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OnStar Stops Carjacking


A stolen truck was recovered and a man was arrested after an OnStar system disabled the vehicle during a carjacking east of Los Angeles Saturday night, authorities said.

The man was arrested on suspicion of carjacking after he allegedly pulled a 74-year-old out of his Chevy Silverado, knocked the man to the ground and stomped on his head near the 500 block of West Arrow Highway in San Dimas. The man fought back, but the suspect drove off in the truck.

OnStar was activated in the truck and deputies followed it onto the southbound 57 Freeway for an eight-minute pursuit, durign which the driver reach speeds around 90 mph. OnStar disabled the vehicle, slowing it down to 5 mph.

The system can use GPS to pinpoint a vehicle when it is reported stolen. An OnStar adviser can then send a signal that slows the vehicle and prevents it from restarting.

Deputies said the thief exited the disabled truck on his own, complied with orders and was taken into custody.

The 74-year-old man was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries. No one was injured in the pursuit and no collisions occurred.

Photo Credit: Southern Counties News

Police Investigating Larceny at South Windsor Apple Store


Police are trying to identify a man in connection with a larceny at the Apple Store in South Windsor.

Little information has been released, but police said an $1,800 fraudulent charge card use was reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Tina Mazzoccoli at 860-644-2551.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

"I Need Help": Pilot Reported Engine Problems Before Fatal Crash Into Home


The pilot of a small plane that plunged into a Plainville, Massachusetts, home Sunday, reported engine problems before the fatal crash, newly released audio communications show. 

"We got real bad vibrations. We are losing engines," the pilot said to an air traffic control tower before requesting to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport.

The audio transmission released Monday details the final moments before the Beechcraft BE36, headed to Norwood Memorial Airport from Lancaster Airport in Pennsylvania, went down around 5:45 p.m., killing three people on board.

The control tower is heard suggesting two airports and a field where the pilot can make an emergency landing. Unfamiliar with the area and quickly loosing altitude, the pilot is then directed to land the plane on interstate 495.

"We have no engine. We're IMC. I need help," the pilot appeals.

Massachusetts State Police say two adults and a child were on board the plane that crashed into the two-story colonial on Bridle Path. The victims have been identified as Dr. Joseph Rick Kalister, his wife Betty, and their daughter, according to the director of Starr Regional Hospital Business Development.

"The interstate is the best thing I have at the moment," the air traffic controller said.

As the plane is guided to the highway, the pilot stops responding to calls from the tower before the aircraft disappears from the radar.

Homeowner Aaron Rice said his wife and two sons were on the second floor of the house when the aircraft plummeted through the roof.

"We heard a loud bang. As some of our neighbors have said, we live close to a quarry, so you're use to explosions here and the house shaking," Rice told reporters outside the wreckage of his home. "But when I saw the fireball go down in the back of the house, we realized it was a little more serious than that."

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are on the scene investigating the cause of the crash. The transmission will be a key piece of evidence.

"I have to say that while we suffered great tragedy here today, with the death of the occupants of this plane, the miracle today is that four occupants of that home that was severely damaged by fire - a very rapidly spreading fire - were able to safely escape," Massachusetts Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said. "They lost a lot of personal possessions, but they're all safe tonight."

Photo Credit: Mac Takach
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Car Owner Arrested After BBs Hit Victim


Police are trying to identify the man who shot a 19-year-old woman in the face with a BB or pellet gun and they have arrested the man who owns the car the shots were fired from.

Police responded to Meadowbrook Court in West Haven around 7 p.m. on Sunday after receiving reports that a woman had been shot in the face.

The victim was shot below her eye and transported to an area hospital, police said.

As officers investigated, they learned the victim had been in a vehicle with two other females and a male when a second vehicle with three males inside pulled up next to them and the groups got into an argument, police said.

One of males in the second vehicle shot twice at the other car, hitting the passenger window and shattered it.

The second shot hit the victim, police said.

Officers found the registered owner, Laele Overton, 29, of West Haven. He denied being involved and refused to identify his passengers.

Overton was arrested on drug related charges for possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell.

Police are still trying to identify the shooter.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Couple Arrested on Weapons Charge After Sex Act on Beach


A man and woman who were engaging in a sexual act on a West Haven beach were arrested on weapons charges early Saturday morning.

Police said they were dispatched to the beach across from Chicks Restaurant around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday after receiving reports of a female screaming “No.”

As officers responded, they found a man and a woman under a wooden staircase.

As police approached the male ran, so officers chased him and caught him near East Avenue, police said.

The woman remained where police originally saw her.

Police said they found a loaded .25 caliber handgun near the couple’s clothing.

The serial number was scratched off and neither person admitted owning it.

The couple told police they met on the beach and were engaged in a sexual act.

Gregory Mclaurin, 20, of New Haven, and Velia Portillo, 24, of Bridgeport, were charged with criminal possession of a pistol, alteration of a firearm, illegal carry and interfering with police.

Police said Mclaurin, a convicted felon with several felony convictions for firearm offenses, had been released from prison on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Burglar Broke Into Safe of Hamden Home


A burglar broke into a Hamden home on Friday, found a safe, carried it to the basement and used the resident’s tools to open it, according to police.

The owner of a Twinbrook Road residence came home on Friday to find a silver, newer model sedan in his driveway.

Then, he saw a man come from the back of the house, get in the car and speed away, police said.

After the car was gone, the homeowner realized that someone had broken into the house, found the safe, carried it to the basement and used the homeowner’s tools to open it.

It’s not clear what was stolen.

The man seen leaving the area was described as “middle-aged,” tall, with an average build and short hair. He fled toward Belair Road.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective William Onofrio at the Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Division at (203) 230-4040.

Swab Summer Begins at Coast Guard Academy


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Many Chances for Rain This Week


After a wet, cloudy weekend, the start to the work week isn’t much better. An abundance of clouds today will keep temperatures in the 70s. There can be a spot sprinkle, but overall there will be more peeks of sun as the day wears on.

A dry window of weather arrives on Tuesday, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 80s inland and 70s at the shore. From a humidity standpoint, it will be a comfortable day!

By Tuesday night, a warm front will move over the region and result in scattered showers and increasing humidity. Temperatures will be quite warm in the mid-60s.

Numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout Wednesday, and some of the storms could be strong to severe. It all depends on how much warm air is able to sneak into the region. For now, the forecast is for temperatures in 80s inland.

Unfortunately, the threat of showers and thunderstorms doesn’t go away with the passage of the cold front.

A developing wave of low pressure over Kentucky will ride along the stalled front and help feed in more showers for Thursday.

The track of the storm will determine whether Friday features a soaking rain or just clouds and a few showers.

It will likely be humid with dew points well into the 60s.

The big ticket item in the extended forecast is obviously July Fourth. It’s too far out to etch anything into stone, but most of the holiday weekend appears dry and seasonably warm with high pressure in command.

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

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Burglar Broke Into Hamden Home as Residents Slept


Police are searching for the person or people who burglarized a Hamden home as the residents were sleeping on Monday morning.

The culprits removed a screen from the kitchen window to get into a Morse Street home and stole the homeowner’s wallet and a blue 2012 Ford Escape with Connecticut registration 1AHDR7.

Police said the burglary happened between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. and officers were dispatched around 5 a.m.

Anyone with information should call the Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Division at (203) 230-4040.

Stranded Calif. Woman Gives Birth in Forest


An Oroville, California, woman who gave birth while stranded in a forest, survived on apples and water for three days before being rescued with her newborn daughter.

When Amber Pangborn, 35, began having contractions while driving in South Oroville, she decided to take the back roads to her parents' home for help. But as the traveled down French Creek Road in the Plumes National Forest, her car ran out of gas and she lost cell phone service, NBC affiliate KCRA reported. Then, she gave birth.

For the next three days, Pangborn survived off of just four apples and some water as she tried to seek help while protecting her daughter, Marissa.

At one point, they were attacked by bees and mosquitoes.

“They [the bees] were trying to get the placenta, and I was not letting them sting her, and I got stung trying to keep them away from the baby, but they wanted the placenta," Pangborn said.

Mother and child were rescued after Pangborn set a signal fire on Saturday that eventually burned out of control and caught the attention of a U.S. Forestry fire protection system.

“I think Mommy just started a forest fire,” Pangborn recalled telling her daughter.

The two were discovered by a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection helicopter and saved by a rescue team from the Forestry Department. Pangborn and her daughter were admitted to a local hospital later that day. Marissa was transported to UC Davis Medical Center on Sunday for further evaluation. 

$2 Million Bond for Man Charged in Hartford Shooting


A man arrested in connection with a shooting that killed one man and injured two others appeared in court on Monday and bond was set at $2 million.

The shooting happened during a basketball tournament near a Hartford elementary school on Saturday afternoon and Roosevelt "Roe" Holmes, 23, of Windsor, was arrested on Sunday morning in connection with it.

The victim killed was identified as James Headen, 41, of Hartford. He was shot in the head and died after being transported to the hospital/

Holmes suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.  It’s not clear whether another shooter fired the shots that injured Holmes or whether they were self-inflicted.

Justin Jones, 23, of Hartford, was shot in the hip or groin and Shawn Patterson, 24, of Hartford, was shot in the hand.

Police responded to the city park near the Sarah J. Rawson Elementary School at 260 Holcomb Street around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday after receiving 911 calls reporting several gunshots.

Police arrived to find a chaotic scene, with several people running from the area.

The shooting happened during the "Heat on the Street" basketball tournament, which was not officially sanctioned. School officials said the tournament was on school property, but no one requested permission to use the courts.

An ambulance transported Headen to St. Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:49 p.m. on Saturday. Police said he, "by all accounts was an innocent bystander," as were the other victims.

Police took Holmes into custody after the hospital released him and said he got into a dispute during the tournament.

He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, criminal attempt at first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

Police originally held him on a $1 million bond, but it has been raised to $2 million.

It's unclear who the altercation involved, but police said it didn't appear to be with any of the other three people shot.

They also said Holmes was not playing in the tournament.

The shooting happened on what police consider a quiet street in a neighborhood were crime does not happen.

Major crimes detectives continue to investigate the homicide.
Hartford police ask any witnesses to contact the department and share any videos potentially taken during the shooting. Tips can also be made anonymously through the police department's website.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Death Penalty Foes Expect More Botched Executions


The continued use of the controversial sedative midazolam to put prisoners to death, upheld on Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court, will mean more challenges and more botched executions, predicted an official with the American Civil Liberties Union.

The case against midazolam was brought by three other death-row inmates in Oklahoma after several prolonged executions sparked renewed controversy about lethal injections.

"Midazolam doesn't work," said Cassandra Stubbs, the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, which works to repeal the death penalty. "They were not unconscious."

In the 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the drug, midazolam, could be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual suffering.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said prisoners objecting to the drug's use failed to identify an alternative method that had less risk of pain.

"I think the sweeping holding here that a defendant could be tortured and that would be okay unless they are able to come up with an alternative method, I think that is a mistake," Stubbs said. "I don’t think the Constitution stands for that."

The majority also said that a lower court had not made a mistake when it found that the prisoners "failed to establish that Oklahoma's use of a massive dose of midazolam in its execution protocol entails a substantial risk of severe pain."

Oklahoma's attorney general, Scott Pruitt, said Oklahoma would now set execution dates for the three inmates, Richard Glossip, Benjamin Cole and John Grant.

"State officials act deliberately and thoughtfully in carrying out this responsibility," he said in a statement. "This marks the eighth time a court has reviewed and upheld as constitutional the lethal injection protocol used by Oklahoma."

Challengers argued because midazolam was not a barbituate, it failed to cause a coma-like state, leaving open the possibility that the other drugs injected afterward would cause an excruciating death. They had questioned Oklahoma's key expert witness who defended the use of the drug but seemed to rely on the website, www.drugs.com.

Sister Sister Helen Prejean tweeted: "The Supreme Court's decision in Glossip v. Gross allows for continued experimentation on death row inmates. The drug doesn't work."

In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, "Under the court's new rule, it would not matter whether the state intended to use midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death, or actually burned at the stake."

The hearing in the case took place a year after a botched execution in Oklahoma captured attention. The prisoner, Clayton D. Lockett, regained consciousness and as he writhed and moaned prison, officials tried to stop the execution. He died after 43 minutes. State officials later said the intravenous line was inserted improperly.

Two other executions, of Joseph Wood in Ohio and Dennis McGuire in Arizona, took longer than expected and the inmates were heard gasping.

"I think a lot of the questions about lethal injection will remain because I think states have an interest in not engaging in torture under their own state constitutions," Stubbs said. "And I fully expect that defendants will continue to challenge unconstitutional methods or methods that are torturous."

Stubbs said she hoped that states would stop using midazolam. If they do not, the country will see more botched executions, she said.

"There's no reason to have any confidence in midazolam working," she said. "And nothing the Supreme Court today says changes that."

The case was the first the Supreme Court has considered on lethal injections since 2008. At that time, it found that a three-drug combination in which the barbituate sodium thiopental was the first to be injected was constitutional.

States have had trouble obtaining some of the drugs because manufacturers have refused to sell them for use in executions.

Most states used a three-drug combination until 2009, but after shortages developed they turned to a variety of methods, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Eight states, among them Texas, use a single dose of an anesthetic. Fourteen states have used pentobarbital and another five plan to use it; nine states have used or plan to use compounding pharmacies as an alternative to manufacturers.

A number of other states have looked at other ways to execute inmates — nitrogen gas asphyxiation in Oklahoma, the electric chair in Tennessee and a firing squad in Utah.

As for midazolam, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio and Arizona have used it in three- or two-drug combinations, the Death Penalty Information Center says. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Virginia allow for midazolam, but have not used it.

Photo Credit: AP

Crews Responding for Injured Hiker in Chester

NBC Cuts Ties With Trump Over Immigration Remarks


NBC is ending its business relationship with Donald Trump following the presidential hopeful’s comments about immigrants during the announcement of his campaign.

"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," NBC said in a statement.

NBC said it would no longer air the annual "Miss USA" and "Miss Universe" pageants, which had been a joint venture with Trump.

Trump has already indicated he will not be taking part in the television show "The Apprentice."

"'Celebrity Apprentice' is licensed from Mark Burnett's United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue," NBC said in the statement.

Trump responded to NBC's decision after attending an event in Chicago Monday, saying, "I've had a great relationship with them." He added that NBC didn't want him to run for president because "they wanted me to do 'The Apprentice.'"

"And now with my statements on immigration, which happen to be correct, they are going to take a different stance and that's OK," Trump continued. "Whatever they want to do is OK with me."

"I think as far as ending the relationship, I have to do that because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC," he said. 

Photo Credit: AP

Police Find 1,500 Oxycontin Pills During Traffic Stop


State police stopped a speeding van on Interstate 84 east in Tolland on Friday and found around 1,500 oxycontin pills.

Troopers stopped a white passenger van carrying 14 passengers at 10:30 a.m. and found a plastic bag containing
around 1,500 30-miligram prescription oxycontin pills, worth an estimated $45,000.

Police cited the driver for speeding. Troopers are still investigating and criminal charges are pending.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Exposes Himself to Plainville School Students: Cops


A 54-year-old Plainville man is facing charges after standing nude in front of his apartment window and exposing himself to high school students across the street, according to police.

Police said David J. Marsh  performed a sexual act in front of his window the afternoon of June 15. Marsh’s apartment is across the street from Plainville High School, and police said Marsh was in clear view of students during dismissal time.

High school teachers managed to record Marsh’s actions on video and reported the incident to administrators, who contacted police, authorities said.

Marsh was arrested and charged with public indecency and disorderly conduct. He is due in court July 6.

Photo Credit: Plainville Police Department

Interstate 91 North Reopens in North Haven


Interstate 91 northbound has reopened in the area of exit 10 in North Haven, according to state police.

State police said around 3 p.m. the northbound lanes were shut down at the Route 40 connector and would remain closed for about an hour while they investigated a crash. The Department of Transportation reports a tractor-trailer crashed at exit 10.

There has been no word on injuries. No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Drunken Driver on I-84 Was Going 100 MPH: Police


A 22-year-old woman who police said drove more than 100 miles per hour on the highway and swerved across the road on Sunday morning was drunk, with a blood alcohol level of almost three times the legal limit.

A state trooper saw a swerving vehicle going more than 100 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour zone around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday.

The driver, identified as Andrea Heaton, 22, of Southbury, got off the highway at exit 15 and drove through a red light, police said.

The state trooper noted that Heaton appeared to be drunk, gave her a field sobriety test and charged her with driving under the influence, reckless driving and failure to obey a red light.

A blood alcohol test revealed that Heaton’s blood alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit, according to police.

She was also driving on a license that was suspended for a previous infraction.

She was released on a $1,000 surety bond and is due in Waterbury Superior Court on July 8.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Orange Man Pleads Insanity in Case of Mother's Murder


The young man accused of killing his mother at their home in Orange last summer has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, according to the court.

Timothy Granata was charged with murdering his mother, Claudia Granata, 58, at their house on Wild Rose Drive last July. He was placed on suicide watch and underwent a mental health evaluation in the following months.

Police said Timothy Granata called 911 to report having killed someone the afternoon of July 24, 2014. Investigators arrived to find his mother beaten and stabbed to death. Timothy Granata was 22 years old at the time.

His attorney previously said Timothy Granata was a heavyweight wrestler during his freshman year at Lehigh University and may have taken time off from college to be hospitalized. He could not elaborate on the circumstances.

The Yale School of Medicine lists Timothy Granata's father, Dr. Attilio Granata, as a professor who spent 30 years teaching and practicing medicine at hospitals along the Connecticut shoreline.

Attilio Granata and his wife, born Claudia Dinan, both graduated from the Yale School of Medicine, according to a 1984 wedding announcement in The New York Times.

Timothy Granata will return to court the morning of August 10. The court clerk said he has requested a three-judge panel.

Photo Credit: Orange Police Department/NBCConnecticut.com

Motorcycle Crashes in Ledyard


Authorities are responding to motorcycle crash in Ledyard, according to police.

Police said the crash happened early Monday evening in the area of 95 Lambtown Road. It's not clear if the driver was wearing a helmet. There has been no word on injuries.

The road remains open, but police said officers are at the scene and traffic is moving slowly.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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