Channel: NBC Connecticut
Viewing all 57608 articles
Browse latest View live

Video Shows Officer Striking Felon, Investigation Launched


Hartford police have launched an internal investigation after a video surfaced online showing an officer repeatedly striking a man.

The recording, posted on Facebook and YouTube, garnered more than 130,000 views in the 24 hours after was posted Monday.

Witnesses tell NBC Connecticut the man being hit, identified as 34-year-old Samuel Bryant, had just gone out to buy a wine cooler.

"He was screaming, 'Stop, stop, stop! I’m already on the floor. Stop!' The officer did not listen," said Hartford resident Tatiana Serrano.

Police said the video captures the end of an interaction which began on Mather Street and finished in an alley off of Brook Street on Sunday.

"I’m not here to condemn the officers’ actions nor am I here to justify the actions at this point," Hartford police Chief James Rovella said Tuesday. "There’s a lot to consider. It’s not in a vacuum. That video should not be considered in a vacuum."

Police said officers on patrol spotted Bryant, a convicted felon who was out on parole, drinking from a bottle in a paper bag on Mather Street. They would later discover the bottle was a wine cooler.

Officers questioned Bryant, who, they noticed, had a pocket knife. They thought he may have had a gun and attempted to pat him down and put him in handcuffs, according to police.

Authorities said Bryant then began to struggle with officers and took off. During the fight, Bryant struck an officer in the face and broke his nose, police said.

Officers fired a stun gun at Bryant several times while pursuing him. He continued his combative behavior while they tried to get a hold of him, prompting officers to strike Bryant with a baton to get him on the ground and into handcuffs, according to police.

Bryant was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he received two staples to his head. He was later released into police custody.

One of the officers was also taken to St. Francis Hospital for treatment of a broken nose and bruises.

Police said they later found seven plastic bags of cocaine in Bryant’s jacket and hundreds of dollars in cash.

Bryant is now facing charges of public drinking, interfering with police, assault on police, second-degree assault and possession of narcotics.

NAACP leaders at first called the video "ugly" but now say talking to police helped clear things up.

"Now I feel different because I have been able to see a different picture," said Greater Hartford NAACP President Imam Abdul-Shahid Muhammad Ansari.

According to the police report, Bryant said after his arrest that he was drinking when officers had arrived and "panicked." He said he "didn’t mean to hurt anybody."

Bryant went on to say that after he was beaten and taken down, he told the injured officer, "Hey man, I’m sorry for accidentally hitting you," according to the report.

A supervising sergeant completed a "Use of Less Lethal Force Report" Monday, the day after the incident, and found "the amount of force used by the officer was appropriate and proportional to the resistance used by the suspect."

The chief of police has ordered an internal investigation into the incident, which could take months, if not longer.

Permit Would Have Curbed Violence at Hartford Tournament: Cops


The man who organized the Hartford basketball tournament at which four people were shot Saturday, one fatally, said he tried and failed to obtain a permit for the event, which police said would likely have tempered the violence.

“I went to the public school; they sent me to speak to people at Parks and Rec,” explained Maurice Eastwood. “I was just a ping pong ball in a ping pong game, and they just hit me left right left right. I didn’t know where to go to.”

Jay Headen, 41, died when gunfire erupted. Authorities charged Roosevelt Holmes in the shootings, though his lawyer told reporters Monday that Holmes was firing back at a man who had robbed and shot him first.

Hartford Police Chief James Rovella later said he did not know whether police could charge Eastwood with a crime for holding the event without a permit.

Had a permit been obtained, police would have been present in and around Rawson School during the tournament, according to Rovella.

“This situation could have been avoided,” he said.

Eastwood spoke with reporters Tuesday at Rawson Elementary School, where the violence unfolded, backed by friends and neighbors. He refused to comment on the violence.

“I expected that turnout, you know what I mean? I put hours, weeks and months into everything I do. Anybody that knows me says I’m very genuine,” Eastwood said.

Attack of the Leap Second: Sites Crash Tuesday


Blame the leap second.

Several major sites went down around around after the scheduled leap second on Tuesday evening, including Instagram, Pinterest, Netflix and Amazon.com.

Those sites all rely on Amazon Web Services for their Internet infrastructure. AWS, which powers several other major sites and social media platforms, suffered a connectivity issue between 8:25 p.m. to 9:07 p.m. ET (5:25 p.m. and 6:07 p.m. PT).

The culprit: "We have seen with these reported issues that this has been caused by a leap second bug within the instance operating system," AWS said.

Call it the new Y2K bug — except this one actually did some damage.

"We experienced an Internet connectivity issue with a provider outside of our network," Amazon Web Services said in an announcement on its Service Health Dashboard. "The issue has been resolved and the service is operating normally."

Several other sites were crippled around the same time. Apple's newly launched music streaming service, Beats 1, apparently suffered an outage for nearly 40 minutes, as did task management sites like Asana, Slack and SocialFlow. It wasn't immediately obvious what caused those outages, although a similar "leap second" problem may have been the cause as well.

The leap second, as it's known, is a minute adjustment for the tiny inconsistencies in the length of a day.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Strong Thunderstorms Possible Wednesday


Showers and even a few thunderstorms are expected across Connecticut during the Wednesday morning commute. 

A warm front will bring more humid weather on Wednesday and it's possible a strong thunderstorm or two may develop in the afternoon.

At this point the severe weather threat is low - though any storms that do fire up during the midday and afternoon hours have the potential to become strong. 

High temperatures will be in the lower 80s.

A cold front passes through Wednesday night ushering in drier air and clearing skies for Thursday.

A developing wave of low pressure over Kentucky will ride along the front, but it should get shunted south by a dome of high pressure over the Great Lakes. That means dry weather heading into the weekend!

Temperatures will be in the low-80s Thursday and Friday, with more clouds and sun on Thursday and plentiful sunshine by Friday.

While it’s not a definite yet, the entire holiday weekend looks dry with temperatures in the mid-80s and little in the way of humidity.

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

Woman Hurt After Waterbury Crash


EMS crews are tending to a woman lying in the roadway on Interstate 84 west in Waterbury after a crash near exit 21.

A one-car crash was causing traffic delays as of 8:30 a.m.It's unclear whether the woman was ejected from the car or exited the vehicle on her own.

An ambulance transported her to an area hospital to be evaluated. State police said her injuries don't appear to be major.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: DOT

Mom Arrested After Boy, 4, Left Tied on Leash to Bush


A New York mother was arrested on a child endangerment charge after neighbors reported seeing a 4-year-old boy left alone on a sidewalk, his toddler leash tied to a bush, police say. 

The single mother didn't want to miss a day of work at her babysitting job Tuesday morning, but also had no one to watch her own son, her sister told NBC 4 New York. 

So Mery Quinde-Castro, of Rockland County, brought her son to work at the Blueberry Hill apartment complex in Spring Valley, her sister Rosa said. When she went to take out the trash, she took the boy along with her but he refused to come back into the building. 

Police said that's when she tied his plush backpack toddler leash to a bush and went back in to tend to the baby. She left him her phone so he could watch cartoons, police said.

"I don't think she understood the gravity of what had taken place," said Spring Valley Police Chief Paul Modica. "It could have been bad."

A neighbor called police after reportedly seeing the boy unattended for 45 minutes. The boy's mother said it was 10 minutes, police said. Either way, she was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child endangerment. 

Her sister Rosa Quinde-Castro, who frequently watches her nephew, said the boy is hyperactive and he needs the soft leash to stop him from running into traffic. 

"She did nothing wrong. She is a good mother," said Rosa Quinde-Castro. 

Police said the boy was well cared-for and happy, and there were no signs of abuse. They called it a case of bad judgment. 

"The kid could have disappeared, gotten hurt. It's not the proper thing to do," said Modica. 

Rosa said her sister is working to support herself and her son after the boy's father abandoned the family. She said Mery, who's visibly upset in her mugshot photo, would never do anything to hurt her son.

Mery Quinde-Castro was released on $2,500 cash bail. She left the courthouse to pick up her son afterward, relatives said. 

Multiple Crashes During Stormy Morning Commute


There are multiple crashes statewide as thunderstorms sweep Connecticut during the morning commute.

Visibility may be low on your drive in to work with heavy rain thunderstorms. Water is also building on some roads and highway exits.

Clapboard Road is closed at Hull Hill in Bridgewater due to a tree down.

A crash on Interstate 84 west in Waterbury near exit 21 was causing major traffic delays just after 8:30 a.m. EMS personnel are on scene tending to a woman laying in the road.

There was a rollover crash in Branford on Interstate 95 north after exit 58 involving one car. No one was injured.

Greenwich delays continue to build due to a multiple-vehicle crash on the southbound side Merritt Parkway near exit 28.

There was also a crash in West Haven on I-95 south near exit 43, blocking the left lane.

State police responded to reports of several disabled cas in Windsor on Route 20 at the Bradley Airport connector.

Earlier, there was a crash on I-91 south in Hartford near exit 33, but that has been cleared. In New Haven, two tractor-trailers crashed on I-95 south near exit 46.

The storms are also causing delays between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia due to severe weather.There are also delays of up to a half-hour on Metro North in New Haven, but that's due to mechanical problems with the Devon Movable Bridge getting stuck in the open position, not weather. There are train delays in Waterbury and on Shoreline East as a result. Listen for updates at your station.

There are also numerous delays out of Bradley International Airport.

Follow NBC Connecticut traffic reporter Heidi Voight on Twitter @HeidiVoight for live updates.

Photo Credit: DOT

State Police Seek Franklin Gas Station Robber


State police are seeking the public's help in finding a man who robbed a Mobil gas station store on Tuesday night in Franklin.

Concealing his face with a blue bandanna and dark sun glasses, the man walked up to the counter and demanded, " Give me all the money," state police said. He reached into his waistband like he was going to pull out a handgun but he never showed a weapon and just implied he had one, according to state police.

The robber left the scene on foot and fled northbound on Route 32 on a blue Harley Davidson motorcycle that had been parked in a driveway west of the gas station.

Troopers responded at about 6:30 p.m. after receiving a hold-up alarm from the gas station at 62 Route 32 in Franklin. State police investigating obtained video security surveillance and other information and spoke to witnesses about the robbery.

State police said the robber had a stocky build and that he was wearing jeans, black sneakers with white trim and a blue T-shirt. His hair was shaved closely to his head, he has a receding hairline and is balding on the back of his head, state police said.

State police ask anyone who recognizes the man or knows information about the robbery to call the Eastern Major Crime squad at Troop K in Colchester at 860-465-5421.

Photo Credit: State Police

Vernon Fireworks Postponed to Thursday

Milford Residents Can Now Report Crime Tips Digitally


Milford police are incorporating new digital and mobile means to report non-emergency crime tips.

Public Engines' TipSubmit program makes it possible for citizen to report crimes anonymously online, through text messaging or through a TipSoft smart phone application available for Androids and iPhones.

The service is intended to be utilized to report illegal activity of a non-urgent nature, such as unsolved cases, vandalism, theft, drug activity, underage drinking or plans for crimes to be committed, police said.

"The use of TipSubmit is part of the agency’s proactive efforts to prevent, reduce, and solve crime," Milford police said in a news release. "Tipsters are reminded that this program is not to be used to report emergencies or in progress events and that 911 should be utilized in those situations."

Tipsters will be able to submit photos through the TipSoft mobile app.   The program also provides a way for citizens to communicate back and forth anonymously with police.

To report tips digitally, Milford residents can text CRIMES (274637) with the keyword MILFORD, download the TipSoft app from iTunes or Google Play and submit tips through the app and send online tips through a template similar to the mobile app.

The new program is a collaborative initiative between the police department and Milford Prevention Council. The council obtained grants focusing on underage drinking and substance abuse and provided funding for the program.

More information on the new crime tips program is available on www.milfordpd.org.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 67 Closed in Oxford


Route 67 (Oxford Road) is closed in Oxford due to a downed tree and fallen wires.

The road closure is in the area of 278 Oxford Road.

Traffic is being detoured around the scene onto Brooklawn Terrace and Old Connecticut 67.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Struck by Truck in Middletown Has Died


A 54-year-old Middletown woman who was struck by a truck on Route 17 in Middletown on Monday morning has died.

Police identified the woman as Evelyn Rivera and said she died on Tuesday.

Rivera was critically injured when the driver of the box truck passed the location to bring his deliveries, started backing up and struck Rivera in the area of 714 South Main Street, police said.

At the time, police said Rivera lived in the area and they believed she was trying to cross the street. No sidewalks line the street in the area.

Rivera suffered head trauma and serious injuries to her lower extremities and she was unconscious, police said.

She was first transported to Middlesex Hospital, then LifeStar transported her to Hartford Hospital.

"The Middletown Police Department sends its condolences to Ms. Rivera's family and friends," a statement from Middletown Police says.

NBC Connecticut is not identifying the driver of the truck because he has not been charged.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the Middletown Police Department Traffic Unit 860-638-4063.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Accused Drug Dealer Ordered 'Keep Kids Drug Free' License Plate: DA


An accused drug dealer specially ordered a license plate for his BMW that read “Keep Kids Drug Free” and bore the letters “LIFTD,” slang for getting high, prosecutors said.

Eric Gomez, 29, was charged along with Brian Poole, 27, in a scheme to bring potent, high-grade strains of California-grown marijuana to Long Island, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors allege Poole was the ring leader of the operation and Gomez was his chief reseller. Poole allegedly arranged for the monthly delivery of about 80 pounds of marijuana from California to Suffolk County.

He made $500 to $800 per pound, depending on the strain of marijuana he chose to import. The 11 strains of marijuana he imported were marketed with names like “Girl Scout Cookies,” “Chem Dawg,” “OG Kush,” “Death Star,” “Jedi,” “Grand Daddy Purples,” “Hash Train,” “Jack the Ripper,” “Cheese,” and “Green Crack,” officials allege.

Investigators seized several weapons from the men, including a defaced, loaded handgun and an electronic stun gun, prosecutors said. Police also recovered $200,000 in cash from the pot sales, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash that detectives found in a child’s backpack in the trunk of Gomez’s Camaro.

Officials also found the anti-drug license plate with the ironic lettering that Gomez specially ordered for his BMW.

Poole, a prior violent felony offender, is being held on $1 million cash bail and a parole hold and Gomez was released on his own recognizance, prosecutors said. Attorney information was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Handout

Girl Scouts Refuse $100,000 Over Request to Exclude Transgender Girls


A Washington state Girl Scouts chapter says it returned a $100,000 pledge from a donor who asked that the money not be used to help any transgender girls in the program.

Megan Ferland, council head of Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said the request from the donor, who she did not identify publicly, came in May, after news of Caitlyn Jenner's transition made headlines.  

"Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls," the note read, according to a report in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. "If you can't, please return the money."

Girl Scouts of America has allowed transgender girls in their program over the years, with the belief that every girl should be allowed to serve. That stance was cited when the organization announced the would not be accepting the money.

"Girl Scouts is for every girl," Ferland told Seattle Metropolitan. "And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to."

The donation would have covered nearly a quarter of the council's annual fundraising goal — enough to send 500 girls to summer camp. An Indiegogo online fundraiser set up to recoup the lost cash, called Girl Scouts is #ForEveryGirl," has generated more than $250,000 in donations from 5,000 people.  

The Girl Scouts made headlines four years ago when the organization took to explicitly stating its stance on transgender scouts on its website,saying if the parents and community recognize the child as a girl and she is treated as one, she is allowed to have a spot in Girl Scouts.

That belief drew outrage from religious-centered organizations, with responses ranging from boycots of Girl Scout cookies to demands that Girl Scouts only allow “biological” girls in the program.

"Luckily, we don't serve our critics," Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA's chief girl expert told CNN. "We are proud to serve all girls."

Police Release 911 Calls From Basketball Court Shooting


Police have released 911 calls that describe a chaotic scene as gunfire erupted at a Hartford community basketball tournament with more than 100 spectators, injuring three and killing one.

Roosevelt Holmes, 23, of Windsor, faces charges of criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge, and attempted first-degree assault in the shooting that killed a spectator James Headen, 41, of Hartford, and injured two others. Holmes was also wounded in the gunfire at the "All Xity Shootout," or "Heat on the Street" tournament, at Hartford's Rawson Elementary School on Saturday.

Two female callers told dispatchers they heard four shots fired.

"They're shooting at the park, at Rawson Park," a woman said frantically in one of the 911 calls.

A fourth female caller told the dispatcher she didn't see anything but heard a lot of shots and that "people might be down."

"I heard four shots and then everybody started running," the first female caller said. "Somebody is laying on the ground"

Screams were audible in the background and the woman told the dispatcher, who tried to calm her down, that she was scared inside her house after looking on at the scene from her driveway. You can hear her tell someone else to get away from the window.

A second female caller described chaos at the scene as she watched from her window and saw people running.

"Oh my God. These people is going crazy," the caller said, adding that her grandchildren's mother was at the basketball tournament at the time and she called her to make sure she was okay but they were still out there. "Please send somebody. They still running."

A third female caller told the 911 dispatcher she received a call from her cousin as she was about to drop her son off at the basketball tournament.

"And he just called me running and said don't drop my son off because people are down here," the third woman told the dispatcher, who quickly cut in to say there was a shooting and tell her the police were on the way.

Holmes, who was shot in the leg, hobbled into the courtroom on crutches Monday.

He is being held on $2 million bond. Holmes' attorney, Gerald Klein, said his client claims self-defense.

Holmes, who was watching the tournament Saturday, told police someone had just stolen his Cartier sunglasses and shot him while he was running away. He then returned fire, according to documents released in court Monday.

Three other men were shot and treated at the hospital. Headen later died there. Police described Headen as an innocent bystander and said he was shot in the head.

Another shooting victim, who asked not to be identified, called himself lucky in an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut on Monday.

“When you think about it, if you get shot in the hand, you can get shot anywhere. So, yeah, I’m lucky, very lucky,” he said.

The victim said he heard the gunshots and originally thought he had been hurt falling down as chaos erupted at the tournament.

“I didn’t know I even got shot. I just, I just thought I maybe broke my arm or something,” the victim said.

Police were back at the school Monday searching for evidence.

They said it’s still unclear how many people opened fire and who is actually responsible for pulling the trigger at what was supposed to be a fun community event.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Responding to Crash in Manchester

Your July 4 BBQ Will Cost Less This Year


As millions of Americans across the U.S. get ready to fire up the grill over the July Fourth holiday weekend, they're likely to spend less at the checkout line this year.

All-American staples like hot dogs, hamburgers, pork ribs, and potato salad will cost 3% less this year compared to last, according to a recent survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The survey estimated that the average cost of this summer's cookout for ten people will be around $55.84, or $5.58 per person. The survey was taken at local grocery stores across 30 states and factored in costs for items like condiments, side dishes, snacks, and beverages. 

“Based on our survey, food prices overall appear to be fairly stable. Prices for beef have continued to increase this year, but prices for other meats are generally declining. Dairy product prices are also quite a bit lower,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at AFBF. Anderson added that although meat production is beginning to increase generally, beef prices have stabilized and pork prices have been in decline all year. 

"Fuel and other energy prices have also generally been lower so far this year compared to last year," said Anderson. "This helps keep prices down on the more processed items in the basket. Energy is an important component of the final price for these products."

The American Farm Bureau Federation is the country's largest farm organization and has chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The cookout survey is part of a series which includes an annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

2-Alarm Fire Breaks Out in Norwich

Crews Pave Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury After Sinkhole


Crews are paving Hopmeadow Street, or Route 10, in Simsbury after sinkhole formed.

The sinkhole is front of 384 Hopmeadow St. near a Volvo dealership.

There was already a small hole, but it got bigger when a nearby storm drain overflowed.

Now the hole is 3 feet wide and 4 feet deep.

Simsbury police are controlling the traffic flow and crews from the Department of Transportation are working to patch up the sinkhole.

Work was expected to be complete by noon, but paving work was still underway as of 3 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Armed Robbery Suspect Linked to Other Crimes: Cops


Police have arrested a convicted felon accused of robbing a Stamford grocery store at gunpoint and have also charged his alleged accomplice.

Francis Manigault, 41, of New York, has also been implicated in a number of other robberies in the Fairfield County area, police said Wednesday.

According to police, Manigault entered the West Main Grocery Store at 495 West Main Street in Stamford around 10 a.m. Wednesday, pulled out a black handgun and pointed at the clerk.

The employee handed over an undisclosed amount of money and Manigault fled the store, running eastbound on West Main Street. Officers spotted him walking in the area of West Main Street and Virgil Street and followed him northbound onto Virgil Street, according to police.

He threw a loaded handgun onto the sidewalk and was taken into custody. Police said they later determined the handgun had been stolen in South Carolina and that Manigault may be linked to other robberies in Fairfield County.

Police found him with a business card from a rental car agency located in Norwalk, which led them to believe an accomplice may have been driving a car Manigault had rented. Police tracked down the vehicle in Norwalk and arrested the driver, identified as 19-year-old Tajah Dash, of Norwalk.

Manigault was charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, criminal use of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm. He was held on $250,000 bond and is due in court Thursday.

Police said Manigault has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1989 and including charges of larceny, resisting arrest and drug violations in both New York City and South Carolina.

Dash was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery. Bond was set at $5,000.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department
Viewing all 57608 articles
Browse latest View live

Latest Images