<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York https://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usMon, 20 Nov 2017 00:55:23 -0500Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:55:23 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Scaffolding Collapses in SoHo, Injuring 5 People: FDNY]]> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:40:53 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SOHO+SCAFFOLDING+COLLAPSE+LATAKOO+CLIPS+1+-+8++-+00001429_WNBC_1.jpg

Scaffolding collapsed in SoHo amid high winds Sunday, scattering debris across the street and injuring five people.

The scaffolding collapsed at Broadway and Prince Street, in the heart of SoHo. 

Video and photos showed large metal bars and pieces of wood scattered across the street as bystanders watched or ran to help. One video shows people frantically removing debris from a pile. 

At least one person was seen being taken away on a stretcher. Police said everyone who was hurt suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries. 

A wind advisory was in effect for all of New York City and much of the tri-state most of the day Sunday. 

City Council Member Ben Kallos said the city should do a better job of making sure scaffolding is taken down in a timely matter. 

"Although it is still unclear what exactly caused today’s dangerous incident, we do know that if the structure were not there it would not have collapsed and injured pedestrians," he said in a statement.

A Department of Buildings investigation into the incident is ongoing. 

The contract company hired by the owners of 568 Broadway had cleared the site by Sunday night and were replacing the damaged section of sidewalk shed. The DOB issued a violation to the building owner for a failure to maintain the property. 

High winds toppled trees across the tri-state, including in the Bronx and Teaneck, New Jersey. And in Tribeca, a large scaffold on a building swung violently. 



Photo Credit: NBC New York
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<![CDATA[Group Blindfolds, Kidnaps Man in Terrifying Queens Robbery]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:56:17 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BUFFA+MAN+ABDUCTED+QNS+PKG+11P+-+00011217_WNBC_000000018719374.jpg

A group of as many as half-a-dozen men kidnapped a Queens man outside of his home in a robbery Sunday morning, police say.

The 28-year-old victim was parking his car outside his Rosedale house around 4 a.m. when four to six men got out of two vehicles that were waiting nearby, according to police.

The men blindfolded the man, took his keys and stormed into his home, where they stole a wallet from a woman inside.

But the ordeal wasn’t over. Police say the group then shoved the man into a car and drove off. They took him about 20 minutes away, to 88th Street, and left him.

A man who gave his name as Rocky R. said he found the man with blood on his hands and face. He says he appeared to have been roughed up.

“He was like, ‘I got kidnapped,’” Rocky said. “When I looked down I saw he had no shoes on.”

The man was being treated for minor injuries to his hands. The woman at his home was not injured.

Police said Sunday night that they were still trying to track down the kidnappers.

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<![CDATA[Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thousands March Through DC for Puerto Rico]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 23:21:50 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-876340744.jpg

Thousands of demonstrators, including award-winning playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, marched through Washington, D.C. on Sunday to ensure people don’t forget the ongoing humanitarian crisis in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

People carried Puerto Rican flags as they marched from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.

Some carried signs reading "We are not second-class citizens."

Hurricane Maria hammered the island in September, but the recovery effort is far from over. A little more than half of the U.S. territory is still without power, according to the Puerto Rican government website.

Speakers at Sunday's rally called for more federal support.

Miranda, marching with his father and mother, carried a Hispanic Federation banner reading "Fight For Puerto Rico" leading the latter half of the thousands of marchers. He joined in with the call and response chant of "Puerto Rico, Presente" (Puerto Rico is present) and in shouting a few drawn out "¡Weeepaaas! The term "wepa," sort of like "yowza," is a popular expression in Puerto Rico, NBC News reported.

The "Hamilton" creator has made a number of efforts to raise money and bring aid to Puerto Ricans. He has brought together artists to produce the single "Almost Like Praying." Sales of the single have raised $500,000 for the island, Miranda announced at the Lincoln Memorial rally.

The White House recently sent congress a $44 billion disaster aid request. Lawmakers from hurricane-hit regions said that is not enough money.



Photo Credit: Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cops Arrest Man in Deadly Shooting at NJ Applebee's]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 21:23:24 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Noel-Powell-III.jpg

Police arrested a man accused of shooting and killing a man inside a New Jersey Applebee's restaurant.

Noel Powell III, 27, of Fountayne Lane, Lawrence Township, was arrested in Trenton, New Jersey around 2:30 p.m. Sunday by members of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force. He is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Police say Powell shot and killed Devin Smith, 23, of Lawrence Township, inside the Applebee's Grill + Bar restaurant along Brunswick Pike (U.S. Route 1) near the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrenceville, New Jersey around 12:25 a.m. Tuesday. Powell approached Smith, who was seated and alone at the bar and shot him once in the head, according to investigators. Powell fled in a dark-colored SUV and Smith was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

While Powell is in custody, police have not yet revealed a possible motive in the murder or whether or not he knew the victim.

Tuesday night, Smith's loved ones gathered at the Applebee's to honor him, leaving behind balloons and candles.

"I just lost the father of my child," said Briana Anderson, the mother of Smith's 3-year-old daughter. "I'm trying to be strong for my daughter so she knows she's not alone through this whole process."

Those who knew Smith described him as a man who was the life of the party with countless friends and no known enemies.

"They were just always so happy and lively," said Lisa Trinh, one of Smith's friends. "I don't know who could've done it to him."

Kavon Marshall, another friend of Smith's, arrived at the Applebee's late Tuesday night and delivered balloons, releasing some in the air. He considered Smith his little brother.

"It just don't feel real," Marshall said. "I do miss him. I don't even know what kind of monster would do this."



Photo Credit: Mercer County Prosecutor's Office
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<![CDATA[Scaffold Swings Violently as Fierce Winds Bear Down on NYC]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 21:59:24 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/IPNVideo_1200x675_1099568707551.jpg

A scaffold in Tribeca was tossed around by intense winds with gusts of up to 50 mph on Sunday. In SoHo, scaffolding collapsed, injuring five people, according to police.

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<![CDATA[Driver Dies After Car Launches Into Building During Pursuit]]> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:44:43 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SIEGAL+NJ+CAR+INTO+BUILDING+BROLL++-+00002820_WNBC_000000018718.jpg

A car careened off the road, flipped over and crashed into a building in New Jersey during what authorities say was a police pursuit Sunday afternoon.

The driver of the car was killed when it struck a doctor's office near Springfield Avenue and Victory Road in Springfield and went up in flames. Nobody was inside the office at the time of the collision because it is closed on Sundays. 

"I heard tires screeching and it was like a real boom," one witness said. 

Photos posted to social media show what appears to be a white sedan lodged, upside-down, in a three-story building. Shattered glass and broken concrete litter the scene. 

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Authorities said the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Union police are investigating a police pursuit that ended in a fatal motor-vehicle collision.

The name of the driver who died hasn't been made public. 

Details about what may have sparked the pursuit weren't immediately available. Crews spent much of the evening working to get the car out of the office, which was boarded up late Sunday. 

The office's facilities manager says similar crashes like Sunday's happen far too often at the intersection. 

"Here we are again. It’s sad," Jim Chiurazzi said. "It really should be addressed. The curve needs guardrails."

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<![CDATA[Woman Says Cuomo Ignored Sex Harassment By Appointee]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:38:52 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SEX+HARASSMENT+LAWSUIT+INVOLVING+CUOMO+WGRZ+-+00003904_WNBC_000.jpg

An upstate New York woman struggling to find a place to live and a job after ending an abusive relationship said a state employee helped her, only to use it as an excuse to sexually harass and assault her, and the governor knew and did nothing to stop it, according to a lawsuit.

The governor's office denies the allegations. 

Lisa Marie Cater, of Buffalo, says in court papers filed Saturday in federal court that she wrote to the Empire State Development Corp. in the fall of 2015 seeking help, and then-Regional President William "Sam" Hoyt wrote her back directly saying he could help her find a job. He secured a position for her at the department of motor vehicles in Buffalo, she says. 

She says he began to sexually harass and assault her; he turned up at her home uninvited where he kissed and groped her, according to her complaint. He constantly sent her sexually harassing text messages and emails, including a nude photo of himself asking: "Do I look tan?" 

An attorney for Hoyt has denied Cater's allegations. 

Cater says in court papers that Hoyt repeatedly reminded her that he could take her job away in a second if she complained or refused his advances. When she tried to tell him she couldn't handle the abuse anymore, he attacked her, grabbing and squeezing her crotch area, the court papers say.

"You know this is what I want!" he said, according to the complaint.

She says last fall, Hoyt offered her $50,000 in exchange for her silence, and she signed the agreement without a lawyer because she couldn't afford one.

Cater says she tried to complain to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office about the abuse, but officials ignored or were "deliberately indifferent" toward her, charges the governor's office said were untrue. And at one point, Hoyt said he called Cuomo, and the governor wanted the allegations to "go away," the suit alleges.

Alphonso David, Cuomo's counsel, said when Cater first reported the complaint in October 2016 it was immediately referred to the state Employee Relations Office for an investigation.

"At the same time Mr. Hoyt was instructed to have no further interaction with the complainant and to cooperate fully with the investigation," he said.

The case was referred to the Inspector General's office, later that October, but Cater didn't comply with attempts to interview her, David said. The matter was referred to a third agency, the State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

"The facts alleged in this complaint regarding Mr. Hoyt were not provided to state investigators and in many cases contradict the public allegations made in the last several weeks. The state launched three separate investigations into this matter, and any assertion to the contrary is patently and demonstrably false, and as such, we expect this matter to be summarily dismissed," David said.

Two of the probes are still open. Amid the investigations, Hoyt resigned Oct. 30. It came out the next day in news reports that he'd been accused of sexual harassment and paid off his accuser. He was appointed to the job in 2011 by Cuomo and before that served in the state Assembly.

His lawyer did not respond to a request by The Associated Press, but told the New York Post his client "denies the allegations in the complaint and will defend himself."

The lawsuit says her civil rights were violated and seeks monetary damages and attorney's fees.



Photo Credit: NBC New York]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says He Should Have Left UCLA Players in Chinese Jail]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:02:58 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/212*120/11-8-2017-ucla-basketball-hill-riley-ball-2.jpg

Two days after LaVar Ball, father of detained UCLA player LiAngelo Ball, downplayed President Donald Trump's role in the return of three UCLA men's basketball players detained in China, the president fired back.

LiAngelo Ball, brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, was one of the three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting before Trump helped return them to the United States. In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump criticized LaVar Ball for being "unaccepting for what I did for his son."

"I should have left them in jail!" Trump added.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, retweeted Trump's tweet and included his own comment.

"The President would have left American students in a foreign jail because their families didn't lavish sufficient praise on him," Schiff wrote. "How can someone in such a big office be so small?"

Freshman LiAngelo Ball was detained along with Jalen Hill and Cody Riley nearly two weeks ago and returned last week after Trump said he had a long conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the incident. 

At a press conference after their return, all three players had individually thanked Trump, and initially, Trump seemed to acknowledge the players' gratitude.

"To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made ... your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!" Trump said in two tweets.

However, by Sunday remarks LaVar Ball made on ESPN Friday caused the president to change his tune.

LaVar Ball had seemingly diminished Trump's role in getting the three players back home when he spoke on the sports network.

"What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out," LaVar Ball said. "Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I'm from LA. I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses," he said.

All three UCLA players have been indefinitely suspended from the team, coach Steve Alford said. They will not travel with the team or suit up for home games.

"They will have to earn their way back," Alford said.



Photo Credit: UCLA Athletics
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<![CDATA[9 Hurt As Massive Blaze Rips Through NYC Building: FDNY]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:59:25 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hamilton-heights-fire-1117.jpg

Seven firefighters, one police officer and one civilian were hurt in a massive, wind-swept blaze at a century-old apartment building in upper Manhattan Friday afternoon. 

Most of the roof of the six-story building at West 144th Street and Broadway in Hamilton Heights also collapsed in the fire, which sent fireballs of debris raining down on the street and a thick wall of black smoke shooting into the skyline shortly after it broke out on the top floor around 3:15 p.m.

More than 200 firefighters were called to the 39-apartment building, which was occupied when the fire broke out. They searched the floors to make sure everyone was out -- even rescuing at least one dog -- and that there were no reports of missing tenants. Officials initially said the building was unoccupied and under renovation.

Firefighters were still putting water on hot spots into Friday night, and authorities said there was a chance the 100-year-old apartment building could collapse because of heavy fire and water damage throughout the structure. 

Authorities said that the blaze was fed by chilly gusts pulsing through the tri-state Friday evening; initially authorities were worried the flames could jump to other buildings in the area, but those fears have been averted. 

It's not clear what caused the blaze. There was a sidewalk shed outside the building as a precaution while crews made repairs to a damaged facade, but it wasn't clear Friday if construction had begun or if it played any role in the massive blaze. 

Elizabeth Mercado told News 4 that she and her 5-year-old son sprinted out of the building after hearing fellow tenants screaming "fire."

"I couldn't believe it," she said. "It's incredible."

Traffic cameras in the area showed smoke pouring from the building, and social media users reported seeing the plume from dozens of blocks away. By 4 p.m., the smoke had transitioned from black to a light gray as ladder trucks laid gallons of water on the flames. 

The same traffic camera showed debris enveloped in flames falling down to to the street below as the facade and roof of the building crumbled under the intensity of the blaze.

Hundreds of residents have been displaced, at least temporarily, by the fire. The Red Cross said it was helping those affected. It's unclear if anyone who lived in the building will ever be able to re-enter the building.

"Everybody who lives in that building is going to be without a home for Christmas, that's what I'm thinking," said Mercado.

Another tenant, Sophia Boswell, said she was just happy to get her family out safe.

"The children were terrified, but we're blessed to get out and right now, our concern is about the tenants inside," she said. 

Motorists and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area. Residents who live in the area should stay inside and close their windows. 

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<![CDATA[Brooklyn Woman Struck, Killed by SUV in New Jersey: Police]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 14:03:04 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/474088166-Police-lights.jpg

A 69-year-old woman was struck and killed while she walked across a New Jersey street, police said. 

Janina Grzelczak, of Brooklyn, walking across Washington Road in Sayreville when she was struck by a Ford Explorer on Friday evening, police said. She was crossing mid-block instead of using the crosswalk, police said. 

Grzelczak was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy where she was pronounced dead. 

The driver, a 34-year-old Sayreville resident, hasn't been charged. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Bartlinski of the Sayreville Police Department at (732) 525-5431 or Detective Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4054.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Trump 'Doesn't Know Who to Believe' About Moore: Mulvaney]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 11:36:46 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/transgender-trump.jpg

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, defended President Donald Trump for his silence on the sexual allegations against Roy Moore, saying Trump "doesn't know who to believe."

"He has said that he thinks that the voters of Alabama should decide," Mulvaney told Andrea Mitchell on NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday. "I think that's the most commonsense way to look at it."

"He doesn't know who to believe. I think a lot of folks don't," Mulvaney said of the president, adding that he personally believes the allegations "are credible."

Nine women have come forward with accusations against Moore, the Republican nominee and former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, including one woman who said she was 14 when Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when he was 32. Moore has denied the allegations.



Photo Credit: AP/Evan Vucci, File]]>
<![CDATA[2 Seriously Hurt in NYC Apartment Fire: FDNY]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 10:16:09 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bronx-foxhurst-fire-11-19-2-crop.jpg

A house fire in the Bronx early Sunday seriously injured two people, firefighters said. 

A firefighter also suffered minor injuries, the FDNY said. 

The fire broke out in the basement of a three-story apartment in the Foxhurst neighborhood, firefighters said. Video showed flames leaping from the top floor. 

Neighbors said several families lived in the apartment, but all of the tenants were related. 

An older person was seen on video receiving CPR on the sidewalk along Home Street. 

The victims, a woman and a teenage girl, were taken to Jacobi and Lincoln hospitals. 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Car for Hire Crashes in Queens Intersection, Killing 1: NYPD]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 23:32:58 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/generic+police+vg.jpg

A speeding car for hire crashed with another vehicle in a Queens intersection, killing the driver of the other vehicle, police said. 

No passengers were in the car, which had TLC license plates, when it crashed Saturday night, the NYPD said. It wasn't clear whether the car was a livery cab, taxi, Uber or another car service.

The 21-year-old driver was traveling at a high rate of speed on 80th Street in Ozone Park when it crashed into a Volkswagen Passat sedan at the intersection with Sutter Avenue, police said. 

The Volkswagen then crashed into two parked cars. 

It's not clear which car had the right of way. 

The driver of the Volkswagen, Xylique Lovelace-Loney, 18, of Queens, suffered severe trauma and was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital. 

The driver of the car with TLC plates suffered minor injuries and refused medical attention. 

No arrests have been made and the investigation was ongoing. 



Photo Credit: Valeria Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[Dangerous Winds Topple Trees, Toss Scaffolds in Tri-State]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 21:54:14 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/stringr-5a11d944d3426c970c1cdd42-2+-+00000705_WNBC_000000018718.jpg

Winds with gusts of up to 50 mph tore through much of the tri-state Sunday, knocking down trees and sending scaffold on buildings swinging. 

There were reports of the wind knocking trees down across the tri-state, including one in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx that smashed into parked cars. No one was injured. 


In Teaneck, New Jersey, a tree fell on a man who was loading his truck, police said. The man had a possible broken femur but was expected to survive. The tree brought down power lines and power had to be cut to the area as the debris was cleared. 

In SoHo, scaffolding fell into a street, injuring five people. It's unclear if winds were to blame, but over in Tribeca, a scaffold on a building swung violently in the wind. 

The wind also caused delays at all three of the area's major airports. Inbound delays of 2 hours were reported at Newark Sunday night.  


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<![CDATA[Don't Expect Suspensions on Greek Life to Last: Experts]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 07:39:45 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_17314070820880.jpg

It may have been common to look away from fraternities issues in the past, even deadly ones. But not anymore.

This year alone, the deaths of four pledges in alcohol-related incidents and various hazing infractions have led to the closing down of some or all Greek life activities on several college campuses and the filing of criminal charges against more than two dozen students, NBC News reported. 

While college administrators, for the most part, have acted quickly after the most recent deaths, it is still highly unlikely that any would move to permanently ban fraternities outright, experts told NBC News.

Penn State University implemented new regulations for its Greek life and suspended some fraternities after the death of a sophomore pledge, Timothy Piazza, after an alcohol-filled hazing ritual in February. Prosecutors filed charges in the case last week against 17 people linked to the fraternity. A school spokeswoman said the university president will meet with his counterparts at other colleges in the Big 10 conference next year to discuss potential solutions.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File]]>
<![CDATA[At US-Mexico Border, 12 Families Get 3 Minutes to Reunite]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 02:33:28 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-876055414.jpg

A family living on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border for more than 15 years was reunited for a few short minutes Saturday, when U.S. Border Patrol agents open the gates.

It was all part of an event, now in its sixth year, called "Opening the Door for Hope" that allows a select number of families, to embrace their loved ones for three minutes at Friendship Park, an area between two border fences at Border Field State Park near south San Diego. This year 12 families were selected.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) allows families to see each other through a fortified fence at Friendship Park while still remaining firmly in their countries. But for this special event, agents opened the gates that separate them, allowing loved ones to hug, kiss and talk without boundaries.

"There will be families hugging one another that, for one reason or another, can't cross [the border] north or south," said Enrique Morones, director of Border Angels, a nonprofit that supports San Diego's immigrant population.

For families to qualify, the person from the U.S. must have legal documentation.

One at a time, people were allowed to pass through the open gate and embrace loved ones. One couple even took their few minutes to get married. With such a short amount of time, few words were spoken, instead sharing tearful hugs. 

"A lot of tears were running down my face too, but out of joy more than anything," said Vicente Saldana, a DACA recipient and recent UC San Diego graduate, who was there with his sister and niece to see his mother for the first time in 10 years. 

The day put things into perspective for him. 

"We are free to be here in the U.S. but at the same time, we’re limited in what we can do, where we can travel and who we can be with," Saldana said. "We just try to stay strong and push hard every day and we know that one day we will be able to reunite with her."

Claudia Rocha traveled about 500 miles from San Jose, California, to be one of those families after her husband, Guillermo, worked with Border Angels to apply.

She told Telemundo 20 in San Diego that it's been 15 years since she has seen her parents. She also has a brother whom she hadn't seen since he was a months-old infant.

"I have a little brother who is 15 years old and he's also excited because, well, he doesn't know me -- he only knows me through pictures. And he tells me he wants to meet me," Claudia said ahead of the event. "I want to hug them and not let them go for those few minutes."

Morones says he is not sure how much longer the reunification event will last, because of the Trump administration and stricter immigration policies.

“We hope that Congress will do something for us 'Dreamers' at the end of the day," Saldana said. "We're good people and we're here with good intentions."

For now, loved ones are embracing the opportunity to embrace each other, if only for three minutes. 



Photo Credit: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[No Correlation Between Mental Health, Mass Shooting: Experts]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:03:20 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-874617738.jpg

Kevin Neal’s family knew he was mentally ill, but they never thought he would kill five people and attack an elementary school in rural northern California. But Neal committed both those acts on Tuesday, and it has left his family asking some very difficult questions, NBC News reported.

Sheridan Orr, Neal’s sister, said her brother made threats for nearly 20 years. Though they continued to pressure him to receive help for his mental health, he seemed unwilling to pursue treatment.

Experts say it is difficult to know what to do in those situations, but Dr. James Fox, an expert on gun violence and author of “Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder,” said it's dangerous to assume that the mentally ill tend to commit these shootings.

"There’s not really a correlation," said Fox, who maintains a database on mass shootings. "We like to think that these people are different from the rest of us. We want a simple explanation and if we just say they’re mentally ill, case closed. Because of how fearful dangerous and deadly their actions are, we really want to distance ourselves from it and relegate it to illness."



Photo Credit: Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[6 Hurt After Driver Fleeing Cops Leaves Trail of Destruction]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:34:38 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NOVINI+BUS+INTO+CARS+BK++11PM+PKG++-+22525127_WNBC_000000018715.jpg

A driver took off during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Saturday, plowing through a red light and hitting an MTA bus and two cars in chaotic crashes that left six people injured, the NYPD said.

Officers attempted to pull the driver over for an infraction shortly before 4:30 p.m. near Clinton and Lafayette avenues in Clinton Hill.

But instead of pulling over, the NYPD says he accelerated through a red light and hit a pair of cars, including a black SUV, and an MTA bus before coming to a stop several blocks south at Fulton Street and Clinton Avenue. 

Police did not pursue the vehicle, the NYPD said. 


Witnesses described hearing a big "boom" as the silver sedan struck the other vehicles. Pieces of metal were left scattered in the street, and the damaged vehicles had to be hauled away by tow trucks. 

The driver was eventually taken into custody and hospitalized, but a second person fled from the car, according to the NYPD. 

The driver of the MTA bus and two bus passengers were also injured, as were two children in one of the cars that was struck. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.


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<![CDATA[LAPD Investigates Nearly Two Dozen Sex Crime Cases]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:06:01 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630811651.jpg

Los Angeles police are investigating almost two dozen cases of alleged criminal sexual misconduct connected to multiple people within the entertainment industry, a senior department official told NBC News.

The cases involve individuals who are known publicly as well as others who have not yet been identified, the official said Friday.

Allegations span from misdemeanor sexual battery to felony rape, and in many cases, there are multiple complaints lodged against the same individual, the official said. With calls from victims continuing to roll in, the number of investigations is expected to rise.

While police have not said publicly who is under investigation, law enforcement's response comes after a mounting list of Hollywood heavy hitters, including Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, have been accused of some form of sexual misconduct.



Photo Credit: Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Alleged Manspreading Subway Attacker Arrested by Police]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:00:41 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SUBWAY+ATTACK+BK+PERPWALK++-+22394604_WNBC_000000018715036.jpg

Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they believe violently attacked a woman after she called him out for manspreading on a subway train. 

Derek Smith, 56, was arrested and charged with assault on Saturday, the NYPD said. 

The arrest comes just a couple of days after a Brooklyn woman posted a video that she says shows the manspreading attacker who punched her in the face during a profanity-laced tirade on a subway train Thursday morning.

Sam Saia posted the video taken by another rider to her Facebook page Thursday night. She also posted a photo of her split lip.

“I wanted to raise awareness for fellow Brooklyn gals about some lowlife who punched me in the face on the N train this morning,” she said in the post. “This is the ‘man’ who hit me on the N train this morning. This is his face. Share it!”

Saia said she had gotten on the subway at Bay Parkway stop in Midwood and was riding to work when the man sitting next to her began manspreading, pushing her against the side of the car with his legs.

She wrote in the Facebook post: “When I asked him to give me room, he yelled ‘B----, you ain’t nothing! I’ve raped white b------ like you, f------ c---! You ain’t nothing, you f------ b----!”

Saia told him to relax and put her earbuds in. That’s when she said he slugged her in the face and banged her head against the wall of the train.

“A bunch of good people ran to help me, as my lip was gushing blood,” she said on Facebook.

One of the straphangers stepped in and subdued the alleged attacker. The video starts around this point; it shows the straphanger gripping the alleged attacker by his arms and ordering him to leave the train at the next subway stop.

“Get off the train, bro! You just f------ hit a lady. You just f------ hit a lady,” the man says. “I’m not on duty right now, but I will f--- you up.”

It’s unclear what the straphanger was referring to when he said he was “not on duty.”

“Look at her mouth. Man, listen, look at her!” he says as he continues to clutch him by the arms.

When the train arrives at the New Utrecht station, the alleged attacker says, “I apologize.”

“F--- you,” Saia says in response. “Oh my God, go, get off the train.”

The video ends a short time later. Saia said she reported the incident to the police and was filing at a local precinct. 

She said she posted the video to social media to keep other people in the neighborhood safe.

“Be warned. Stay safe!” she said.


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<![CDATA[Confused Driver Steers Car Onto LIRR Platform: Police]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:28:26 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/car+LIRR.jpg

In a state of confusion, a driver maneuvered his or her car onto a Long Island Rail Road platform Saturday evening, police said.

The driver somehow drove onto the westbound platform at Mineola train station around 5 p.m., according to Nassau County police, who said the driver was "confused." 

A photo sent to NBC 4 New York shows the white sedan partially on the platform, its front end hovering over the train tracks as people look on. 

No injuries have been reported, police said. It wasn't immediately known what happened to the driver. 

The accident led to temporary delays and train cancellations on the Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay branches, but trains were reported to be up and running shortly after 6 p.m. 

The platform was not damaged and all tracks were operational after the accident, according to the MTA, which said it's investigating the incident. 




Photo Credit: Matt Kaufman]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Driver Arrested for Impersonating Federal Officer]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:19:47 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Andrew+Kessler.jpg

A federal-corrections-officer-turned-Uber-driver was arrested near the Holland Tunnel for trying to impersonate a federal officer, police said.

Andrew Kessler, of Queens, was pulled over in Jersey City after a Port Authority police officer saw him using a cell phone while driving. When the officer asked for his license, Kessler handed over a Federal Bureau of Prisons ID card with his photo and badge, according to police.

Kessler, 36, used to work as a federal corrections officer, but was arrested last year after illegally collecting nearly $14,000 in unemployment benefits while working full-time at a downtown jail, the New York Post reported

Kessler was arrested after the officer determined the ID to be fake. A pair of handcuffs was found inside his Volkswagen during the arrest, according to police. 

In a comment to NBC 4 New York, Uber said it has removed Kessler's access to Uber for the time being. The company said he has a valid NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission license.



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[2 Students Set Fire to Quinnipiac Dorm Bathrooms: Police]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 15:30:26 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/QU-ARSON-SUSPECTS.jpg

Two Quinnipiac students face arson charges after allegedly setting fires in dormitory bathrooms, according to the Hamden Police Department.

Hamden police said the two students, identified as 19-year-old Bernhard Wright from Oslo, Norway, and 18-year-old Carmelo Fazzolari, from Manalapan, New Jersey, lit fires in three different bathrooms in ‘The Commons’ dormitory building between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Friday. Investigators found fires set in two trash cans and several bathroom stalls.

Police said 482 students live in The Commons.

Other students reported the fires to Residential Life who called the university maintenance department. One student was burned when he tried to move a burning trash can, police said.

Wright and Fazzolari were each charged with third-degree arson, first-degree reckless endangerment, reckless burning and third-degree criminal mischief. Both were released after posting a $1,000 bond and are due in court on Nov. 30.



Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Men Caught With 1,500 Bags of Heroin in NJ Mall Parking Lot]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 15:04:48 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/parks-rincon-combo.jpg

Two men were arrested in the parking lot of Garden State Plaza with 1,500 bags of heroin, prosecutors said. 

The men had tried to sell some of the drugs to undercover officers, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. 

An undercover officer had previously purchased two bricks of heroin from the pair and made plans to buy another 30 bricks on Friday. 

They met in the mall parking lot in Paramus, prosecutors said. After the sale, the men were arrested without incident. 

Merciful Parks, 24, and Jeffrey H. Rincon, 28, were charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin, among other charges. 

It wasn't clear whether Parks or Rincon had attorneys. 



Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Dangerous Winds to Pummel Tri-State Through Sunday]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:44:44 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6325057063.jpg

A storm system will bring rain and powerful winds to the tri-state into Sunday, Storm Team 4 says. 

The first showers arrived Saturday afternoon and continued into the evening. The heaviest rain is expected overnight, with steady rain in the forecast until Sunday morning. 

But Storm Team 4 warns the gusty winds are the most dangerous part of the system. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts over 40 mph are expected in and around the city, while gusts could top 50 mph on Long Island, Storm Team 4 says. 

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for New York City from 10 p.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday. It issued a high wind warning for Suffolk County until Sunday evening. 

The strong winds could blow down limbs, trees and power lines. Scattered power outages are also possible. 

After the winds subside Sunday evening, temperatures are expected to drop overnight, with highs lingering in the 40s for a blustery Monday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Man Stabs His Mother to Death in Their NY Home: Police ]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:18:35 -0500 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Christopher-Storm-Harrison-inset.jpg

A 26-year-old man stabbed his mother to death in the home they shared on Long Island, police said. 

Christopher Storm Harrison was charged with second-degree murder, Suffolk County police said. 

Police were called to the home on Union Avenue in Center Moriches shortly before 10 p.m. Friday because of a domestic dispute. 

Joyce Skarka was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.



Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Department ]]>