Break-in, assault in East Rock home

A 55-year-old woman was brutally assaulted by three males in a home invasion at the East Rock residence of a Yale adjunct professor late Tuesday night.

Around 11:30 p.m., the woman, who was house-sitting at the time, was tied to a chair and beaten on the head with a baseball bat, according to news sources. One of the men, a 17-year-old, was later caught and charged with robbery, larceny, burglary and assault. The homeowner — Sharon Kagan, an adjunct professor at the Yale Child Study Center — was not home at the time. The attack has shaken the relatively affluent community, since a community-wide e-mail reached residents Wednesday morning.

City officials said the incident is currently under investigation. Ward 19 Alderwoman Alfreda Edwards — who represents Newhallville and East Rock — said she is baffled by the crime, which follows two major home invasions in Connecticut over the past year, and will host an emergency community meeting Monday night on the incident.

The home invasion occurred on Loomis Place, an affluent area with about eight homes that sits across the street from the private Foote School. Although neighborhood residents are shook up from the incident, Edwards said, they are more worried about the severely beaten victim.

“There was blood everywhere,” Edwards said she was told by police. She said she later visited the home.

In the attack, the victim — whose name was not disclosed by police officials by press time — was tied up and beaten. The three men also stole several items from the house, including a computer, and fled in the victim’s Honda sedan.

The victim was later rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital when New Haven Police Department officers found her shortly before 2 a.m., according to the New Haven Independent.

Early Wednesday morning, the three abandoned the car near the Wexler/Grant Community School in Dixwell. Once NHPD officers found the vehicle, they performed a stake-out near the car. The three returned to the car and immediately fled when they noticed the police. One 17-year-old male was caught and was charged with four felony charges, three in the first-degree, the New Haven Independent reported.

City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said Wednesday night that an investigation is underway and declined to comment further.

NHPD officials gave media sources only rudimentary details of the crime, but they did not mention much else. Wednesday night, NHPD communications relayed further comment on the disclosure to the detectives’ bureau, which was unavailable.

A woman who answered a call placed by the News to the Loomis Place residence said the victim was “fine” Wednesday night. The woman — a babysitter and new housesitter who insisted on remaining anonymous — said Kagan was away at an “emergency” Wednesday night.

“I’m giving [Kagan] moral support now,” she added.

Edwards said she is “extremely” surprised the incident occurred in her neighborhood and said she will band together with East Rock residents.

During the phone conversation, Edwards paused and murmured “oh my” as she sniffled. “I cried all day long over this,” she said.

“It’s something you read about, but when it happens next door, it’s another story,” she added. “What do we do? What do we do?”

Edwards said she and other residents will host an emergency community meeting Monday at 6 p.m. Acting Chief Stephanie Redding and Lieutenant Rebecca Sweeney, who is also district manager of the Newhallville and East Rock neighborhoods, will attend the meeting, Edwards said.

Several messages left on Sweeney’s voicemail went unreturned Wednesday night.

Some aldermen said that the incident has sparked strong reactions from the community since residents found out Wednesday, mostly from a neighborhood e-mail sent to Loomis Place residents.

Ward 13 Alderman Alexander Rhodeen, chair of the aldermanic public-safety committee, said that the incident was tragic and harkens back to previous home invasions in Connecticut over the last year. Rhodeen added that the public safety committee does not plan to directly address the home invasion.

“Any time anyone hears the phrase ‘home invasion,’ particularly in the light of … Chesire,” he said, “I mean, it’s everyone’s worse possible nightmare.”

Last July, Cheshire, a home invasion led to the three murders by two men on parole. And in March, another invasion, in New Britain, led to the shooting death of one woman and wounding of another by a career criminal with a laundry-list record of felonies.

Following the Cheshire and New Britain home invasions, Gov. M. Jodi Rell pushed for three-strikes legislations — which would mandate a life term when a two-time felon is sentenced for another crime. It remained unclear at press time whether Rell will comment on the home invasion as she had with the other two incidents, a spokesperson for Rell said.

Comments

  • anon

    Speeders and red-light runners are a far, far more serious threat to neighborhood safety, because they are much more likely to cause severe injury and death. Anyone traveling even 1MPH in excess of the speed limit, or running a light, should be given a $1,000 fine.

    Also, some of the people speeding through this neighborhood are criminals. Cracking down on traffic violations is a more effective way of cutting down on crime than random police patrols can ever be. Not respecting the speed limit, and putting other people's lives in jeopardy as a result, is a good predictor of other antisocial behaviors.

  • Reality Check

    I loathe speeding and often wish I had a gun when out walking the dog, but this is not comparable. This crime was hardly one of disregard or not paying attention. It is vicious, mean, done with full consciousness and planned. My deepest sympathies to the victim.

  • joey h

    terrible,horrible,sad and senseless.
    avoidable but eerie, creepy yet suspicious, especially with my phone call to the New Haven Police dept.
    they told me (on phone) that people have a right to loiter (hartford disagrees)
    but that is a question for Smuts,Paul Wessel,Henry Fernandex and Julio Gonzalex before them.
    henry was loitering about an Advocate box
    a major push by certain people to use the advocate box and throw the paper around,i removed them and they are starting on the register box at 4 am.
    How much luck would Mr.Liu the neighbor
    (or hao sorry) have with his phone call to the police about kids
    i have adults loitering and pushing their chosen crook/druggie/roofer/carpenter and all around felon.
    because one thing leads to another