Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Thieves Steal Bus Shelter Seats in New Haven


Thieves have been making off with the metal chairs at the bush shelter on Church Street in New Haven.

Dough Hausladen, the city's director of transportation, traffic and parking, said the problem first came to the city's attention in December when New Haven Connect app users and CT Transit drivers reported it.

"The problem we're seeing is our bus benches are not remaining. We have some that are broken and some that are removed," said Hausladen.

Hausladen can't be sure why they're being taken, but speculates that the metal is what makes them valuable.

"We're asking our neighbors to make sure to let us know when there are issues, so we can jump on them right away, and that way we can help prevent them in the future," said Hausladen.

The city is also looking to see how the bus shelters and the benches inside them can be improved.

"We need to design these better it looks like. We need to go back to the drawing board and figure out the better bench to prevent them from being removed," said Hausladen.

New Haven police say metal thefts are decreasing in the city, and officers work with local scrap metal companies to see if any stolen metal is brought there.

Man Exposes Himself to Women in Stratford Town Center


Police are trying to identify the man who has exposed himself to at least three women and followed one of them in the area of Stratford town center.

Stratford police said the man has confronted women seemingly at random. Police are currently following leads and continue to investigate.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Stratford Police Department Detective Division at 203-385-4119 or the TIPS line at 203-375-8477.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

102-Year-Old Grandmother Blows Out Teeth Instead of Candles


It's a birthday celebration that grandmother Louise Bonito and her family will never forget: When she took a breath to blow out the candles on her cake, Bonito's dentures came too.

"They said, 'Mom, make sure you blow hard.' OK, so of course I went to blow, and my teeth came out," said the 102-year-old North Haven resident.

Video footage from the celebration shows Bonito laughing at her lost teeth. She took it in stride, and said she didn't feel like putting the glue on her dentures that day.

"I didn't get mad at all. I said, 'We're all celebrating,' to myself, 'We're all celebrating. Let's have a good time.' So I joined them, and I was laughing and laughing. They couldn't get over it," said Bonito.

What she can't get over, Bonito said, is that her granddaughter's video has become an Internet sensation and made its way around the globe.

"My youngest son called me this morning, 'Ma, now you're famous in Italy.' In Italy! Well, I'm glad I'm bringing some joy to the world," she said.

Bonito said friends she hasn't heard from in years have reached out to say hello.

"At least it brought people to laugh. There's so much misery in this world, a little laughter will do them good," said Bonito.

She said that with five children, 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, she knows how blessed she is.

"I always used to say, there's a reason for me to be on this earth. At my age, 102, and thank God, I'm still able to do everything myself, and that's more of a blessing than anything else," said Bonito.

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

Brush Fire Breaks Out in Woods of Plainville


Firefighters are responding to a brush fire in the woods off Camp Street in Plainville, according to the fire department.

Fire officials said they have asked police to shut down part of Camp Street near the intersection of Bradley Street while they work.

No buildings or homes have been affected.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske

Southington Softball Team Defeats Farmington 42-0


Southington High School’s softball team remains the top team in the state, with a 42-0 win over Farmington on Wednesday, giving the team a 59-game winning streak.

Coach Davina Hernandez said said her team toned down against the Farmington softball team to in an effort to prevent a blowout.

"So when the team was unable to get three outs early on in the game, we started batting nine batters and saying, 'Don’t worry about the outs,' and you know, you don’t see that in a big score like that," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said it was emotionally draining to play on Wednesday night.

"I know what it feels like to lose by a lot and it’s not fun," she said.

The game continued, even if Hernandez didn’t want it to.

According to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference CIAC, a "tournament game must be seven innings, or if tied after seven innings must be completed to constitute a legal game."

The regulations further state, "After 4.5 or 5 innings of play and one team is 15 or more runs ahead, the mercy rule will be invoked."

"It was an odd situation, to tell you the truth. You didn’t want to cheer because you didn’t want the other team to feel bad, but your kids are out there; they came to play," said Southington parent Patty Scafariello.

Hernandez said there are no hard feelings between the schools.

"The Farmington athletic director called our athletic director today and said, ‘Despite the huge lopsided score, your team is a class act and your coach did everything that she could,' and I don’t think you’ll see that with the score," she said.

It was a comment that meant the world to Hernandez, who calls her team an extremely humble group of ladies.

Farmington High School’s athletic director did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Amtrak Engineer Has No Memory: Atty


Within hours of the deadly derailment of Amtrak train 188 in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, the engineer at its helm had changed his Facebook profile photo to a plain black rectangle.

Brandon Bostian's friends seemed to know of his role in the crash, which killed eight people and sent hundreds more to hospitals, even before his name publicly surfaced. They rallied to his side on Facebook.

"It could have been any one of us and you are not alone," one Facebook friend who identified himself as an Amtrak engineer in California said, the Associated Press reported.

In an interview with ABC's “Nightline” on Wednesday night, Bostian's lawyer Robert Goggin said Bostian "has absolutely no recollection of the incident."

Goggin said that Bostian recalls operating the controls, but doesn’t remember what happened when the speeding train slammed into a curve and jumped off the tracks, injuring more than 200 people.

"The next thing he recalls is being thrown around, coming to, finding his bag, getting his cell phone and dialing 911," Goggin told the news program.

Bostian, 32, suffered a concussion and required 14 staples in his head, as well as several stitches in his leg, Goggin said. Bostian was released from the hospital and interviewed by police Wednesday.

Bostian, of New York City, handed over his cellphone to East Detectives and gave a blood sample, investigators told NBC10.

Bostian refused to talk to police on Wednesday, authorities said. No one has been named a suspect in the derailment at this point, Lt. John Stanford said.

NTSB investigators say the train was traveling at 106 miles per hour along a sharp curve where the speed limit is 50 mph. They also say Bostian slammed on the emergency brake moments before the train hurled off the tracks.

When Bostian applied the emergency brakes, he managed to slow the train only to 102 mph by the time the locomotive's black box stopped recording data, said NTSB's Robert Sumwalt. The speed limit just before the curve is 80 mph, he said.

Sumwalt said the speed estimates were based on preliminary reports, though officials are confident the actual speed of the train at the time was close to the initial report.

On Thursday, Sumwalt said the train sped up in the last minute or so before the crash, accelerating from 70 mph to over 100 mph.

He said it is not clear yet whether the speed was increased manually. Investigators have found no problems with the track, the signals or the locomotive, Sumwalt said.

Sumwalt said Thursday that Bostian had agreed to be interviewed by the NTSB and that the meeting will take place in the next few days.

“This person has gone through a very traumatic event, and we want to give him an opportunity to convalesce for a day or so before we interview him,” Sumwalt said at a briefing on Wednesday. “But that is certainly a high priority for us, to interview the train crew.”

Bostian lives in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, according to social media profiles, public records, friends and neighbors.

A friend who knows him in New York City told MSNBC that Bostian is a "cheerful guy" and a rail buff. The acquaintance, who did not want to be identified, said he last saw Bostian two weeks ago and talked about trains with him.

He added that Bostian loves his job. "We didn't meet because of trains, but bonded because we both are fans. The notion that he made it, so to speak, driving trains is of no surprise to me," he said.

The young engineer got a job with Amtrak right out of college, according to his LinkedIn profile, first working as a conductor and then an engineer for a total of nine years with Amtrak.

Lee Allen, Bostian's best friend through middle school and high school, told The New York Times, Bastion was passionate about trains and had "his walls were covered with pictures, he had several model sets."

Bostian's friend from Tennessee, Stefanie McGee, said he was obsessed with trains while growing up, The Associated Press reported.

"He would go on vacation and bring back subway maps," McGee recalled Thursday. "He would go places with his family and he would talk about the trains instead of the places."

Ryan Smith knows Bostian from attending the same non-denominational church at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where Bostian received his Bachelor of Science in 2006. Smith told NBC News Bostian "always just seemed a very competent person, who always seemed on top of what he was doing."

Smith said Bostian "was a pretty quiet, polite person" but "hard to get to know. He was very introverted." The two men had dinner in New York City in September 2006 and stayed in touch afterwards via Facebook, Smith said.

"It's always seemed like his life has revolved around [his Amtrak job] in my ways. He seems like somebody who is very dedicated to it," Smith said. "It shows anything can happen," he added, referring to the accident.

According to the Times,  on the online forums of trainorders.com, a writer who signed many of his posts as “Brandon” criticized railroad companies for not doing more to prevent accidents. The Times said the subjects and locations of the posts strongly indicate they were posted by Bostia.

NBC Bay Area reported that Bostian also worked for the California commuter rail line Caltrain several years ago when the agency contracted with Amtrak. It's not clear what job he held there.

The superintendent of the Forest Hills building where Bostian has lived alone for two and a half years said he's a "really nice person."

"Nice person, always said, 'Hello, Jose, how are you?'" said Jose Quinones. "Nice, very quiet."

Quinones' wife, Zuma Quinones, said she didn't know Bostian was an engineer and was stunned by the news. She said he was friendly.

She said if he returned home, she would tell Bostian: "Welcome, you're home. Thank God."

Bostian is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, according to his social media profiles, and attended college at the University of Missouri. He graduated in 2006 with a bachelor's in business administration, the school confirmed.

Mom Captures Photo of Officer Tossing Football With Sons


When Katherine Cooke spotted a police cruiser parked outside the window of her Vernon home on Tuesday, near where three of her sons were playing, she looked to make sure everything was OK.

It was.

Her 8-, 10-, and 11-year-old sons were not in any trouble. Instead, they were with a Vernon police officer who happened to take a few moments to toss a football around with them.

It was also a moment she wanted to preserve by taking a photo and posting it on Facebook.

Cooke said her family moved from Vermont around a year ago, so they have not been in Connecticut long, and she did not know which police officer made her sons’ afternoon, but she’s glad he did.

“They were so excited. They were happy. They loved it,” Cooke said.

Lieutenant William Meier, of the Vernon Police Department, solved the mystery. The officer is Aaron Grechko and he never realized anyone took a photo capturing the moment until another Vernon police officer happened to spot it.

Grechko was doing what Vernon police officers do on a daily basis -- getting out of his cruiser and interacting with the community, Meier said.

This time, it happened to be preserved in a photo and shared, over and over again. 

As a parent, Cooke said she is trying to ensure that her children are not afraid of police. She wants her boys to trust police officers and feel comfortable going to them if they ever need help.

She also wanted to prove that positive news can be spread, not just negative news.

“I want people to share positive stuff,” she said.

Her test seems to be working. She posted the story on NBC Connecticut’s Facebook page and it’s been “liked” more than 1,000 times and shared almost 900 times. 

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

Former Hartford Firefighter Charged in Shooting


A 25-year veteran of the Hartford Fire Department has been charged with assault after shooting another man in the stomach last month and no longer works for the city, according to police.

Police said firefighter Donald Brown, 54, was involved in an altercation with Lascelles Reid, 31, of Simsbury, at 131 Hebron Street in Hartford shortly before 4 p.m. on April 24.

Brown is accused of shooting Reid in the abdomen in the driveway of the single-family home. Police said he was off duty at the time.

"I just got attacked. ... I had to shoot him," Brown told a dispatcher, according to the 911 recordings. "I told him to get away, back away. He kept charging at me, so I shot him."

The dispatcher told Brown to put his gun down and said police would be arriving soon.

Police said the two men knew one another, but have not released details of their relationship. Police sources have identified Reid as the boyfriend of Brown's sister.

Brown told police that Reid was working on his house.

"He was working on a house that I own. He tore the house up… I want my house in place," Brown told dispatchers.

He added that Reid tried to hit and jump on him and told investigators he shot Reid out of fear, according to police.

"I tried to get out of the car and get away from him. He kept coming. I told him to stay away, stay away. He kept coming, so I shot him because I don’t want to get hurt," Brown said.

The dispatcher then asked Brown if the victim was breathing and Brown said yes, that Reid was also was talking to 911.

Police also released Reid’s 911 call.

"I’ve been shot," Reid told dispatchers, adding that his body is numb.

Authorities arrived to find Reid lying on the ground and said he had been shot in the torso. He was conscious and alert and was taken by ambulance to Saint Francis Hospital.

Brown turned himself in Thursday and was charged with first-degree assault. Police said his bond was set at $150,000.

Hartford police said Brown "is no longer an employee of the City of Hartford." It's not clear if he was terminated or resigned.

Reid is still recovering and continues to recieve medical attention, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

While more than 6,131 service membe


While more than 6,131 service members reported sexual assaults last year, only 317 of the accused were court-martialed and sentenced to time behind bars, according to the Department of Defense’s Annual Military Assault Report.

The numbers are calling into question the military justice system when it comes to prosecuting sexual assaults.

Twenty-four percent of the reported assaults were considered "restricted reports," which means the service member wanted counseling but would not identify the attacker. Other cases were dismissed because of insufficient evidence, the statute of limitations had expired, or the command determined the allegations unfounded, the report found.

Out of more than 2,000 charges against accused service members, 25 percent were downgraded to non-sexual assault-related offenses.

Verna Griffin-Tabor, the executive director of the Center for Community Solutions, called the findings troubling.

“That is really brutal for a survivor because the perpetrators have never been held to taking responsibility, and so they plead out for a lower sentence, a lower conviction, and so sexual assault doesn't follow them,” she said. Griffin-Tabor’s organization advocates for sexual assault survivors.

She said military tribunals do not have the same confidentiality policies as the criminal court system, and the closed system appears to support careers of service members over the rights of alleged victims, she alleged.

Part of the concern is that incidents involving a sex offender are typically not isolated.

“It’s estimated that for folks committing sexual assault, there is usually six victims,” said Griffin-Tabor.

For that reason, many survivors decide to move forward to hold suspects responsible – to keep others from becoming victims of sexual assault.

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

Driver Seriously Hurt in Crash on I-95 in Guilford


A 28-year-old man was seriously hurt when he lost control and was ejected from his car on Interstate 95 northbound in Guilford shortly after midnight Friday, according to state police.

Police said Kyle R. Stevens, of Clinton, was driving in the left lane on I-95 north near exit 57 in Guilford around 12:20 a.m. when his car veered off the highway.

Stevens' Chevy Blazer rolled over and collided with a concrete barrier on the left shoulder. State police said Stevens was ejected from the vehicle. It's not clear if he was wearing a seat belt.

Emergency responders brought Stevens to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. His condition is unknown.

I-95 north was closed for hours between exits 56 and 57 while authorities responded to the crash.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Wallingford Police to Make Changes to Communicate With Deaf Residents


The Wallingford Police Department is agreeing to make some changes in the way it communicates amid a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the police department failed to effectively communicate with people who are deaf and hard of hearing, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly’s office.

The department is agreeing to implement training and ensure its policies comply with the effective communication requirements of Americans with Disabilities Act.

“We commend the Town of Wallingford for voluntarily entering into this settlement agreement,” Daly said in a statement. “By doing so, they are ensuring that there will be effective communication with those members of their community who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Town has been cooperative throughout this investigation. The decision to agree to the terms of the settlement reflects the Town’s strong commitment to both protect public safety and to uphold individuals’ civil rights.”

The agreement requires that the Wallingford Police Department ensure its policies and practices are nondiscriminatory and provide effective communication for people with communication disabilities, including the provision of sign language interpreters.

The department has also agreed to post a notice of the policy in public areas; train staff on the policies; and ensure that appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters and specifically tactile interpreters, are available to all people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Woman: Airline Denied Suicidal Call


A Wisconsin woman says that she got an alarming text from her husband saying he was about to kill himself just after she boarded her Southwest flight, but flight attendants wouldn't let her call for help. By the time the plane landed, her husband had died, the woman says.

Karen Momsen-Evers told NBC affiliate WTMJ that shortly before her Milwaukee-bound flight took off from New Orleans, she got a text message from her husband asking forgiveness for taking his life.

She said she texted back "no," but when she went to call him, she says a flight attendant "slapped the phone down and said, ‘You need to go on airplane mode now.’"

Momsen-Evers said she tried to explain her situation but was told it was "FAA regulations" and there was nothing the flight crew could do.

Two hours later, her plane landed, and she called police. When she arrived home, she was told her husband had died.

"Our hearts go out to Mrs. Evers and her family during this difficult time," Southwest said in a statement, adding that it could not share details of the event.

"Our flight attendants are responsible for executing Safety procedures to prepare a flight for departure and arrival, in accordance with FAA regulations, while assisting the up to 100-plus passengers onboard," the airline said.

"Flight attendants are trained to notify the captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers on-board," it continued. "In this situation, the pilots were not notified."

Momsen-Evers told WTMJ she believes that notice could have saved her husband’s life, and that "knowing something could have been done" is heartbreaking.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

2 Rescued, Firefighter Injured During Bristol Fire


Two people were rescued and one firefighter was injured during a fire at an apartment building in Bristol on Friday morning

The fire broke out on Meadow Street at 3:24 a.m. , forcing residents to rush from their beds to safety.

One person who suffered burns to much of his back was rescued from a stairwell and transported to a hospital, officials said. No information is available on his condition.

Firefighters rescued one person who suffered smoke inhalation from the second floor using a ladder. Medics checked the resident for smoke inhalation at the scene and the person did not have to be transported, according to a firefighter at the scene.

Dawn Crockett said she heard someone yelling in one of the apartments, so she ran in the house, got dressed, came back out and the hallway was full of smoke.

“By then, the firemen were coming up and his apartment was engulfed in flames,” she said.

One firefighter was also transported to a local hospital as a precaution to be evaluated for smoke inhalation and has since been released.

The fire damaged one apartment, but others have smoke and water damage and 15 people have been displaced.

The Red Cross is assisting adults from eight families residents and officials said it’s not clear how long the residents will be out of their homes.

“They’re putting us up for two nights, depending on what floor you’re on. Nobody is going back in the building. It’s scary. Now we don't know what we have and what we don’t have,” Crockett said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ambulance Responding to Crash Goes Off Highway


An ambulance that was responding to a crash has crashed on Interstate 91 North in Rocky Hill and gone into the wooded area off the road.

The crash is in the area of exit 24 and there are delays.

A statement from the ambulance company says the ambulance was involved in a crash with two other vehicles, pushing the ambulance about 40 feet into the woods.

They said  the driver's side of the vehicle was damaged, but no one was injured.

No additional information is available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Teacher Removed from Classroom After Inappropriate Remark


The Sterling Community School is investigating after an eighth-grade teacher made inappropriate remark in a science room on Friday morning, according to the superintendent’s office.

It is not clear what the teacher said. 

"Currently I am investigating the report that a teacher made a very inappropriate remark. Since this is a personnel matter, I cannot share specific information but do want to alert you so that you are aware and that inaccurate information is not shared,” a statement from Brenda Needham, superintendent of Sterling Community School, said.

“Please know that my immediate action was to remove the teacher from the classroom and I take seriously the importance of high professional conduct and the safety and security of our students. We do not know how many students heard the comment but if your child expresses concern please reassure him or her. If you should have any questions please contact the Principal or me. Thanks for your understanding," the statement said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Rocky Hill Man Hit By Car Saturday Has Died: Police


A 53-year-old Rocky Hill man is dead after being hit by a car on the Silas Deane Highway on Saturday night.

Police said Nicholas Maniudakis, 53, of Rocky Hill, was on foot when he was hit near The Tilted Kilt, just south of Mill Street, just after 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Police received the call at 8:13 p.m. and several officers and ambulance personnel arrived and immediately began treating him for serious injuries.

An ambulance transported Maniudakis to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver who struck him stopped immediately, police said. She was not hurt and is cooperating with the police.

Police diverted traffic on the Silas Deane Highway during the investigation at the scene.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information about it is asked to call Officer Newton of the Wethersfield Police Department at (860) 721-2712.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Killed When Truck Hit a Tree and Burst Into Flames Was Drunk: Police


A 56-year-old Bristol man who was killed when his truck hit a tree and burst into flames in January was drunk at the time of the crash, according to Bristol police.

Police said Nelson Thibeault’s blood alcohol level was .146%, which is almost twice the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.

He was driving his 1994 Ford Ranger pickup on Stafford Avenue in Bristol, near Jewel Street, at 6:21 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11 when he went off the road and hit a tree, police said.

Almost immediately, the truck burst into flames and Thibeault was trapped inside.

Emergency crews tried to rescue him, but they could not free him from the vehicle and he died at the scene.

Police investigating and determined that Thibeault failed to negotiate the curve in the road, made a restricted turn, went off the road, hit a tree and the gas tank was punctured, quickly igniting a fire.

No other vehicles were involved in this crash and police have closed the investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Lockdown Lifted at Manchester High School


Manchester High School was on lockdown on Friday morning as officials investigated a potential threat, according to school officials.

There was a report of a potential threat to the safety of students and staff on social media and police determined that it was not credible, school officials said.  

As a precaution, a lockdown was issued on Friday morning, the superintendent went to the school and the lockdown has been lifted, but police will remain at the school for the rest of the day.

The school has canceled "power hour," and seniors are only allowed to leave if their classes are over for the day.

The schedule has also been adjusted for the rest of the day.

West Hartford Police, Residents Honored at Awards Ceremony


Dozens of police officers filled the city council chambers in West Hartford on Friday morning to honor some of their own, as well as residents, who they said have gone above and beyond to help others.

“From officers who solve home invasions, to removing weapons from vehicles, to guns that are unregistered, there are so many stories of good police work,” Chief Tracey Gove said.

Each act was recognized with a citation and a handshake.

Susan Callison, who received the West Hartford Police Department Recognition Award, helped save a life when she was playing baseball with her son at Kingswood Oxford School on June 10 last year.

Police said an 18-year-old jogger was running laps around the field when he collapsed and Susan Callison and Scott McDonald immediately began to do CPR and continued to assist when the police officer arrived at the scene.

“I called over to a group because I saw a boy collapse,” Callison said. “I immediately started pushing on his chest. Later on, the police called me to tell me the boy had had a heart attack, but he was going to be OK.”

If it was not for Callison’s quick thinking that day, the boy might not have survived, police said.

She was among a handful of residents honored at Friday’s ceremony with rounds of applause.

West Hartford police said what is really worth celebrating is the help and support they get from their community on a daily basis.

“Here in West Hartford we have had a lot of success and we owe a lot of that success to our citizens,” Gove said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Hits Girlfriend’s Dog, Throws it From House: Cops


Westport police have arrested a 67-year-old man accused of hitting his girlfriend’s dog while fighting with the woman and throwing the pet out of the house.

Police arrested Martin Smiley, 67, of Westport, on Wednesday after responding to a report of a domestic disturbance between two people who live together.

Police said Smiley was accused of becoming physical with his girlfriend, then hitting her dog and throwing it outside of the house.

A protective order was also in place for him from a prior domestic incident, police said.

Smiley was charged with criminal violation of a protective order, disorderly conduct and cruelty to animals.

A $2,500 bond was issued and Smiley is due in Norwalk Court on May 14.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live