-old who has autism.

Rivelli helped to start a MoveOn.org petition that has collected thousands of signatures over the course of two weeks.

She said the funding cuts directly affect the plans she had for her daughter, Jessie. Rivelli and her husband had planned to move Jessie into a state-funded facility for adults to live while they work with therapists.

"You know, these cuts eliminated funding for when she turns 21, so she would just be sitting at home," Rivelli said. "I didn't know what we were going to do."

GOP lawmakers at the event said they are going to work to put the funding back into the budget. House and Senate GOP leaders and their caucuses will unveil their budget Friday morning.

"There's a lot of holes to fill within the budget and we are working day in and day out with our leadership to try and make things right and try to get the services for the most vulnerable people in the state of Connecticut," said Republican State Rep. Jay Case, of Winchester.

A spokesman for Gov. Dannel Malloy responded to the activists with the following statement:

"When it comes to government spending, we need to make tough but smart decisions today to build a brighter Connecticut tomorrow. The Governor’s budget does propose an increase in spending for DDS and mental health services, and while these are difficult decisions, they are nevertheless ones that will put our state on a path to success in the long-term."

Democrats in the legislature have discussed potential tax hikes to deal with the state’s budget hole for the next fiscal year. They have said publicly that some elements of the governor’s budget are unworkable. A revised spending plan for the state is expected to be voted on during a committee meeting on Monday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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