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WATCH: Judge, Suspect Reunite


A Miami-Dade judge and one of her old middle school classmates had an emotional reunion in court after he was arrested following an alleged burglary and police pursuit.

Arthur Booth, 49, was arrested Monday by Hialeah Police on several charges including burglary, grand theft, fleeing, and resisting arrest.

On Thursday, he went before Judge Mindy Glazer in bond court. Glazer, recognizing Booth from their days at Nautilus Middle School, asked if he had gone there.

"Oh my goodness, oh my goodness," Booth said, as he covered his head and began crying.

"I'm sorry to see you there, I always wondered what happened to you sir," Glazer said, as Booth continued crying. "This was the nicest kid in middle school, he was the best kid in middle school. I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened."

Booth continued to repeat "Oh my goodness" as Glazer gave him words of encouragement.

"I am so sorry to see you there. Mr. Booth, I hope you are able to change your ways, good luck to you," she said. "What's sad is how old we've become. Good luck to you sir, I hope you are able to come out of this ok and just lead a lawful life."

According to an arrest report, Booth was spotted driving a gold Honda Accord that was a vehicle suspected of being involved in a home burglary. When an officer tried to stop the Accord, Booth took off, and a pursuit began, the report said.

Booth ran stop signs and was involved in two accidents before crashing the car in the area of Northwest 36th Street and North River Drive, the report said. Booth fled on foot but was caught a short time later, authorities said.

Booth's bond was set at $43,000. It was unknown if he's hired an attorney.

Wisconsin Is Drunkest State in U.S.: Report


Everything you thought about Wisconsin’s love of beer is true, according to a new report. 

A new study has officially proven what many expected from a state that named its baseball team after its love of breweries: Wisconsinites like to drink.

Detox.net analyzed America’s alcohol consumption from 2011 to 2013 across different states and made a list of states with the most drinkers, based on responses from more than 400,000 interviews.

Wisconsin topped the list, with 65.33 percent of adults saying they had had at least one drink within the past 30 days.

Wisconsin was followed by the District of Columbia (not a state, but considered as one in the survey). Rounding out the top five were Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

And when it comes to binge-drinkers, Wisconsin still tops the list, followed by North Dakota, Washington D.C., Iowa and Illinois. Apparently, the Midwest in known as the “binge drinking belt.”

Among the states with the least drinkers were Utah, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Stole $1,300 in Merchandise from Store: Police


Police arrested a Hartford man Tuesday who is accused of stealing $1,300 in tote bags, wristwatches and headphones from a Buckland Hills Drive store in South Windsor.

Daryl Beaufort, 46, of Hartford, is charged with fourth-degree larceny and was arraigned in Manchester Superior Court on Tuesday.

In June, police said store security officials witnessed Beaufort take two tote bags, three wristwatches and seven headphone sets from the retail store. While security wasn't able to stop Beaufort, police later identified him as the suspect and got a warrant for his arrest.

Police arrested him at Manchester Superior Court while he was being held there on separate charges.

Police held Beaufort in custody on a $20,000 surety bond.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Amtrak's Changes to Shore Line East Under Fire


The Connecticut Commuter Rail Council directs most of its attention to Metro-North, but Thursday night it's focusing on Shore Line East, the state-subsidized commuter line between New Haven and New London.

The state government pays Amtrak to operate the line, and Amtrak is making some changes the council does not like.

Most Acela trains go right through New London without stopping. One that does stop in New London leaves at 6:24 a.m. Commuters with Shore Line East passes have been able to ride without a surcharge, even though the fare to New Haven is $55 one way.

"It's kind of like the regular train but it's a lot faster and it's comfy and things break a lot less," said Boston resident Marisa Howard-Karp.

Amtrak's plan to end rides on Acela with Shore Line East passes is under fire.

Shore Line East doesn't have many trains that go to New London. Some commuters rely only on Amtrak.

"On Monday mornings, I get on with a Shore Line East ticket and I go to New Haven and then pick up the Metro-North," said Bruce Wilkerson.

He said the Acela is a "pretty good deal."

"But after all, isn't it all Amtrak?" he added.

Amtrak did not respond to a request for comment.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Town to Auction Off Home Where Fire Killed Disabled Teen, Mom


The town of Fairfield is auctioning off a house on Crane Street that caught fire last spring, killing a disabled teenager and her mother.

Katherine O’Neill, 19, and Maureen Gerity, 47, were sleeping when flames ignited in the living room of their home at 135 Crane Street in March 2014. Neighbors said the two were trapped. They were pronounced dead at Bridgeport Hospital.

The property will be sold at a public auction in Monroe on Sunday, July 12. The starting price has been set at 99,000.

“This will turn a page for the family and neighbors who have been living with this reminder of that tragic evening for the past year. We expect a new home to be built in short order,” Auctioneer Rosie DeStories said in a statement Thursday.

The auction will take place at 707 Main Street in Monroe and is slated to begin at 11 a.m.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Auction

Computer-Generated Image Released After Child's Remains Found


Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, along with state and local police, have released a computer-generated image of a child whose remains were found off the coast of Massachusetts.

Authorities say there are no strong leads in regards to the child's identity, so they are asking for the public's help. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has also been made aware of this situation.

Police believe the girl was around 4-years-old, about 30 pounds, and three and a half feet tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. The girl was wearing white leggings with black polka dots manufactured by the brand Circo, sold at Target.

In addition, a fleece blanket with black and white zebra print was also recovered. Police say the blanket may have been important to the child. That blanket is believed to have been made by Cannon, sold at Kmart.

The girl was found in an industrial-style trash bag.

"We don't think she was there too, too long, but again, forensic science isn't to the point we can say with precision how long," said Conley. "There was some decomposition."

A cause of death has not been released, but Conley says it was unnatural. He added that authorities are concerned about other children that may be in custody with the young girl's guardians.

"She's a beautiful child and she deserves dignity here," said Conley.

Authorities are hoping pediatricians, pre-school teachers, or day care providers will think about children they haven't seen in a while. Maj. Frank Hughes of Massachusetts State Police suggested that people attending Fourth of July functions be on the lookout for children who would normally be in attendance.

The remains were discovered by a woman walking her dog last week on Deer Island in Massachusetts. Deer Island is a peninsula in the Boston Harbor.

"We've even had people call us, offering to pay the burial expenses for this young child," Conley said. "But who she is remains a mystery to us."

The union president of Massachusetts Water Resources Authority says they will pay burial if the child is not claimed. The group is also raising funds for a bench and tree where the girl's body was found.

Photo Credit: necn
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Hartford Yard Goats to Unveil New Mascot Next Week


The soon-to-be Hartford Yard Goats will unveil their new logo on Wednesday.

The minor league baseball team, known now as the New Britain Rock Cats, will adopt its new name and mascot upon moving to Hartford in 2016. The team will play at a brand-new stadium in the city’s Downtown North development.

The Yard Goats selected their name as part of an online contest. Although a “yard goat” is actually a locomotive, many expect the team's new mascot to depict the animal of the same name. Two live goats were present when the name was announced in March.

The new logo will go public on Wednesday. Team officials said they expect to make the reveal at 1 p.m. at the XL Center in Hartford.

Bear Spotted in New Haven Neighborhood


Officials in New Haven are warning residents to be on the lookout after a recent bear sighting in the city's Fair Haven Heights neighborhood.

A city spokesperson said Thursday someone spotted the bear in the area of Summit and Howard streets. Alderman Rosa Santana, who represents the 13th Ward, is encouraging residents to be vigilant when spending time outdoors.

If you see a bear, do not run. Back away slowly and find a safe place to wait until the bear leaves the area.

New Haven residents should report their sightings to the animal shelter at 203-946-8110.

Photo Credit: AP

Hammonasset Tackles Parking Problems Ahead of July 4th


If you're among the thousands of people planning a trip to Hammonasset State Park this weekend, you may not find room in your favorite parking lot.

At Meigs Point at Hammonasset, work on the new nature center takes up maybe a quarter of the normal lot. Workers building a new pavilion at West Beach have fenced off an old parking lot – but the park has a solution.

Between the road to West Beach and the campground at Hammonasset, all spaces reserved 11 months in advance, the park has set up enough parking on the field to cover most of what it's given up to construction.

"At West Beach, we've accommodated the parking that's being done down there with some field parking so we should be able to fit everybody in," said Jack Hine, the park supervisor.

Hine said the staff will be "smiling and ready" for the Independence Day weekend when the gates open at 8 a.m. Friday.

Photo Credit: LeAnne Gendreau

Metro-North Bridge Could Pose Problems Through Holiday Weekend


Metro-North has had its share of problems in recent times, the latest of which – Milford's Devon Bridge – could pose a problem for commuters traveling between Connecticut and New York this holiday weekend.

A portion of the Devon Bridge became stuck in the upright position during routine testing early Wednesday morning, choking rail traffic from four tracks to two and slowing train travel Wednesday into Thursday.

"It's delayed my travel," says Kloud Yoon, of Fairfield. "Not only that, sometimes I will go to Derby as well, so sometimes I have to transfer in places I don't even know."

Yoon said she rides Metro-North trains almost daily and that passengers aren't getting enough bang for their buck.

"The train is always delayed. You know, we pay a lot of taxes, and not only that, Connecticut has the highest fare rates too," she said.

Railroad officials said the Devon Bridge repair will likely be counted in days, possibly through the Fourth of July weekend.

An unrelated electrical failure that affected service between New York City and Stamford early Thursday morning has been repaired, according to Metro-North.

Emergency Responders Prepare for Holiday Weekend


Not all state agencies and departments bulk up staffing for the Fourth of July, but when it comes to safety, officials say vigilance is at a premium.

"We know it's a busy weekend," said state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Dennis Schain. "We know the weather looks good; we note the crowds are going to come out, so we're ready."

That includes parking attendants, maintenance personnel, and, at the state's four shoreline beaches and four inland beaches, the full complement of lifeguards. As Connecticut celebrates this Independence Day, all that play means plenty of work.

New Haven Parks & Recreation Director Rebecca Bombero said there will be extra safety staff at Lighthouse Point Park, which is expected to draw 10,000 visitors, but not all the lifeguards will be perched on the sand.

"Eight lifeguards and 10 backup lifeguards will be serving as parking attendants on staff and ready," she said.

They know the numbers forecast on the thermometer mean big numbers at the beach, including an estimated 30,000 rolling into West Haven for the sand and fireworks.

Bill Slater, who runs the Parks & Recreation department in West Haven, said the bulk of additional staffing will be among police, not lifeguards.

"We may have a couple extra [lifeguards] out there on the beaches," said Slater. "We have nine chairs out there, covering the main beaches with the big lots."

Officials are taking a similar approach at the fire department in Milford, where personnel have beaches, booze and bottle rockets to think about – along with the problems their combination can bring.

"If it stays dry, possibly some brushfires, grass fires, and so forth," are among the situations Capt. Greg Carman recalls from Independence Days past. Nevertheless, Carman said his department's staffing is actually routine.

"Everything here has always been at least 25 people per shift, that's day and night," he said.

But, he acknowledged, plenty more are ready on call. And, with so many drawn to the shores of the nation we celebrate, these responders can reach an emergency by land or by sea.

"Our fire boat, our trailer boat and all our rafts – checked them," said Carman. "Our dive team has been checking all their equipment to make sure everything is ready to go, just in case something does happen."

Possible Meth Lab Found in Van Outside McDonald's


State police are investigating to determine whether a van stopped in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in Vernon may have been a mobile meth lab.

According to state police, troopers found the van Thursday afternoon at the fast food franchise on Reservoir Road with a large number of chemicals inside. State lab workers are analyzing the chemicals to figure out if they were being used to make drugs.

It’s not clear what prompted troopers to pursue the van, but state police spokesman Trooper Kelly Grant said the van "was 'overdue' in arriving at its destination."

State police contacted the fire department, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Authorities are still investigating and expect to release more information soon.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 6 Closed in Bristol Thursday Night Due to Crash


Route 6 was closed Thursday night in Bristol between Federal Road and West Street while authorities investigated a crash, according to police.

Bristol police said two cars collided around 8 p.m. Thursday. Route 6 was still closed as of 11:30 p.m.

There has been no word on injuries.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police On the Lookout for Illegal Fireworks in Connecticut


As the holiday weekend rolls around, police around the state are on the lookout for people buying and selling illegal fireworks.

Despite the plethora of sales pitches advertising "legal fireworks," only sparklers are allowed, along with some non-explosive fountains.

"If you have something that goes 'boom,' emits a flame or smoke, bottle rockets, M-60s, M-80s, M-100s – totally illegal within the state of Connecticut," Willimantic police spokesman Cpl. Stanley Parizo explained Thursday.

Already, police have made their first bust, seizing more than $250,000 worth of illegal explosives from a home in Danbury. Authorities said it's one of the largest in recent years.

Police said residents caught with illegal fireworks will be arrested and could face several charges, including breach of peace and illegal possession of fireworks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

All Clear Given at Washington Navy Yard: Police


U.S. Capitol Police have given the all clear at the Washington Navy Yard after the report of a shooting Thursday morning, triggered vivid memories of a 2013 deadly mass shooting at the naval installation. 

D.C. police said a woman called from inside a Navy Yard building to report that she might have heard sounds of gunshots around 7:20 a.m. However, investigators found no sign of a shooting, a shooter or anyone injured.

“We don’t believe that it was a malicious hoax or incident like that,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said during a press conference Thursday morning. 

Lanier added that the employee was doing what she was supposed to do. 

After receiving the call, authorities converged on the area and searched each building one-by-one. 

One of the buildings searched was the Humphreys Building, which was the sight of a deadly mass shooting nearly two years ago. The building was formerly known as Building 197.

The naval installation was placed on lockdown and employees were told to shelter in place. 

"It was pretty much like the first time. There were lots of people running for the exits, running for shelter, a lot of confusion," said Lt. Commander Scott Williams, who was inside the building when Thursday's incident was reported. 

A number of roads were closed in the area as authorities completed their investigations. A nearby elementary school was also placed on lockdown for a short time.  

On Sept. 16, 2013, 12 civilians were killed and four others injured during a mass shooting at Building 197. The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was killed by police. Alexis was a civilian contractor and former Navy reservist who suffered from mental health problems.

It was the second-deadliest rampage on an American military base, after the Fort Hood shootings in Texas in 2009.

The building reopened in February after extensive renovations.

Counselors and chaplains will be provided to any Navy Yard employees who need to speak with someone. 

The Navy Yard, in southeast Washington, is the country's oldest naval installation.

Stay with News4 on-air and online for more on this developing story. 

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State Police Seize $250K Worth of Illegal Fireworks


State police have seized four trailers full of illegal fireworks during a raid in Danbury. Combined, they are worth nearly $250,000.

State police started investigating after the Danbury fire marshal called them on June 30 to report the
sale of illegal fireworks and explosives.

Around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, state police detectives from the fire and explosion investigation
unit searched a single-family home in Danbury, as well as a storage barn, and found what they described as “an extraordinary amount” of illegal fireworks, explosives and IEDs, including MClass

In all, there were thousands of illegal items and the bomb squad hauled four trailer loads full of them from the scene.

In addition to the illegal fireworks, police seized $3,600 were also seized.

Police expect to make several arrests.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mostly Dry Weekend, But Scattered Showers Possible July 4th


We're expecting mostly dry weather over the holiday weekend with the potential for some scattered showers on the Fourth of July.

Friday is about as good as early July gets with an abundance of sun and exceptionally dry air. Temperatures will be in the 80s inland, 70s at the shoreline.

A weak wave of low pressure scoots by to the south on Saturday, but most of it will miss us to the south with high pressure remaining in place to the north. More clouds than sun are expected, and we could see a few scattered showers throughout the day.

Temperatures will be falling through the 70s Saturday evening.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday all feature mostly sunny skies. The low humidity also continues, as no sustained oppressive humidity is in the forecast.

High temperatures will be in the mid- and upper-80s next week.

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

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

Group Denied Muhammad Ad Sues


The group that sought to plaster images of the Prophet Muhammad on Washington, D.C., public transportation has sued the Transit Authority on charges it violated the group's First Amendment rights by refusing to post the ads.

Metro banned all political ads after the American Freedom Defense Initiative submitted an image of Muhammad to run as an advertisement on D.C. buses and train stations.

Pamela Geller, founder of AFDI, submitted the "Support Free Speech" ad depicting the winning entry of the controversial "Draw Mohammad" contest to the D.C. Metro Authority. The May event led to a deadly shooting in Garland, Texas.

"Running and hiding is no strategy in a war. Operation Fetal Position is a recipe for disaster," Geller said Thursday in a statement. 

AFDI has run controversial ads on subways and buses in other cities across the country as well — among them Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. In 2012, they were able to get another poster deemed offensive to Muslims on D.C.’s Metro.

The group is listed as an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Video Shows Man Punched by Cop


The NYPD says it's investigating a video showing a man getting arrested after a knockout fight with a plainclothes officer Wednesday night.

The video circulating on Facebook, which had more than 1 million views by the next day, shows the arrest near 131st Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. The man's friend, who shot the video on his phone, told NBC 4 New York they were leaving a pizza place down the street to go to the man's apartment when he was stopped by plainclothes officers. 

One of the officers asks the man, Saykour George, for his ID, the video shows. The NYPD said later police saw that George had a knife, prompting the stop.

Jun Iceaa, the friend who shot the video, said George had small pocketknife in his pocket, but "the way [the officer] really approached us, was like he really had a grudge against my man, like he know him from somewhere," he said. 

The video shows police attempting to take George into custody, and he refuses. 

"I'm just trying to do my job," the officer says, taking out his handcuffs and telling George they can talk further in the police car. 

"I'm letting you do your job," George says. When the officer says, "No, you're not," George says, "Y'all not arresting me for nothing. No, no, no," and he begins walking away. 

The officer tries to stop George from walking away, and both move to travel a few steps and then the officer pushes George back. George then pushes the officer, and that's when the officer starts swinging. The two square off, and more police arrive and get George on the ground. 

"The officer did not say, 'You are under arrest,'" said Iceaa. 

"The officer swung at him how many times before my man swung?" said Iceaa. "You have to defend yourself if you know you're not under arrest." 

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told NBC 4 New York Thursday he'd seen the video. He reminded New Yorkers that "you have no right under the law of New York to resist arrest," and that's what it appears George was doing. 

He said, "The initial encounter -- the individual, all he had to do was surrender, and then we would not have had an encounter. So he didn't surrender, he now has additional charges against him. We'll process it through the courts." 

Bratton said that in a preliminary review of the video, he "saw nothing inappropriate" with the officers' behavior, but that internal affairs is investigating. 

In a statement, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said the officers did what they needed to do to take the man into custody.

"Given the current atmosphere on the streets today, people mistakenly think that they have the right to resist arrest and that inevitably leads to confrontation and potential injury," Lynch said. " The use of force in making an arrest is always ugly but is absolutely necessary and appropriate when the suspect resists. These two officers did their job, they did it appropriately and they are to be commended for a job well done."

Private security consultant Manny Gomez agreed. 

"I don't see anything wrong with this video," he told NBC 4 New York. "He was belligerent, resisted arrest and he was in the wrong, period." 

Watching the video, Gomez said it appears officers used minimum force to avoid close contact and to stop George from leaving. 

"He used the bladed stance to keep his weapon away from the subject, and that's for his safety," he said. 

George is facing several charges, including assault on an officer, possession of a weapon and disorderly conduct. Attorney information wasn't immediately clear. 

East Rock Park Summit Closed to Public for New Haven Fireworks


Spectators will not be able to watch New Haven's fireworks from East Rock Park this holiday weekend.

The city has decided to shut down the summit of the park for Saturday night's show in an effort to keep people safe.

People will still be able to see the fireworks shooting up from the top East Rock Park. But this year they will be seeing them from a different - and much lower - angle.

“You're going to put them down below but people like to be right on top of the fireworks," said Donald DiBianco a frequent fireworks spectator in New Haven.

For the first time, East Rock’s summit will be off-limits to the public for the Independence Day fireworks display.

“When you grow up here, everyone comes up here and you just enjoy it with your family," said Dawn Camputaro. "They shouldn't take it away.”

Despite some people being worried about breaking the tradition of being able to see the show up close, the city says the move is about one thing - public safety.

“We're anxious to keep people from roaming around the steep terrain of East Rock Park after dark," said Laurence Grotheer, director of communications for the City of New Haven.

From Friday night through Sunday morning, the only people going up to the summit will be those tasked with setting off the fireworks.

“The best view of the fireworks will be from Wilbur Cross High School but also anywhere in the city where there is a view of the monument on top of East Rock would be a good place to watch the fireworks," said Grotheer.

Warning signs have already been placed around the park for people to stay away from the top of East Rock. With the new restrictions in place, the city says Wilbur Cross High School is the place to be Saturday night. The U.S. Coast Guard Band will performing before the fireworks display, which begins at approximately 9:15.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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