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Driver Charged With Assaulting Trooper, Fleeing State Police


State police took a man into custody who is suspected of attacking a trooper during a motor vehicle stop, leading state police on a chase and fleeing on foot after crashing in the Danbury area.

State police have arrested Marc D. Debenigno, 38, of Danbury, on multiple charges including narcotics possession, assault on a police officer and reckless endangerment. He was found at 3:10 p.m. after a lengthy search and transported to Danbury Hospital to be evaluated.

A state police trooper patroling the Interstate 84 westbound commuter lot in Danbury near exit 1 noticed a driver passed out on his steering wheel with narcotics and drug paraphernalia next to him on the passenger seat. The trooper woke Debenigno up and got him to step out of the car, ultimately arresting him after determining he didn't have a medical condition.  

As the trooper was handcuffing Debenigno, the suspect assaulted the trooper, resisted arrest and broke away, state police said. He took off in his car, leading state police on a pursuit, state police said.

New York state police chased after the car as it crossed the border into New York on Route 22 south, according to state police. Then the car looped back into Connecticut and crashed into a guardrail on Route 7 southbound just north of Ridgefield. The driver fled from his car on foot and jumped into a big swamp, state police said.

State police undertook a massive search for the man, combing the area in a helicopter. Danbury firefighters searched the water in boats, a K9 unit responded and bloodhounds were also utilized. Ridgefield police and a dive team also responded. The Danbury Police Department assisted in the search.

No troopers or civilians were injured.

State police charged Debenigno with possession of narcotics, assault on a police officer, escape from custody, engaging in pursuit, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

State Police Identify Man Shot Near Andover Home


A man was shot dead after an altercation near a lake in Andover late Friday night and state police are looking for his killer.

State police responded to Lakeside Drive in Andover at 10:10 p.m. to investigate a report of a person shot. Upon arrival, they found Jason L. Marchand, 38, of Lakeside Drive in Andover, with multiple gunshot wounds.

An ambulance transported marchand  to Windham Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.The case has been ruled a homicide.

Marchand got into an argument with another man at about 9:15 p.m. on a lake association property at Andover Lake at Lakeside Drive, state police said.

Witnesses told police that the other man came back on his motorcycle later and shot the victim several times in the street when he confronted him. The shooter took off on the motorcycle, state police said.

State police said the shooter was in his 20s and was last seen wearing a helmet with a face shield. His "sport-type" motorcycle was blue and white, state police said. The motorcyclist is believed to be an Andover resident.

Eastern District Major Crime detectives responded and continue to investigate.

Officials from the office of the chief medical examiner responded and will examine the body. State police have not released the name of the victim pending the notification of his family and the post-mortem examination.

State police ask anyone with information to call the Eastern District Major Crime unit at 860-896-3230 or state police Troop K barracks in Colchester at 860-465-5411. Calls will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Banner-Towing Plane Crashes


A single-engine Piper PA18 banner-towing plane has crashed into the beach in Carlsbad, officials said. 

The incident happened around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Boulevard near Cannon Road when the plane experienced a loss of engine power, FAA Pacific Division Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor and CHP officials said. 

The plane flipped over and was partially submerged, Gregor said. The 23-year-old pilot, the only person on board, was not injured. A 12-year-old boy was clipped by the plane or nearby debris, officials said, and was taken to Rady Children's Hospital. 

The plane crashed near the warm water jetty, close to a power plant. 

The plane is registered to Air Ads Inc., based out of Gillespie Field in El Cajon. The owner of the plane told NBC7 the pilot had 700 hours of training and the plane had just been serviced and checked out okay.

Eyewitness accounts from scene say a person was struck by the plane but officials cannot confirm any injuries or if anyone has been transported yet. 

Witness Cory Vaughn said she first saw the plane’s banner drop about 50 feet from the air before it made a 180 degree turn and crash-landed on the beach.

There is no word yet on injuries. There is no further information on the crash.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 

Photo Credit: Kaz Canning

10 Hurt in Md. Boat Explosion


Ten people were injured — three of them children — in a flash fire on a boat that was refueling at a marina on Solomons Island in Maryland.

The 38-foot cabin cruiser was fueling at Spring Cove Marina at around 6 p.m. Saturday when something ignited the vessel, according to a statement from Solomons Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

Five victims were taken to Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick, Maryland, including one of the young victims. The other five were taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, including two other young people.

Police for Maryland's Department of Natural Resources tweeted that the victims sent to MedStar were being treated for burns.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, the fire department said.

The Maryland fire marshal and the Department of Natural Resources are investigating. 

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

Police Investigate Death, Explosion in Hamden


State and local police are investigating whether the discovery of a dead body and an explosion are connected in Hamden.

Officers arrived to Wintergreen Avenue shortly after 11 a.m. following the report of an explosion. There, on the property of West Rock State Park, they found a dead male in the woods.

Investigators say that two suspects were seen in the area and may have been in a gold or champagne Nissan Altima with Florida plates.

The Connecticut State Police Emergency Services Unit Bomb Squad, the Fire and Explosion Investigative Unit and the Central District Major Crime Squad are assisting Hamden with the investigation. Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded.

State police say there is no threat to the public.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will examine the victim's body. His name will not be released until next of kin is notified.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Kids Die in SoCal Ravine Crash


Two children were killed and three other victims injured Saturday when their sport utility vehicle veered into a steep ravine off a Southern California mountain road.

Several people called the Azusa Police Department around 7:30 p.m. to report that they had seen a vehicle crash off the edge of Highway 39 near the U.S. Forestry information booth. The SUV landed on its roof, about 40 feet down from the road above the San Gabriel Valley community of Azusa.

A 12-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy were found dead inside the vehicle, according to police.

The parents, a 32-year-old man and woman, were found injured outside the vehicle with a 13-year-old girl. At least one victim suffered critical injuries.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation and police do not yet know if alcohol played a role. Coroner's officials are withholding the names of the children pending notification of family.

Anyone with information is asked to call Azusa police at 626-812-3200.

Photo Credit: KNBC

Connecticut Vietnam Veterans to Be Honored at Two-Day Event


Members of the public are invited to honor New England Vietnam veterans and remember the fallen at a two-day event in East Granby next weekend.

Connecticut's Vietnam 50th Celebration Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 at the Connecticut Air National Guard Base in East Granby from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This event is designed to educate a new generation about the Vietnam War and the part it played in the lives of our friends, relatives and neighbors whose stories are the building blocks of American History,” Eileen Hurst, chair of the Vietnam 50th, said in a statement. “It is open to everyone – Vietnam veterans, veterans’ friends or families, and anyone who wants to come recognize the sacrifices made by our veterans.”

Veterans can mingle and reconnect with each other at a special Veterans' Gathering tend.

There will also be static air displays of a B-52, C-130 and other aircrafts like the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Blackhawk and F-15 Fighter Jet in Windsor Locks at the New England Air Museum at 36 Perimeter Road, according to a news release about the event.

The public will also be able to view vehicle and aircraft displays, see hands-on demonstrations, look at war memorabilia, take rides on the UH-1D American Huey 369 helicopter, hear nationally renowned speakers and authors address the crowds and enjoy the music of the United States Coast Guard band. The 55-piece ensemble based at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New is the "premier band representing the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security" is on Saturday, July 11 at 1 p.m.

Anyone who signs up to become a member of American Huey 369 for $100 can get a complimentary ride on the helicopter. Huey helicopter rides will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days of the event. Otherwise, rides can be scheduled and paid for on-site at the cost of $100.

People can also view "Voices From Vietnam" and Gold Star Families exhibits, look at photos of veterans killed in action or listed as missing in action and attend programs honoring soldiers who gave "the last full measure of devotion," according to the news release.

Events and activities at the Connecticut Air National Guard base are free with the exception of the helicopter rides. The New England Air Museum offers free admission to veterans and costs $12 for everyone else. $2 from every ticket sold will benefit the Vietnam 50th event.

Shuttles will be available to transport people from UTAS (Hamilton Sundstrand) at 1 Hamilton Rd. South in Windsor Locks because there is no parking available at the Connecticut Air National Guard Base nor the New England Air Business. The public will go through a security checkpoint at the base. More information on parking and security are available on the event website.

Central Connecticut State University Veterans History Project's Vietnam War Commemoration Committee sponsors the event in collaboration with the Connecticut National Guard, Connecticut Department of Veterans' Affairs and the New England Air Museum.

You can contact Eileen Hurst at hursteim@ccsu.edu or call 860-832-2976 for more information, as well as visit the Facebook page for the CCSU Veterans History Project.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bear in Hartford Tree Tranquilized and Relocated


A black bear that was in a tree in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford has been safely removed and relocated.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded and tranquilized the bear spotted in a tree on Colebrook Street in Hartford.

DEEP officials tranquilized the bear and relocated it to "more comfy surroundings," Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said, adding that the bear is safe.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Multiple Connecticut State Parks Closed After Reaching Capacity


Multiple Connecticut state parks and beaches are closed after reaching full capacity.

Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, Squantzs Pond State Park in New Fairfield, Mount Tom State in Litchfield, Burr Pond State Park in Torrington, Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Gardiner Lake State Park in Salem, Millers State Park in Durham, Pattaconk Lake recreation area in Cockaponset State Forest and Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middlefield have all reached full capacity and closed to further visitors.

The Ocean Beach Park lot in New Longon was also full, but on-street parking is being allowed and parking restrictions have been lifted for the day as long as drivers don't block driveways and hydrants.

You can follow the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on Twitter for the latest updates on beach closures at @CTDEPoutdoorrec.

Ice Cream Truck Rollover Crash


State police and Hartford firefighters are responding to a crash involving an ice cream truck on Interstate 91 southbound in Hartford.

There are no lane closures currently due to the ice cream truck rollover near exit 33.

State police said to reduce your speed when traveling through that area.

No one was injured.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

8 Dead, 37 Wounded in Chicago


At least eight people have died and 41 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago this Fourth of July weekend.

Among those who died was a 7-year-old boy who was shot while watching fireworks in Humboldt Park with his father just before midnight Saturday.

Amari Brown and his father were standing on the sidewalk in the 1100 block of North Harding when gunfire erupted around them, striking Amari and a 26-year-old woman, who was transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition, police said. Both were shot in the chest.

The boy's father said he thought the sound of gunfire was just fireworks, and he didn't realize Amari had been shot until the boy called out for him.

Amari's family say the little boy was a "jokester" and acted like a typical 7-year-old who loved to run and play. They say the best way to describe him is "a sweet, sweet little boy."

No one is in custody for the shooting. Activist Pastor Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side, said he will offer a reward for any information leading to the offender's arrest.

Another victim of a fatal shooting was a 17-year-old boy who was shot near recently named Hadiya Pendleton Park in the 4300 block of South King. The teen, identified as Vonzell Banks, a junior at Dunbar Vocational High School, was likely not the intended target, police said.

Banks and a 19-year-old man were standing outside the park at about 4:45 p.m. Friday when a vehicle approached them and someone inside opened fire, police said. The 19-year-old was shot in the right foot and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition stabilized.

Banks' aunt, LaShanda Childs, told the Chicago Sun-Times that her nephew was playing basketball with his older brother and some friends when the shooting took place. Childs described Banks as a "church boy," who loved playing the drums and who attended Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer.

The park in which Banks was fatally shot was named after Hadiya Pendleton, a King College Prep honor student who was gunned down just days after performing at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony with her high school band.

The first homicide of the long holiday weekend happened Thursday evening in the Little Village neighborhood. A 20-year-old man was riding a bicycle in the 2700 block of South Karlov when someone ran up to him and began to shoot him repeatedly in his upper body, police said.

The victim was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Another man, 46, was killed in a shooting in the South Side Washington Heights neighborhood early Friday morning, police said.

The man and a 43-year-old woman were walking in an alley in the 9100 block of South Ashland when someone in a passing car fired shots at them, killing the man and injuring the woman.

Early Saturday, a  26-year-old man was sitting on a porch at about 12:05 a.m. in the 4800 block of South Justine in the Back of the Yards neighborhood when someone walked up to him and shot him in the back, police said.

The victim was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

A 23-year-old man was killed and two other injured in a shooting early Sunday morning in the North Side Albany Park neighborhood.

The three victims were sitting inside a van in an alley near Sunnyside and Kimball when a gunman walked up to them and fired shots.

The victims who survived the shooting were identified as a 26-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy.

In the most recent fatal shooting, two men were sitting inside a car at about 6:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of West 89th Street in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood when another man walked up to them and opened fire, police said.

One of the men, age 25, was shot multiple times and was later pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The second victim, whose age was not known, was found unresponsive in the car and pronounced dead on the scene.

The holiday weekend is often marked by an uptick in violence in Chicago. Last year, there were a total of 67 people shot — 11 fatally — throughout the long weekend.

At least 36 other people were wounded in shootings since Thursday, including the following incidents: 

  • A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were shot at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1400 block of North Hudson in the Old Town neighborhood.
  • A man was shot in the arm and chest at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday near the Chicago Blue Line station in West Town.
  • A 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen at about 10:05 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of East Ohio Street, just a few blocks from Navy Pier, following the Fourth of July fireworks show.
  • A 24-year-old man was shot in the foot at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the 6600 block of South Bell in the West Englewood neighborhood.
  • Two men, ages 23 and 21, were shot at about 6 a.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of West Addison in the Portage Park neighborhood.
  • A 41-year-old man was shot in the back and arm while sitting in a car at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday. The incident happened in the 4200 block of West Cermak in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
  • A man was shot in the shoulder and leg at about 11:45 p.m. Friday in the 700 block of East 44th Street in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood.
  • A 19-year-old man was shot at about 11:40 p.m. Friday in the 200 block of West 104th Street in the Roseland neighborhood.
  • A 33-year-old man was shot in the chin, arm and stomach at about 7:45 p.m. Friday in the 3500 block of West 24th Street in the Little Village neighborhood.
  • A 25-year-old man was shot in the foot at about 12:15 a.m. Friday in the 2100 block of West Randolph on the Near West Side.
  • A 19-year-old man was injured at about 4:45 p.m. Thursday when a gunman on a bicycle approached him and began firing shots. The incident happened in the 11800 block of South State in the West Pullman neighborhood.

One Hospitalized in West Haven Fire

Southbury Firefighters Respond to Structure Fire


Southbury firefighters responded to a structure fire in town early Sunday morning.

There is no word on injuries. Crews were still on scene as of about 3:36 a.m.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Person Hospitalized After Car Crashes Into Tree in Madison


A car crashed into a tree on Summerhill Road in North Madison on Sunday.

North Madison firefighters responded to the single-vehicle crash near Harkness Drive.

Crews extricated a person from the car who was the only one in the vehicle.

An ambulance transported the person to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The road was closed initially, but it has reopened.

Photo Credit: North Madison Volunteer Fire Company Facebook

One Dead in Eastford Motorcycle Accident


One man is dead and two others suffered serious injuries after an accident involving three motorcycles on Route 44 in Eastford.

Police say the crash occurred at the loop where Sprague Hill Road and Pomfret Road connect in Eastford, not far from the Pomfret line.

Initial investigation shows that two motorcycles, driven by Kenneth Oliva, 68, of Norwood, Mass. and Philip Mcmanus, 66, of Norwood, Mass. were traveling west on Route 44. A third motorcycle, driven by Nicholas Romitti, 26, of Vernon, was traveling east.

Police say as all three bikes came around the curve, Oliva and Romitti collided. Both men were thrown from their vehicles. Mcmanus was also caught up in the accident and ejected from his vehicle.

Oliva was transported via Lifestar to Hartford Hospital where he died of his injuries. Mcmanus and Romitti were transported to UMass hospital for treatment.

The accident closed Route 44 for several hours. The accident is still under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fourth of July Weekend Closes With Sun


After scattered showers on the 4th of July, high pressure building in the region will provide an awesome finish to the holiday weekend.

Planning on heading to the beach? Sunday features an abundance of sunshine, comfortable levels of humidity and a light northwest wind. Temperatures will be in the upper-80s inland, lower-80s on the shoreline.

Temperatures soar to the 90s on Monday, marking the third time temperatures have reached that height so far this year. The humidity will still be pretty low. A mix of sunshine and puffy cumulus clouds is expected.

An increase in humidity will arrive Tuesday and Wednesday, accompanied by an abundance of clouds and scattered showers and thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are most likely on Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the lower- and mid-80s.

A cold front will come through the state at some point late Wednesday and clear things out for late 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.

Boat Fire in Ledyard

Local Soccer Players Cheer on U.S. Women in World Cup Final


Many girls’ soccer players say they are already inspired by the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.

The team faces Japan in the World Cup final on Sunday night at 7 p.m.

At the Westminster School in Simsbury usually on this Sunday night there would be a girls’ soccer camp practice on the fields.

Instead the girls are going to be watching the big game.

“I’m scared but excited because USA always seems to pull through whenever they’re in a hard situation,” says Devyn Latorre.

The Connecticut Soccer School and Star Goal Keeper is a five-day camp for about 70 girls, ages nine and up.

These girls are big fans of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team which made it into the World Cup Final by beating Germany.

“They’re really strong. A lot of new players. They work hard together. It’s going to be a good combination,” Jacqueline Demaio said.

Players here know the U.S. faces a tough competition with Japan, which beat the U.S. in the 2011 World Cup.

Now in 2012, the U.S. beat Japan in the Olympic gold-medal match.

Many hope for a repeat in the World Cup Final.

Win or lose the team has already had an impact.

“I feel inspired to like learn new moves and play harder,” says Amy Feingold.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Arrested After Shots Fired in Pub Parking Lot


Willimantic police have arrested a man after shots were fired in the parking lot of a busy bar early Sunday morning.

Montreece Prather, 26, of Willimantic, is facing multiple charges including reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a firearm.

According to Willimantic Corporal Stan Parizo, police were called to Tony's Pizza and Pub at 117 Main Street at 2 a.m. as the bar was closing.

People also called 911 to report hearing gunfire in the pub's parking lot and on Brook Street as police were on their way to investigate shots fired near the bar. No one was struck by the bullets and no one was hurt in the shooting.

Police found Prather walking down a side street with a gun. He ran from police when they confronted him. As police pursued the man, he tossed a gun into a wooded area. Once they caught up with him off of Chapman Street in the woods, they said Prather resisted arrest. Police took him into custody after a brief struggle and held him in custody at the Willimantic Police Department on a $250,000 cash/surety bond. 

Police say that the gun matches shell casings and other evidence found in the pub parking lot.

Considering the bar was packed, police say the incident could have ended much worse.

"This is the best case scenario. Nobody's hit, we recovered the firearm, we got the bad guy off the street within minutes," Parizo said.

Prather was charged with second-degree breach of peace, first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of a pistol without a permit, interfering with police and unlawful discharge of a firearm. Willimantic police have had run-ins with him before.

Prather is scheduled to be arraigned in Danielson Superior Court on Monda, July 6.

Willimantic Police Department's criminal investigation divion responded to process the scene and a K-9 unit searched for evidence.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to contact the department. All tips will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Willimantic Police Department

Two Men in Critical Condition After Hartford Shooting


Hartford police are investigating after two men were shot early Sunday morning and hospitalized with critical injuries.

According to police, two males were shot after a basement party at 156 Edgewood St. in Hartford around 3:38 a.m

Garnett Henry, 43, was shot in the chest. Knorskov Senior,40, was shot in the abodmen. They are both listed in critical condition at St. Francis Hospital and are undergoing surgery.

Both victims are from Hartford.

The home remained cordoned off with crime scene tape at 9:22 a.m.

Police said there were several witnesses to the shootings. No one has been arrested at this time.

Community activist Rev. Henry Brown said that he is hoping "that we can do something to stop all the violence," adding "this is too much."

"I thought it was very terrible. I think some of this needs to stop. It's too bad for the kids," S. Camby, of Hartford, said. "There's nothing for the kids to do anymore."

Brown, who came to the scene to comfort the victims' families said Connecticut's capital city is not safe.

“One thing we know in Hartford is that somebody’s going to get shot," Brown said.

There have already been 14 homicides in Hartford this year.

“We’re talking about people dying, being shot," Brown said. "We’re talking about a community that’s been ruined by bullets, day in and day out. Enough is enough.”

The Hartford Major Crimes Division is investigating.

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