<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sat, 28 Nov 2015 19:15:25 -0500 Sat, 28 Nov 2015 19:15:25 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Fiery Crash Kills 2, Knocks Out Power for Hundreds: Police]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 18:57:31 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CU51DhDVEAAd5iQ.jpg

At least two people were killed, one person was injured and hundreds were without power after a garbage truck T-boned a BMW on Long Island early Saturday morning, toppling power lines and causing the SUV to burst into flames, police said.

The accident happened around 4:15 a.m. in Inwood as the BMW was traveling south on Sheridan Boulevard and the private garbage truck was headed west down Bayview Avenue. Residents say they heard a loud boom as the garbage truck T-boned the BMW from the right, sparking a fire that consumed both vehicles.

At least two people were in the BMW at the time of the crash. They both died at the scene, police said. The driver of the garbage truck was taken to an area hospital. He is expected to survive his injuries.

About 300 people were without power after the accident, police said. Power was restored to all customers by early Saturday evening, utility officials said.

Both vehicles were visibly burned and mangled Saturday morning as police continued to investigate. One investigator said that the bodies of the victims in the BMW SUV were so badly charred that it would be hard to identify them.

“It’s going to be very difficult to identify the bodies right now,” Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun said.

Police were still trying to determine if anyone else was in the BMW Saturday morning.

The intersection remained closed at 9:15 a.m. and was littered with twisted power lines and debris from the crash.

As of 9:45 a.m., Sheridan Boulevard is closed in both directions between Bays Water Boulevard and Nassau Avenue due to the accident. Bayview Avenue is also closed between Doughty Boulevard and Sheridan Avenue. Motorists should expect delays and should avoid the area.

<![CDATA[Armed Men Tie up Clerk, Steal Cash at L.I. Store: PD]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 11:41:44 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/police-cars-night-shutterstock_12324768412.jpg

Four armed men robbed a Long Island business Friday night, tying up a clerk and stealing cash before taking off, police said.

The four men went into the store at 1565 Montauk Highway in Mastic sometime before 7:45 p.m. They tied up the clerk and then stole money and other items from the location, according to Suffolk County police.

Police responded to a call of a robbery around 7:45 p.m.

The condition of the clerk is not known, nor is it known what weapon or weapons were used in the robbery.

Police were investigating the incident Saturday.

<![CDATA[Selfie Offers Clue to Mobile Phone Theft: Cops]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 17:45:49 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/112915selfed.jpg

A young man provided police a helpful lead in the reported theft of a mobile phone: a selfie taken with the stolen item.

Police released the selfie of the suspect and are asking for the public's help in identifying him.

The victim, a 36-year-old man was texting on his phone while riding a southbound Q train at about 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 24, when the phone was snatched from his hand as the train entered the Beverley Road station in Brooklyn.

The suspect fled the train when the doors opened.

The suspect eventually used the phone to take a photo of himself, which turned up on the victim's Google account, police said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. 

<![CDATA[Facebook Post of Dog Muzzled With Duct Tape Sparks Investigation]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 18:30:08 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/112815+dog+mouth+new.jpg

Police in Connecticut have been inundated with messages of outrage and concern over a Facebook post showing a dog muzzled with duct tape that has gone viral on social media.

A Facebook account under the name of Katie Brown posted a photograph Friday of a dog that looks like a chocolate lab with duct tape wrapped around its mouth and the message, "This is what happens when you dont (sic) shut up!!!" According to the page, the woman lives in South Daytona, Florida. It is not clear if the photo is Brown's.

The post was shared 241,964 times, as of 3:34 p.m. on Saturday and has sparked an outcry from animal lovers, including ones in Connecticut, criticizing the Facebook user who posted the image. The post and photo have not been authenticated.

A minute later, she posted, "Don't panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasnt barked since...POINT MADE!!! (sic)"

South Daytona Beach police told NBC Connecticut that the alleged incident is believed to have happened in Florida and that the woman in question is from Connecticut and lives in Torrington. The department is investigating, but hasn't made arrests at this time. 

The Facebook post has been brought to the attention of Torrington Animal Control officials in Connecticut, who said there is an animal cruelty investigation underway after being inundated with messages about the situation.

"Be assured that there is an active animal cruelty investigation in progress. We are taking this very seriously. Please don’t send further emails or messages as our email system is overwhelmed. We thank you for your help," Torrington Animal Control officials said on Facebook. ".... Thank you everyone for sending us info and links to help the Chocolate Lab. We are actively investigating this case and searching for the individual involved."

Avon police dispatchers have been bombarded with tons of calls about the Facebook post as messages circulate on social media saying the Facebook user lives in Avon. However, police investigated and said that the woman whose name is on the account no longer lives in Avon and hasn't for awhile. They confirmed the reported incident did not happen in Avon. Many of the callers informed police that they were told to contact them.

Just before 3 p.m., Torrington Animal Control posted an update on Facebook, stating, "At this time our inbox is not currently working so please bear with us as we try to read through all of your messages. We are still diligently working on tracking down the owner who posted that dreadful picture to Facebook earlier this morning but it appears that she is no longer residing in Avon ... or Connecticut for that matter. All new, and pertinent information that we get is being immediately forward to Daytona PD as that is where the suspect is believed to be living/heading.
Thank you all for your concern for this animal."

The city of South Daytona also posted about the issue on Facebook Saturday afternoon, stating, "Update on Facebook animal abuse posting. What we know is that this person is not currently at her local Florida residence. Police believe she is in transit at this time from another state. We are in contact with family members and other state agencies. SDPD will continue to diligently investigate this case. Please help us out by not flooding our emergency phone numbers, which may impact other emergency calls. We appreciate your concerns."

The woman whose name is on the Facebook account hasn't been located at this time.

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<![CDATA[Suspect in Rape of Jogger Taken into Custody: NYPD]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 17:06:11 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/216*120/112815suspect.jpg

A suspect in the rape of a woman who said she was attacked while jogging in a park on Manhattan's Lower East Side was taken into custody Saturday, police said.

Police apprehended 28-year-old Paul Niles, who was identified after investigators released a surveillance photo of the suspect and received numerous tips. He hasn't been charged yet, police said.

The woman told police she was jogging in East River Park near Jackson Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when a man with dreadlocks grabbed her and dragged her into an amphitheater off the waterfront path.

She said the man then raped her and took her cellphone and credit cards, according to police. He rode off on a bike after the assault.

The woman was taken to Beth Israel Hospital for evaluation and treatment.  

<![CDATA[Calif. Newborn Found Buried Alive]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 16:14:49 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/newborn+baby+riverside+riverbed+1128+2015.jpg

A newborn girl was found buried alive near a riverbed in Compton, California, Friday and now officials are seeking the public's help for information on her abandonment.

Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of a baby heard crying near the riverbed located between 136th Street and Slater Avenue at 4 p.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

As deputies canvassed the area, they heard a baby's "muffled cry" and discovered a newborn girl buried alive under pieces of asphalt and rubble inside a crevice located along the bike path, LASD said.

Deputies had to remove pieces of asphalt and debris to rescue the baby, who was wrapped in a blanket and cold to the touch, officials said.

The newborn was treated at the scene and transported to a hospital. She is in stable condition and will remain at the hospital for observation.

The newborn is believed to have been born within the last 36 to 48 hours.

Anyone with information about this crime is requested to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department - Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-LASD (5273).

Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department]]>
<![CDATA['Calm, But Crazy': Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect ID'd]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 11:54:46 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Colorado+Gunman.jpg

A man armed with an AK-47-style weapon burst into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and opened fire, killing three people, including a police officer, and injuring nine others during the ensuing five-hour standoff, NBC News reported.

Police identified the gunman as 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina, the Associated Press reported.

Dear began firing in the parking lot of the facility on Centennial Boulevard and then entered the building, a law enforcement official told NBC News. The shooting unfolded Friday during a regular working day, as patients waited for appointments and staff members attended to them.

The gunman "seemed calm, but crazy," Kentanya Craion said, describing the man in a hunter's jacket and hat as "mumbling and ranting while he was shooting."

The slain officer was identified as Garrett Swasey, 44, of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs police department. The nine wounded were taken to area hospitals and reported in good condition, Colorado Springs Police Department Lt. Catherine Buckley said.

President Obama condemned the violence in a statement Sunday and called for action on gun control.

"Enough is enough," he said.

Photo Credit: Colorado Springs Police Department
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<![CDATA[Body Found Inside Boarded up Home After Fire: PD]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 16:00:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-48043370412.jpg

Homicide and arson detectives are investigating after a body was found inside a boarded up, burned residence on Long Island.

The body of the person, who has not been identified, was found at 119 Irving Ave. in Wyandanch, police said. The home was boarded up at the time of the house fire around 2 a.m.

The Wyandanch Fire Dept. found the body inside after extinguishing the blaze. The body was transported to the medical examiner to be identified and undergo an autopsy.

A preliminary investigation determined the fire to be non-criminal, police said.

<![CDATA[King Tut's Tomb May Conceal Egypt's Lost Queen]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 15:41:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_205435125768.jpg

Chances are high that the tomb of Ancient Egypt's boy-king Tutankhamun has passages to a hidden chamber, which may be the last resting place of the lost Queen Nefertiti, experts said on Saturday.

There is huge international interest in Nefertiti, who died in the 14th century B.C. and is thought to be Tutankhamun's stepmother, and confirmation of her final resting place would be the most remarkable Egyptian archaeological find this century.

New evidence from the radar imaging taken so far is to be sent to a team in Japan for analysis. The results are expected to be announced in a month. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Hit, Seriously Injured in NJ; Driver Charged]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 15:45:20 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/pedestrian+struck+new+jersey.jpg

A 37-year-old man was seriously injured after he was struck by an SUV on a New Jersey roadway Friday night, police said.

Shaun Nichols was on Route 37 near Douglas Street in Toms River when he was hit by a 2005 Chrysler driven by Jesus Leonor Hernandez, 27, who was traveling eastbound. The accident happened near the Aqua Blu Restaurant.

Nichols was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center with serious injuries. His condition was unknown Saturday.

Hernandez was charged with operating a motor vehicle while having a revoked driver's license. He could face other charges in the crash, police said.

Photo Credit: Toms River Police]]>
<![CDATA[Putin Orders Economic Sanctions Against Turkey After Downing of Plane]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 15:16:07 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_187574577692.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday called for sanctions against Turkey, following the downing this week by Turkey of a Russian warplane.

The decree published on the Kremlin's website Saturday came hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had voiced regret over the incident, saying his country was "truly saddened" by the event and wished it hadn't occurred.

The decree includes a ban on some goods and forbids extensions of labor contracts for Turks working in Russia. It doesn't specify what goods are to be banned or give other details, but it also calls for ending chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Robbed by 4 Suspects After Visiting ATM in Queens: NYPD]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 14:15:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/atm+victim+4+attack.jpg

Four suspects robbed an 18-year-old man after he withdrew money from an ATM in Queens, police said.

The robbery happened after the teen visited an ATM at A-Town deli at 24-20 Ditmars Blvd. on Nov. 8. Police say the suspects watched the victim at the ATM, followed him a short distance from the deli and then surrounded him shortly before 3 p.m. They then allegedly threw him to the ground and stole his wallet.

The suspects got away with a credit card, debit card and $1 in cash, according to police. The victim was able to retain the money that he withdrew from the ATM by hiding it in a pants pocket.

The four suspects ran away after the robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

<![CDATA[Survivor: Colorado Gunman 'Was Aiming for My Head']]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 14:14:53 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_271813232552.jpg

A man who came face-to-face with a gunman at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic Friday said he felt "helpless" as he watched the shooter, who killed three people and injured nine others, NBC News reported.

Ozy Licano, 61, of Manzinola, Colorado,had driven some friends to the Colorado Springs clinic and was at a nearby Costco while they waited for their appointment.

When Licano returned, he was shocked to find bullets flying into the clinic's entry way as the the gunman shot "up and down," shattering the glass door.

"I just kind of lost it there. I tried to get out of my car and run. I thought about that, and I said no. I got back in the car, started it, put it in reverse," he said.

The shooter, identified as 57-year-old Robert Dear, turned his focus away from the clinic and took aim at Licano as he frantically tried to back up.

"He was looking directly at my face, and he was aiming for my head. I could see it in his eyes," Licano said.

Photo Credit: Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP
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<![CDATA[Man Robs Store After Being Denied Sneakers Refund: NYPD]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 13:27:52 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bronx+variety+shop+robbery.jpg

A man wearing a hardhat robbed a store in the Bronx after he was denied a refund for shoes he had purchased there, police said.

The robbery happened at the Forever 99 variety store at 1560 Westchester Avenue in Soundview around 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Police say the suspect demanded a refund for a pair of sneakers that he had purchased at the store. When he was told that he could only exchange the sneakers, he allegedly walked behind the counter and stole $600 in cash from the register.

A 36-year-old man tried to prevent the suspect from leaving the store by blocking an exit, but was shoved to the ground, police said. The suspect then got in a white Nissan Altima and took off down Westchester Avenue.

The man who was shoved to the ground was not injured.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NBC New York]]>
<![CDATA[Police Patrols Increase at NYC-Area Planned Parenthoods]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:56:54 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/planned+parenthood+long+island.jpg

Police in the New York metro area say they're stepping up patrols at Planned Parenthood locations as a precautionary measure after a gunman shot several people in Colorado, including three fatally. 

Police in Colorado Springs captured the shooter after an hours-long standoff, but the gunfire left two civilians and a police officer dead, and several others wounded, authorities there said. 

The NYPD deployed Critical Response Vehicles to Planned Parenthood locations throughout the city as the active shooting situation was unfolding, and both Nassau and Suffolk County Police increased patrols to locations on Long Island. 

Two police cruisers could were seen patrolling a facility in Hempstead late Friday night.

The agencies say there are no specific threats to Planned Parenthood locations here, and are stepping up patrols as a precautionary measure. 

The shooting left about a dozen casualties, including five police officers, at a Planned Parenthood facility in a five-hour standoff on Friday, NBC News reported. The nine injured victims are in good condition, according to police. 

Armed with "some kind of a long gun," the suspect brought items inside with him, Colorado Springs police Lt. Catherine Buckley said, but it was unclear what they were. "We don't have any information on this individual's mentality, or his ideas or ideology," she said, according to The Associated Press.

"My heart's broken. This is a really really tough situation for a lot of people in our community and the community at large," Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey said.

"This is a terrible, terrible tragedy that's occurred here in Colorado Springs," said Mayor John Suthers. "We mourn the loss of a very brave police officer. I just want to make sure that everybody knows that while this was a terrible, terrible tragedy, it could have been much worse but for the actions of the first responders."

The Planned Parenthood was open and active on Friday morning, with patients taking appointments, according to Buckley.

"At this time, our concern is for the safety of our patients, staff and law enforcement," Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, said in a statement earlier Friday.

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<![CDATA[Father, Son Shot to Death in Brooklyn: Police]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 15:53:30 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/double+homicide+brooklyn.jpg

A father and his son were fatally shot at a public housing complex in Brooklyn Friday night, the NYPD said Saturday.

Police were called to the Langston Hughes Houses at 315 Sutter Ave. in Brownsville for a report of an assault just before 10:45 p.m.

When officers arrived, they found 25-year-old Dupris Moore, who had been shot in the head, and 47-year-old Dupree Dunbar, who sustained two gunshot wounds to his chest, on the 14th floor. Both men were declared dead at the scene.

They were later identified as father and son, investigators said.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene late into the night, with more than a dozen officers and investigators around the entrance. The building was put on lockdown for a period of time, according to police.

There have been no arrests, police said.

Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 88-577-TIPS.

<![CDATA[NSA's Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Ends]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 08:52:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nsa1.jpg

The federal government's collection of bulk data from the telephone calls of virtually every American stopped at midnight Saturday, ending a raging controversy that began two and a half years ago with disclosures about the secret program by whistleblower Edward Snowden, NBC News reported. 

Beginning Sunday, if the government wants to check on a specific phone number in a potential terrorism case, a request must be made to the relevant telephone company for a check of its own data. The government will no longer retain the information.

Except in emergencies, the records can be obtained only with an individual order from a special federal intelligence court.

President Obama said in January that the bulk data collection would end, and Congress in June formally banned it but allowed for a six-month transition period that ended Saturday.

For now, the National Security Agency, which ran the massive government data collection program, will retain access to the data it collected before the program ended.

Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image]]>
<![CDATA[2 Dead After Boat Carrying 7 Overturns in NJ: Police]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 22:07:22 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/218*120/nypd+manasquan.JPG

Two men have died after a pontoon boat carrying seven people capsized in an inlet in New Jersey, officials say.

The boat was in the Manasquan Inlet, near Point Pleasant Beach, when it flipped into the water Friday afternoon, according to New Jersey State Police. 

Multiple agencies responded with choppers and boats in the search-and-rescue operation, including State Police Marine Service, State Police Aviation, U.S. Coast Guard and NYPD. All seven men on the boat were recovered. 

Alex Osadchy, 66, was pronounced dead on the scene, and Grigory Klokishner, 74, died at Jersey Shore Hospital in Neptune, state police said. Both were from Philadelphia.  

Four others were taken to Ocean Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, and one refused medical treatment, according to state police. 

Police said they're investigating but believe the strong currents were a contributing factor in the boat overturning. It's not clear if the men were wearing life vests. 

Another witness Dan Gallagher, 18, was getting ready to surf when he saw a wave come up from behind the boat and flip it over. 

"I saw the pontoon coming around the corner of the rocks, and one wave came up behind it and almost tipped it," he told Asbury Park Press. "As soon as it hit, the boat just kind of sat there. And the next wave came up right behind it and tipped it over the rest of the way." 

Gallagher said it looked like there were about seven people in the water.

"Luckily, none of them got pulled toward the rocks. They were all able to get out in the water, but we didn't really see everybody coming up," he said.

Nearby boats and surfers in the water rushed to help some of the victims from the water before emergency responders arrived, said Gallagher. 

"It's very, very heartbreaking that two people died, and it was so close to the beach," said another surfer, Keefer McKenna.

Witness Laura McGurk Stockel said she was fishing on her family's boat when they came across the rescue. She did not see what caused the boat to capsize but said there were very large swells Friday, and her own family had a hard time navigating their boat into the inlet. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Sought in Kips Bay Stairwell Rape: NYPD]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 19:19:10 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/2909-15+13+SQD+11-26-15+Photo.jpg

Police are searching for a suspect in a rape attempt in the Kips Bay section of Manhattan on Thanksgiving Day. 

The suspect is known to the NYPD, who says he was arrested Nov. 9 for a robbery. He allegedly forced a 48-year-old woman into the 17th-floor stairwell inside a building in the Straus Houses public housing complex on East 28th Street, forced her to perform a sex act and then tried to rape her, police said. 

The victim fought back, and the suspect grabbed her handbag and ran down the stairs, according to police. 

She followed her attacker and with the help of a bystander, took her handbag bag from the suspect, police said. The suspect, identified as 31-year-old Dominique Frazier, ran into an elevator in the lobby. 

The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated and released. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

<![CDATA[Plane Landing at JFK Hit by Laser: FAA]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 23:05:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/laser+plane+attack.jpg

The FAA is investigating after a crew on a flight landing at Kennedy Airport reported getting hit by a green laser shortly before landing.

The crew on Virgin America Flight 24 was about four miles northwest of JFK and about 6,000 feet in the air when the Airbus A320 was hit by a green laser at about 9:45 p.m., according to the FAA.

No one was hurt on the flight from San Francisco, and the plane landed safely. 

The FAA says it has also notified the NYPD. 

Pointing a laser at a plane is a federal crime.

<![CDATA[Man Stabs Wife, Mother-in-Law With Hunting Knife: Officials]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 22:07:31 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/police+lights+generic+crop.jpg

A man stabbed his wife and his mother-in-law with a hunting knife in their Jersey City home and fled in a minivan before crashing on the New Jersey Turnpike, authorities say. 

The 53-year-old suspect allegedly stabbed his 48-year-old wife and his elderly mother-in-law in their Winfield Avenue home Friday afternoon, according to a Jersey City spokeswoman. 

He then took off in a Toyota minivan and crashed near exit 11 of the New Jersey Turnpike, where state troopers caught up with him and took him into custody, the spokeswoman said. 

He's expected to face homicide and aggravated assault charges when he's processed by Jersey City police. 

The suspect's identity is being withheld to protect the victims, both of whom suffered serious injuries and are listed in critical condition at Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health, officials said. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Victim Blasts Arsonist on Loose in Queens: "This Is a Maniac" ]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:55:45 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Suspect-Fires-Forest-Hills-Queens-1127.jpg

Police have released images of a suspect they think is responsible for at least four fires that have broken out amid a rash of blazes in an affluent Queens neighborhood over the last several weeks.

Surveillance footage from around the time of a fire that broke out late on Wednesday at a home under construction on 67th shows a man walking behind a fence while wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

The suspect was also seen near the scene of fires in the neighborhood on Nov. 8, 15 and 17. In each fire, authorities say the suspect went into the structure, ignited flammable materials and left. 

"This is a maniac and a psycho, and a mental and a killer and a houseburner," said neighbor Sam Joseph, whose home was affected in the Nov. 17 fire. "Destroys everything, families." 

Joseph, who's lived in his home for 42 years, recalled the flames soaring 30 feet into the air and the heavy smoke when flames spread next door. He said the blaze ripped holes into his home's roof, and his bedroom is now unrecognizable under sheetrock, so he's sleeping on a sofa in the middle of soot.

"What a mess," the 74-year-old told NBC 4 New York just after returning home from the hospital emergency room Friday. "My heart races."

Joseph, who lives in the home with his brother on a fixed income with no insurance, said his health has been affected. 

The neighborhood has been site to seven suspicious fires in the last month or so, but it's not clear if the suspect has been implicated in the other three blazes. 

The first fire broke out in late October, when a vacant home caught fire on 113th Street. On Nov. 8, there was another fire at a home under construction on 112th Street, and on Nov. 17, a large fire engulfed a home being built at 66th Avenue and 108th Street. 

Police said after the Nov. 17 fire that they were putting additional officers on the streets as they look for suspicious activity, and have teamed up with the FDNY's arson unit to investigate. 

When the NYPD's 112th Precinct station tweeted about that fire and asked residents to avoid the area, neighbors responded with concern: "Another one?" "Why so many fires in the neighborhood lately?"

The NYPD followed up in another tweet: "We're aware of the recent rash of residential fires in #ForestHills. We're coordinating with #FDNY and other investigative authorities." 

Even though no one has been injured in the fires, fire can be unpredictable, police say, and so authorities are asking for the public's help. 

Joseph is hoping for a quick arrest.

"Right away, they have to. Stop this. Disaster. People can die, too. I could have been dead," he said. 

The Red Cross says it will check on Joseph and assist in any way he needs. 

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

<![CDATA[Dash Cam Catches Terrifying Crash on Side of I-95]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:09:06 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/I95+fairfield+crash+crazy+video.jpg

State police dashboard camera footage captured a terrifying crash where a car plowed into a car on the shoulder of Interstate 95 in Connecticut, narrowly missing two people standing alongside the highway.

Yoni Rojas, 21, of Bridgeport is facing multiple charges including reckless endangerment and reckless driving after the crash on I-95 South in Fairfield just after midnight on Thursday, according to Connecticut state troopers.

Authorities say Rojas plowed into a car that was pulled over following an earlier two-car crash near exit 19. The wreckage barely missed a pair of people who were standing on the passengers side of the vehicle. 

Video of the scary scene was posted to the State Police's Facebook page, with troopers reminding drivers to move over if emergency vehicles are parked on the side of the road. 

The footage from the dash camera of the first cruiser on scene shows a car appear to come out of nowhere at a high rate of speed, coming within inches of hitting two people standing behind a vehicle on the highway. They jumped back in what state police called a "hair-raising" moment to avoid being hit right as the barreling car takes out the vehicle they were standing next to and pushes it out of the camera's view.

Neither the two people nearly hit nor the state trooper at the scene from the original crash were injured.

Rojas did sustain minor injuries. He was expected to appear in court on Friday morning. Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available. 

<![CDATA[Ex-NYPD Worker Killed in Brooklyn Hit-and-Run]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 19:00:17 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/brooklyn-fatal-crash-inset-1127.jpg

A retired NYPD employee was run down and killed by an out-of-control driver who authorities say also hit several other people and cars in Brooklyn Thursday evening, then tried to run away as authorities responded to the wreckage.

The driver, 24-year-old Michael McBean, allegedly hit Yvette Molina at Linden Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York at about 7 p.m., then kept on driving, according to police.

He allegedly hit cars and several people along the way, then ran away, police said.

EMS workers chased the McBean, who somehow managed to run back to the scene. That's where he was detained by police.

Molina was taken to Brookdale Hospital in critical condition, then died, police said. Eight other people suffered minor injuries.

Molina's niece said that the 56-year-old was on her way to buy a newspaper when she was hit. It's not clear when she retired from the NYPD.

"My aunt was so loving, so caring," said niece Janna Bolt, sobbing. "I just can't believe it." 

A former colleague, Verna McLean, recalled Molina as a diligent worker and a "very loving person," a characterization echoed by neighbor Harry Smith, who said she was "a lovable person."

"She was very into her church, her spirituality," said Bolt. "She loved everybody. She was a cat lover. She just did all she could."

McBean faces charges of attempted robbery, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available. 

<![CDATA[Wheelchair Returned to Girl, 4]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:36:00 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/192*120/nolegs-112515.PNG

The parents of a 4-year-old Santa Ana, California, girl who received an outpouring of support, including a $10,000 check, after their disabled daughter's wheelchair was stolen this week, have been presented with yet another miracle.

Rosa Perez woke up Friday to find her daughter, Milagros', wheelchair had been returned.

Perez said her husband came home and discovered the wheelchair by a trash can outside their apartment complex. He told her to look outside and she immediately broke down in tears.

Milagros, or "miracle" in Spanish, was born without legs, a heart condition and other ailments.

Her wheelchair was stolen Saturday night from behind a gate that couldn't be locked because it is a common area in the complex in the 400 block of South Flower Street.

Milagros' family pleaded to the public for help this week to get back Milagros' motorized wheelchair, which is the miracle girl's main way of getting to school.

After NBC4 viewer Joyce Brandman saw the newscast Wednesday, she came to the rescue, donating $10,000 for a new specialized wheelchair. The viewer called the assignment desk and said that after hearing Milagros' story on NBC4, she just had to help.

"What better gift can I give myself for the holidays than to reach out to help this child?" said Brandman.

Brandman handed over a check for $10,000 from the nonprofit Saul Brandman Foundation so that the family could buy a new specialized wheelchair built especially for Milagros.

The donor was delighted to hear that Milagros' wheelchair had been found and said the family could keep the money she donated.

"Now you see, out of something bad, something good happened. She had her wheelchair stolen, now the wheelchair has been returned and she's going to get the help and special care she needs," said Brandman.

Perez said others have also donated wheelchairs, which she hopes to donate to another family in need.

Santa Ana police had no surveillance images or any descriptions of the thief.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters March on Black Friday]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 07:48:52 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-498957456.jpg

Hundreds of protesters descended on Michigan Avenue on Black Friday, marching up the major shopping strip in Chicago in response to the release of the dash-cam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer.

The demonstration, organized by Rev. Jesse Jackson and several community activists and church leaders, began at 11 a.m. Friday. It started at Michigan and Wacker and proceeded to Water Tower Place, where some protesters attempted to block store entrances at Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Victoria's Secret and Macy's.

Carrying signs that read "Stop police terror" and chanting "Rahm Emanuel has to go" and "Garry McCarthy must step down," protesters blocked traffic on both sides of the Mag Mile. Guided by police, the protest along the Mag Mile remained peaceful.

"This is what it should be about," state Rep. Marcus Evans told NBC 5 during the protest. "This is Chicago. This is an international city. We can't afford to let the embarrassments of other places happen here. We have to be the example. Justice in Chicago, I believe that."

"We are marching for children," protester Kate Malden said. "Look at that sign right there. This is a child. It is absurd that we are out here right now. It's 2015. It's been 60 freaking years of civil rights movements and nothing has changed, and that's not OK."

At one point, protesters attempted to get into Macy's on Water Tower Place, as well as H&M and Columbia on Michigan Avenue, saying if they weren't allowed it, no one would be able to get out.

Traffic was blocked for four hours. Protesters continued to block the entrances of some stores, and at around 4:30 p.m. a fight was reported outside Banana Republic.

The purpose of the Black Friday protest is to bring the attention of the world to Chicago and to call for change via "mass demonstrations" and voter registration, Jackson said. 

"It's not enough to focus on what brought us here today, the execution of this young man (Laquan McDonald)," Jackson said. "That takes the scab off a deeper sore, a deeper cancer. So we want mass demonstrations, mass voter registration."

The Chicago Teachers Union on Thursday endorsed the march and CTU President Karen Lewis encouraged all member to "express their outrage and dignity" by participating in the demonstration.

"While we're talking a lot of money, toys, and clothes and consumer items, we ought to start thinking about where we need to really spend our money," Lewis said.

"We're here to take a simple stand for justice," CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said during the protest.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said protests so far have gone "exceptionally well" and credited the professionalism of the police department.

"It's remarkable what they do, and that's why we're not having problems that other cities have had," he said Friday. "We're trying to help [protesters] do what they want to do, quite frankly."

Jackson said 450 shootings have taken place in Chicago this year, which he believes should have gained the same media attention as the terror attacks in Paris and Beirut and on the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt.

Jackson headed a press conference Wednesday, a day after Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for shooting McDonald to death. The video tape showing the incident was also released to the public the same day. During the conference, Jackson asked for an investigation into the video and the timing of its release.

"We want a firm investigation on the suppression of the tapes," Jackson said. "The suppression of the tapes was manipulated for someone's advantage at the expense of others."

Footage from the dash-cam video was released more than a year after the October 2014 shooting. Several officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, faced harsh criticism for the timing of the video's release, and some residents and activists called for the resignation of all three of them this week. Jackson also called for a new police superintendent and a "new infrastructure." 

"The governor has a role to play. He’s been silent in this," Jackson said. "The state’s attorney [has] a role to play, the U.S. attorney a role to play. They should all get together. The police chief and his infrastructure needs to go, the state’s attorney should resign and should not run again. And all of those who saw the tape and who did nothing but suppress it, must also be made accountable."

Alvarez defended herself and Emanuel on Tuesday after first-degree murder charges were filed against Van Dyke, saying the mayor's plea last week to keep the video away from the public eye "was in the best interest of the investigation." Alvarez added that the reason it took 13 months to charge Van Dyke is because investigations into police shootings and misconduct are "massive and labor intensive." 

Minutes before the video was released, Emanuel said he hadn't seen it yet and was waiting until the rest of the city could see it, too. He added that he hoped the release of the video would help "build bridges of understanding" in the city instead of inciting unrest.

"I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than become a barrier of misunderstanding," Emanuel said. "I understand that people will be upset and want to protest when they see this video. But I would like to echo the comments of the McDonald family. They asked for calm and that those who choose to speak out do it peacefully."

Earlier this week, protesters took to downtown city streets in protest, resulting in several arrests. A group of protesters were also seen tearing the lights from the Christmas treet standing in Millennium Park. Still, officials say the protests have been largely peaceful. 

The Magnificent Mile Association said in a statement that it respects the right to assemble but hopes the demonstrations remain peaceful.

"The Magnificent Mile Association represents the interests of employees and businesses in the famous North Michigan Avenue District of Chicago," the statement read. "We respect the American freedom to assemble and the process in the pursuit of social justice. We hope that any assembly on Friday will continue to be peaceful."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Much Has Changed Since Giants-Redskins First Game]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 17:58:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Redskins+Giants+092415+GettyImages-489881684.jpg

The Giants travel to Washington this week in a bid to sweep the season series from their bitter divisional rival. A lot has changed both in the NFL and for these two teams since Week 3, when the Giants whipped Washington 32-21 at MetLife Stadium. Johnny Manziel was second string, then first string, then second string, then first string and now third string. And that’s basically just in the last week.

The quarterback position for the Giants and Washington has been comparatively static, with Eli Manning and Kirk Cousins both ensconced under center. But not everything has remained the same with these two teams since their earlier matchup on Sept. 24. Let’s take a look at Then and Now.

Then: The Giants beat Washington in a Thursday night game.
Now: Thursday games are still the worst.

Then: New York had lost its previous game because of some questionable fourth-quarter clock management.
Now: *Sigh*

Then: Washington fans were freshly digesting the news that the wife of their general manager, Scot McCloughan, had basically accused an ESPN reporter of servicing her husband in exchange for team news.
Now: We wonder how Thanksgiving went at the McCloughans’ house.

Then: We hadn't seen the full extent of the damage to the hand of Jason Pierre-Paul.
Now: Gah, look away!

Then: The Giants were 0-2 and in last place in the NFC East.
Now: The Giants are 5-5 and in first place.

Then: Washington had the league's best rushing attack.
Now: They’re 25th -- just ahead of the Giants -- averaging 95.3 ypg.

Then: Washington was 1-1 and feeling pretty good about themselves after beating the Rams 24-10 on the road.
Now: Washington is 4-6 and just got blown out 44-16 at home against the Panthers.

Then: Robert Griffin III was a potential distraction for Washington.
Now: RGIII seems resigned to being the third-string quarterback.

Then: It was a must-win game for the Giants.
Now: It’d still be a good idea to win this one.

Then: No players on Washington were claiming that referees were calling more penalties on them than other teams because of Washington’s racist team name.
Now: Defensive end Jason Hatcher said after last week’s blowout loss to Panthers that referees have it in for Washington because of their name.

Then: We were hoping Daniel Snyder would dress up as a pilgrim for Thanksgiving and invite some Native Americans over for dinner and announce the team was taking this opportunity to change the team name to the Thundering Turkeys.
Now: Snyder still has no vision.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead in Fiery AC Expressway Crash]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:12:29 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/image1172.JPG

One person was killed in a fiery crash at a toll plaza in New Jersey on Friday, State Police said.

The car plowed into at the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza, off the Atlantic City Expressway after noon, The New Jersey State Police say. The car burst into flames after the impact, causing a portion of the toll plaza to go up in flames. 

One person was killed in the crash, police confirmed.

State Police said no toll employees were injured.

All traffic is being diverted through the E-ZPass express lanes.

The cause of the deadly crash remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Christian Cazares]]>