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Man Shot in Thigh Near New Haven Playground


A man was shot in the thigh near a playground at a New Haven housing complex and the area is blocked off as police search for the shooter.

Police responded to the Farnham Court Housing complex at 1:19 p.m and found a 36-year-old man who'd been shot in the thigh.

He was conscious, alert, able to speak to officers and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, police said.

Police believe the shooter might still be somewhere in the complex, so pedestrian and vehicle traffic are suspended as the search continues.

Investigators are familiar with the suspect and the department's bureau of investigation is reviewing video footage and collecting evidence, according to police.

Anyone who saw the shooting or who has information about it should call detectives at 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

U.S. Officials Preparing for MERS Outbreak Following S. Korea


A deadly outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Virus in South Korea is prompting health officials and experts to prepare for the possibility of more cases in the United States. 

MERS has infected 500 people worldwide since it first surfaced in Saudi Arabia in 2010, killing roughly a third of those affected, according to the CDC. Now, the virus has spread across South Korea, infecting more than 150 people and killing 11. 

That outbreak, the largest outside the Middle East, has sparked concerns about the potential for the virus to pop up in other countries, including America. The United States, one of at least 16 to report cases since 2010, has previously handled two MERS patients. Some experts are preparing for that number to rise.

“In South Korea more people will get infected, and eventually they go on a plane and travel,” said Peter Daszak, a member of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. “The U.S. is consistently in one of the top 5 countries (to travel to); we are likely to have MERS to come to the U.S.”

MERS, part of the same family of viruses as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the common cold, is believed to have originated in camels, officials say. The virus has since spread from human to human, particularly among people in close contact with an infected patient. The recent outbreak in South Korea, for example, has been traced to hospitals in the area that did not follow proper protocol when dealing with infections.

While officials say there is not an urgent threat of MERS to the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is taking extra precautions given the situation in South Korea and the potential that one sick traveler could bring the virus back to the U.S. 

Officials are changing the way they collect data and detect cases on MERS, as well as working with the World Health Organization to better understand the virus. The CDC recommends that Americans traveling outside the U.S. take basic precautions such as frequently washing their hands and avoiding contact with people who appear ill. The CDC is also urging health professionals to be on the lookout for potential cases, taking extra care to examine patients who have traveled recently to countries affected by the outbreaks or had contact with someone exposed to the virus. 

Because the international cases have been traced to patients who traveled after contacting the virus — all the infections so far have been linked back to countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula — the CDC has been working with airports specifically to help them identify ill passengers and report them properly to the organization. Officials caution that the virus' flu-like symptoms, such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath, can make it difficult to diagnose. 

There is currently no travel ban to South Korea or any of the Middle Eastern countries affected by MERS. In fact, travel has more than doubled from 2000 to 2010 in the Middle Eastern region, according to the United Nations World Travel Organization. 

And despite concerns about travelers carrying the virus to new places, officials in at least one major U.S.  airport are currently not taking additional precautions. Nancy Suey Castles, public relations director at Los Angeles International Airport, said while the airport has six daily flights entering and exiting the Incheon/Seoul International Airport, it has not made any changes to patrons’ arrivals or departures.

Castles said that if they did come in contact with a passenger who was infected with MERS, the protocol would be the same as any other sick passenger: separating them from the public, examining them and possibly transporting the patient to a hospital.

Despite its potentially deadly effects, treating MERS as any other virus is the ticket for best possible treatment, says Marie Forszt, director of marketing for Indianapolis' Community Hospital, which handled the first U.S. MERS case in 2014.

“Because it was the first case, no one had a specific process but it was an infectious disease,” Forszt said. “It wasn’t specific to MERS, but we just did what we do with every single case.”

She said the key to dealing with any infectious disease is to remain on high alert and keeping up with the CDC protocols.

“Shortly after MERS happened, Ebola ramped up,” she said. “There’s always some type of infectious disease, the process is the same no matter what the name is. We muddy the message when we have specific processes for MERS or a specific virus.” 

Being prepared to start that process of treating and containing cases is key, experts say, cautioning that as long as the virus spreads overseas, the U.S. will remain at risk.

“I don’t think anything in the Middle East will change quickly, specifically in Saudi Arabia,” Daszak said. “It will continue to spill into Saudi Arabia and around the world… people think South Korea is so far away, but it’s only one flight away.”

Mexican Artisan Launches Donald Trump Pinata


After Donald Trump's Mexico-bashing comments this week, Mexicans are engaging in a little Trump-bashing of their own.

Call it revenge, Mexican style. Artisan Dalton Avalos Ramirez launched a Trump pinata Friday, featuring The Donald's inimitable hairstyle and a big, big mouth.

The papier-mache figure will come in a variety of sizes. The first was on display at the Pinatas Ramirez store in the border city of Reynosa.

Avalos Ramirez said he created it "because of the hatred Trump expressed for the Mexican people."

He said "people want to burn the pinatas, they want to break them. People are angry."

During his presidential campaign kickoff speech Tuesday, Trump accused Mexican immigrants of bringing drugs, crime and rapists to the U.S.

It isn't the first pinata the Ramirez store has made of a controversial figure. Avalos Ramirez said he made Miley Cyrus models after the singer used a Mexican flag against her buttocks prosthesis during a show in 2014.

Previous pinata-worthy figures included Kim Kardashian and Dutch soccer player Arjen Robben, who knocked Mexico out of the 2014 World Cup on a questioned penalty.

Traditionally, children in Mexico use sticks to break open candy-filled pinatas on birthdays and holidays.

Photo Credit: AP
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Police: Shots Fired Near BU


A man is dead following a police-involved shooting near Boston University on Friday afternoon.

Massachusetts State Police said the incident started on the Esplanade shortly after 2 p.m. when BU Police searching for someone wanted on warrants out of Roxbury District Court encountered a man matching the suspect's description.

The man brandished a knife and ran from police, crossing Storrow Drive and ultimately making his way to the Silber Footbridge.

There, the man encountered a state trooper who was crossing the bridge. The man again brandished the knife and refused requests to drop the weapon, and the trooper shot and killed him. State police would not say how many shots were fired.

State Police Superintendent Col. Timothy Alben said the man who was killed had a "substantial, long criminal history." His name was not released, but police said they believe they know who he is.

Aerial footage of the scene showed an area near the bridge cordoned off with crime scene tape, and a yellow blanket or tarp covering what appeared to be a body on the bridge itself. The bridge is located near Back Street and Storrow Drive, not far from the Charles River.

An extensive crime scene has been set up near the footbridge. Boston EMS and a large number of state and Boston University Police are at the scene and a police boat is in the river.

BU students sitting nearby said they heard gunfire. One witness said she saw a police officer chasing someone who appeared to be running or jogging in the area.

Prosecutors from the Suffolk County District Attorney's office are at the scene and will lead the investigation to determine whether criminal charges are warranted in connection with the use of lethal force.

Photo Credit: necn
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Wet Father's Day Ahead


All eyes are on the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill through the Father's Day weekend.

Though there will be some sun early Saturday, clouds will rapidly increase through the day. Temperatures will be in the lower 70s and showers move in late.

The remnants of Bill arrive Sunday. Heavy rain is possible in the morning, before it tapers to scattered showers later in the day.

Some indications are for several inches of rain, while other signs point to a soaker but not enough rain to cause issues. Currently, it would only take two to three inches of rain in a three hour period to cause flash flooding.

Humidity levels will surge to near oppressive levels on Father’s Day with temperatures stuck in the 70s.

Dry weather returns Monday, with temperatures in the 80s, but it doesn’t last. Clouds return Tuesday with the chance for showers.

Stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert weather team for the very latest forecast on-air, online and on the app.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Wolf Pack Surprises Super Fan for His Birthday


Shane Leitao, a Wolf Pack super fan, wanted a Wolf Pack birthday cake, but his family and the team delivered something much more. They created a moment that Shane will cherish forever.

Shane has gone to games with his family for a few years, but there was something special about this year, his sister, Irene Leitao, said.

As 20-game Pack members, the family attended several games and Irene said her brother’s love for the team grew through the season and the playoffs.

Shane, who has Down syndrome, just turned 39 and he wanted a Wolf Pack cake for his birthday.

Irene said they made that happen and more.

She gathered up her Wolf Pack gear and the whole party took on a Wolf Pack-theme. She also arranged for a special guest to arrive – Sonar the mascot.

The birthday party was last weekend at home in Enfield.

At first, Shane looked a little disappointed, Irene said. He wanted the whole team to come.

But hen Sonar the mascot arrived and the smile across Shane’s face became electric.

The family recorded as Shane ran over to Sonar and gave him a huge hug.

Irene said she didn’t think Shane would let go until the family asked him to turn around for a photo.

The Wolf pack Tweeted out the video on Friday.

And Sonar Tweeted that he celebrated a birthday with one of his biggest fans.

Shane is already set for next season. He has opening day marked in his calendar.

Photo Credit: Submitted
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Group Made Fake 5-Hour Energy: DOJ


Eleven people, including six San Diego County residents, have been charged with illegally manufacturing and distributing a counterfeit 5-Hour Energy drink that was sold in stores across the U.S.

The defendants include 63-year-old Joseph Shayota of El Cajon; 44-year-old Adriana Shayota of El Cajon; 51-year-old Kevin Attiq of El Cajon; 57-year-old Fadi Attiq of El Cajon; 55-year-old Mario Ramirez of San Diego; and 30-year-old Camilo Ramirez of San Diego.

They are charged with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce.

Federal prosecutors said the case started as a legitimate business venture – the Shayotas made an agreement with the manufacturers of 5-Hour Energy to distribute the product in Mexico and provide Spanish-language labeling.

The Shayotas with the help of others, however, instead allegedly sold it in the United States at a higher price than the intended Mexico product. They repackaged more than 350,000 bottles to sell, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Then, prosecutors said, the defendants moved to creating their own version of the 5-Hour Energy Drink.

“The defendants mixed unregulated ingredients in plastic vats while attempting to mimic the real 5-Hour Energy products,” the news release said.

The group is alleged to have manufactured the counterfeit product at an unsanitary facility using untrained workers.

Between May 2012 and December 2012, the group distributed more than four million bottles of counterfeit 5-Hour Energy into commercial channels throughout the country, the indictment alleges.

Those include local wholesale distributors Dan-Dee Company Inc. of Spring Valley, Tradeway International Inc. of San Diego and Trimexico Inc. of El Centro.

Prosecutors said the group also sold the fake product to stores throughout the country, including 7-Eleven, CVS, Circle K and Chevron. None of the stores are in San Diego County, though a number of them are in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.

“This alleged counterfeit operation was especially egregious as the investigation revealed this product was sold, distributed and placed on the shelves of numerous retailers throughout the United States,” FDA Special Agent Lisa Malinowski said in the news release.

The defendants, who appeared in U.S. District Court in San Jose, will appear in court next on July 9. They were ordered to be released on $100,000 bond.

NBC San Diego is attempting to contact the defendants or their attorneys. Attempts to reach Kevin Attiq Friday afternoon were unsuccessful. We made a phone call to Dan-Dee Company and a representative hung up.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Norwich Investigation Connected to Death of Woman


Norwich police and state police spent Friday afternoon investigating inside a Norwich home on Crossway Street.

The investigation is connected to the homicide of a woman who was found dead on Monday a few blocks away on Spaulding Street, according to state police.

Casey Chadwick's death was ruled a homicide.

Troopers from the State Police Major Crimes Squad were wearing gloves and protective suits as they went in and out of the second floor of the apartment building at 5 Crossway Street.

State police would only say they were assisting Norwich police in the homicide investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Facebook Data Shows Clinton and Sanders Most Discussed


Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders lead the pack of presidential candidates in early primary states — at least in terms of Facebook likes and interactions.

Discussion on the social network in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire -- early primary states -- over the last several months has focused mostly on the two Democrats, according to data provided by Facebook.

The data runs from May 13 to June 13, and ends before Donald Trump entered the race. Facebook's data includes all mentions and doesn't discern between negative and positive mentions. 

In all three states, Hillary Clinton dominated interactions, which are composed of likes, shares, posts, and comments about the candidate. For example, 66,000 unique users in Iowa had 289,000 interactions about the former Secretary of State.

Clinton came out as the clear frontrunner in South Carolina, and had 104,000 people making 460,000 interactions about her. The next closest candidate in the state was U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who garnered 132,000 interactions from 34,000 people.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) paced closely with Clinton.

In New Hampshire -- a state that abuts Sanders' Vermont -- he enjoyed 123,000 discussions among 23,000 unique users compared with Clinton's 145,000 interactions among 145,000 unique users.

Rounding out the 18 candidates presented in the data fall former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. Pataki had only had roughly 2,000 interactions across all three states, while O'Malley did slightly better, getting 5,000 interactions in New Hampshire and South Carolina and 3,000 interactions in Iowa.  

SoCal Fire Burns Thousands of Acres


A massive wildfire blazing its way through mountainsides in the San Bernardino National Forest was being felt as far away as Arizona.

The fire was burning over 17 square miles near Big Bear Friday, threatening about 150 structures, according to Lyn Sieliet, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.

The blaze in the area of Jenks Lake in the Barton Flats was approximately 10,000 acres in size as of Thursday night, and it grew an additional 1,000 acres by Friday morning. It was 10 percent contained, a five percent increase on the previous day, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire was dropping ash and hurting air quality in Joshua Tree National Park, the National Park Service said Friday morning, advising that anyone with breathing issues not to undertake strenuous exercise in the park under the conditions.

The Lake Fire, as it's being called, has been burning timber and grass, and prompted more than 150 people to be evacuated. It was reported just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, and is burning east of Camp de Benneville Pines south of Jenks Lake Road. its cause is under investigation.

Resources deployed include 88 engines, one air tanker, 10 helicopters, an air attack plane and 28 crews. In total 1,224 firefighters were working the fire Friday. The thick smoke foiled some attempts to attack the blaze from the air.

The fire grew partly because winds gusted up to 35 mph Thursday. Winds pushed smoke from the fire east into Arizona.

The plume was visible from space, according to NASA satellite imagery.

Highway 38 is closed between Angelus Oaks to Lake Williams, and Jenks Lake Road is closed as well. All Hiking Trails into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area have been closed due to the proximity of the fire to many hiking trails. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is closed from Whitewater Preserve to Onyx Summit.

Twenty to 25 residences were evacuated on Rainbow Lane in the Onyx Summit area by Thursday morning, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Campground evacuations include 120 people from Camp de Benneville Pines, one person from Camp Ta Ta Pochon, 24 people from Camp Alpine Meadows, 23 people from Camp Edwards, and 10 people from Camp Tulakes. Children from the camps were bused to Citrus Valley High School in Redlands to be reunited with their parents.

Evacuations also were ordered along Highway 38, east of Angelus Oaks to Onyx Summit.

Wildfire activity in California is nearly double the average for this time of year after a dry and warm winter, according to CalFire. The state fire agency responded to more than 1,100 wildfires that charred more than 4,200 acres between the start of the year and May.

Conditions are much drier than normal across the state, raising the risk of rapidly spreading fires.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC

Police Pull Body From Bridgeport Harbor


Bridgeport police pulled a body from the water in Bridgeport Harbor Friday morning.

A police officer in Seaside Park noticed what appeared to be a body in the water and the Bridgeport Police Marine Unit recovered it around 11:20 a.m., police said.

Detectives are investigating the incident and whether it is connected to the report of a missing passenger from the Port Jefferson Ferry.

Police said the victim is male, but did not release his identity.

Bystanders Rescue Victim Out After Crash and Car Fire


Bystanders pulled a victim from a car that was on fire after it struck a tree in North Haven Friday morning.

Officials said they received reports of the crash at Bassett Road and Bradley Street at 8:10 a.m. and learned there was a minor fire in the car, according to the fire department.

When firefighters arrived, the victim was already out of the car, thanks to witnesses and bystanders.

Firefighters treated the patient for injuries and provided emergency care. An ambulance then brought the victim to the hospital.

Police are investigating.

Fairfield Launches Awareness Campaign to Reduce Deaths in Hot Cars


The city of Fairfield has launched a program to remind drivers of the dangers of leaving children and pets in their vehicle are signs are going up in parking lots around town.

The signs have a simple message for a serious problem: "If you love them don't leave them. Heat Kills."

On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year in the United States, according to kidsandcars.org.

Fairfield officials hope the signs help them avoid becoming part of that statistic.

“Even if you’re running in the store for a minute. It always takes more than a minute," Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a car in direct sunlight can reach life-threatening levels in 10 minutes. When it’s 80 degrees outside, the inside of the car can reach 131 degrees inside.

But even on a cool and cloudy day, a car’s internal temperature can rise above 110 degrees.

“By the time a child or an animal is left in a motor vehicle and forgotten about, it’s already too late," Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara.

Statistics show that 55 percent of children who die in a hot car are left inside by accident.

A third of children die by getting in a car on their own and becoming trapped, which is why police say you should always lock your car.

Fairfield police are also encouraging residents to pick up the phone not only to report children left in a vehicle but also to report when pets are.

“They know it’s wrong, but they don’t if it rises to the level of calling the police. We’re telling people, ‘Yes it is.’ It’s an act of animal cruelty to leave an animal in a hot car," said Rep. Brenda Kupchick, a Republican representing the 132 nd District, which includes Fairfield.

Officials said Fairfield is one of the first municipalities in the state to launch the program, but they hope they’re not the last.

Learn more from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Boy Calls 911 on Home Invaders


A 12-year-old Massachusetts boy who was home alone locked himself in the bathroom and quickly called police after he heard someone breaking in Thursday, helping police capture the home invaders.

Brockton police say they got the 911 call just after 3 p.m. Thursday from the boy, who was locked in an upstairs bathroom in his home on Hillberg Avenue.

"They said, 'Is there anywhere you can go? and I said, 'No, 'cause they're already upstairs,'" Lou told necn, recalling what dispatchers told him to do. Although still fearful, the 12-year-old boy and his mother shared their ordeal with necn first.

Police say when responding officers arrived, they saw two men holding electronics through the back window, and that after the men spotted police, they dropped everything and ran.

Authorities say they found the men hiding in a basement bathroom.

Thirty-three-year-old Daniel Charles Griffin of Plymouth and 19-year-old Khary Daise of Boston face charges, including felony breaking and entering.

Brockton Police Lt. Kenneth Grice told the Brockton Enterprise that the 12-year-old was found unharmed.

"It has to be a scary situation for him," LeGrice told the Enterprise, adding, "He did the right thing in dialing 911 as soon as he though something was not right. There was no hesitation on his part, which is great."

Lou's mother recalls feeling that she was going to lose the 12-year-old boy she still calls her baby.

"When I heard him whispering and I got on the phone with the dispatcher, I thought that was it," his mother told necn.

Lou's mom says he was smart and kept his phone hidden until one of the robbers broke down the bathroom door and found him hiding in the tub.

"He said, 'Stay in there!' Like he yelled it. And he lunged at me, but he didn't come at me. As soon as he said one word, I started bawling like I couldn't stop crying," Lou said.

Lou's mother said the ordeal has been traumatic.

"I think this is by far one of the worst experiences that I've ever had to go through just knowing that I was that far away, that my hands were tied, that I couldn't protect him," Lou's mother said.

Griffin and Daise are set to be arraigned Friday. It's not clear if either has an attorney. 

Photo Credit: Brockton Police Department

Mercedes Slams Into Chipotle


A Mercedes sedan driven by a woman in her 60s failed to negotiate a turn out of a parking garage and crashed through a window of a Chipotle restaurant in Los Angeles County injuring eight people Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The crash occurred just before 2 p.m. in the 4500 block of Pico Boulevard in the Mid-City area, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

One person was trapped underneath the car after the crash and two people were struck near the entrance, said Tony Im, a spokesman with the Los Angeles Police Department. Three victims had serious injuries, five had minor cuts and bruises. None were life threatening.

Witnesses say it sounded like an earthquake when the car hit the building.

"Everyone in the store heard a loud crash or bang but we didn't know what it was and came out and saw the car into the Chipotle," said Ryan Kazmer.

Ryan Gonzalez said he saw workers open the car door and try to talk to the driver and get towels.

"So there may have been blood," he said.

Nobody from Chioptle has been authorized to speak about the crash.

But the mother of one of the workers rushed to the scene to make sure her son was OK.

She said she had worried about accidents like this because just a few days ago - the mall installed white traffic barriers on the ramp leading up to the rooftop plaza - and drivers were having trouble negotiating the turn.

The other businesses remain open. There was no immediate word on whether the mall would make changes to the ramp.

Photo Credit: NewsChopper4-KNBCTV

Popular Southington Lights Display Goes Dark For Good


It's the sights and sounds in Southington that have brightened the holidays for thousands of families over the years.

Now the mastermind behind the stunning 50,000 light display known as "Lights on Lovley" is shutting it down, packing up, and moving on.

"I got a job offer in Florida, so we're moving out of the state. So we had to stop doing the show," said Howard Burke, the creator of "Lights on Lovley."

Every winter families from across the state made the trek to this small corner of Southington that lit up the neighborhood. For the Burke family it was a way to bring joy as well as collect donations for the local food bank.

Last year the show's popularity soared as the lights twinkled to songs from Disney's Frozen. It forced police to step in and control the crowd.

"We got traffic back up for a couple miles just trying to get into the neighborhood, so we had to shut it down before Christmas," said Burke.

The lights are all boxed up now, and the ones that don't go to Lake Compounce are available for families to make their own displays. A tag sale this weekend will see the last of the decorations leave the home on Lovley Drive. Burke says he won't be able to bring the show to Florida, but he'll take the memories with him when he leaves.

"I think just seeing all the kids out there singing along with the music, it was great to see that," said Burke. "Looking forward to moving to a warmer climate for the winter, but definitely going to miss doing that."

The tag sale takes place this weekend from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Camp Courant Employee Dies After Insect Bite


A long-time employee of Hartford’s Camp Courant died suddenly today, according to a statement from the camp board.

The incident occured on camp grounds in Farmington. Camp officials say they believe an insect sting was what caused the death. Once the sting was reported, the worker was transported by Farmington Emergency Services to John Dempsey Hospital where he later died.

“The Board and staff of Hartford’s Camp Courant are shocked and saddened by the unexpected death of a long-time staff member at the Camp’s location in Farmington this morning,” the camp’s interim director McKinley Albert said in a statement. “Our condolences go out to his family.”

An exterminator has been called out to inspect for insect nests and remove them if necessary.

No children were on the camp grounds during the incident.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hate Crime Suspect Arrested with Help of Social Media


Steve Boddie is just trying to fulfill his dream of opening his own restaurant. But a racial slur on the outside back wall of the soon-to-be Stevie B's was there to greet him early June 6th.

"It said, 'Stevie B' - that would be me - 'is a n-----,'" Boddie explained to NBC Connecticut on Friday, hours after West Haven Police had arrested 60-year-old Edward Mattei, who lives near the establishment.

"I immediately called the police. They came out and took a report," said Boddie.

Fortunately, the budding restaurateur had had security in mind from early on.

"I knew I had just installed two new cameras outside," Boddie smiled, "so I went down to go find out if I could figure out who did this, and, lo and behold, as I'm running back to video feed, there he was".

Boddie shared the video with law enforcement, but the real break for him and for police came after Boddie posted the same footage on Facebook.

"It went viral. I got tons of feedback - good feedback - folks knew this guy, had seen him in the neighborhood before".

A relieved Boddie says he's naturally offended as he describes the offender's actions as captured by the camera eye.

"He walks a few steps, spits on the ground, turns around and kind of admires his work, and then he wanders off through the parking lot".

But his resourcefulness in posting the video is matched by his sense of humor, despite the offense.

"[The offender] didn't know how to spell my name," Boddie said with a laugh, "so he had to look on my door sign!"

Boddie says he actually saw the man in the video, days later in the same alley, and confronted him, only to receive a puzzling reply.

"When I asked him why he wrote on the wall, his response was that he was merely inquiring as to whether or not the owner of this establishment was African-American".

Only a few moments is all it takes to sense that Boddie is serious about his business and doesn't suffer fools gladly...

"I don't have that bias, I love everyone as if they were my own family, I can't control this person," he says.

But his response when asked what he would do if the perpetrator were to come in to the restaurant as a patron is gracious.

"His thoughts are his thoughts, and I don't hate him because of his thoughts," Boddie postulated, "I hate what he did; I hate the act. But, him as a person? I'd buy him a beer".

Stevie B's is located at 555 Campbell Avenue in West Haven. Boddie says his target opening night is Friday, July 17th.

Skateboarder Hit by Vehicle in Vernon


A teenager riding a skateboard was rushed to the hospital after being hit by a vehicle in Vernon Friday afternoon.

The accident happened on Orchard Street near Village Street around 5:30 p.m., according to police.

Orchard Street was shut down at Union Street, police said.

A Lifestar helicopter was called to the scene to transport the young male.  Police said the teen suffered significant injuries.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Alert Bus Driver Honored for Thwarting 3-Year-Old's Kidnapping


An alert bus driver who helped rescue a 3-year-old who had just been kidnapped from the Milpitas library earlier this month was honored Friday for his actions.

Tim Watson, a Fremont resident, has been called a hero for the way he calmly thwarted the kidnapping once he realized a boy on his bus matched the description from an alert about the child. He calmly delivered the boy to police without tipping off the kidnapper.

Watson was recognized in a ceremony by Santa Clara County and Valley Transportation Authority officials. The 48-year-old bus driver was also flown into the San Jose Giants stadium Friday night by a county sheriff's helicopter to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"Bus operator Tim Watson was such an integral part of the team effort," VTA General Manager and CEO Nuria Fernandez said.

Watson was driving his bus toward the Fremont bus station on June 5 when he got an alert from dispatch: Be on the lookout for a 3-year-old boy with plaid shorts and red shoes, the very description of a boy who was crying and seated with a man in the backseat of his bus. 

The boy's mother had reported him missing from the library in Milpitas, which is located about 45 miles southeast of San Francisco. 

Watson was told to make his way to the Fremont BART station where police would be waiting, a 10-minute drive. Watson stayed calm.

Once at the BART station, Watson waited for police to get in position then opened the door. Police arrested the suspected kidnapper, 23-year-old Alfonso David Edington, of Pittsburg, and took the boy to safety.

Watson credits the training he received for foiling the kidnapping attempt about an hour after it was reported.

The training provided by Santa Clara County helps people recognize the red flags when a person has been kidnapped or held against their will.

Watson was one of 750 county bus drivers who took the training in April.

"We just had a human trafficking training in April," Watson said. "It does help us to react in these situations."

VTA on Friday also recognized other workers and emergency responders who played a role in foiling the kidnapping.

"We can see now the value of that training in a real-life heroic instance," Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese said.

Watson's actions does not come as a surprise to his family.

"If you know him it's just part of his nature to be this way," said his wife, Jennifer Watson. "He's the type to run into the trouble whereas somebody else might run away from it."

Watson at the time of his heroic actions had only been on the job for six months and was on probation. He was made a full-time staff member on Friday by the VTA as part of the ceremony.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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