The Yale community may soon receive another message from Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins after a Wednesday night theft attempt broke out just hours after Higgins released an afternoon safety advisory on iPhone theft.
Dubbed “apple picking,” the new phenomenon has been on the rise as thieves target iPhone users for robbery attempts. But the trend struck a bit closer to home on Wednesday after a teenager snatched a woman’s iPhone out of her hand at the corner of Chapel and High streets shortly before 9 p.m. The perpetrator then ran from the scene toward York Street as the victim alerted the police, who later apprehended the thief outside York Street parking garage.
A passerby described the perpetrator as male and African-American, and estimated that he was between 15 and 17 years old. The witness added that the boy was not immediately pursued by the victim, though he said two other witnesses to the theft did give chase. By the time the boy reached York Street, the passerby said police cars were already arriving from both sides.
The cops were then able to catch the boy — who did not resist — and arrest him.
Yale Police Sergeant Keith Pullen said they currently have no information on the perpetrator’s or victim’s identities, adding that the perpetrator has not yet been formally charged. Pullen said the victim did not suffer any injuries and no weapons were displayed.
The incident added weight to Higgins’ cautionary advice to Yalies warning them to “be aware” of their surroundings when talking or texting.
“Displaying a phone is the same as displaying cash to a thief,” Higgins wrote.
The Yale Police Department has recently recovered several iPhones and iPads that had been stolen from their owners, Higgins said in his email.
Officers searching his house found a Heckler & Koch M-94 assault rifle in his Santa Clarita, Calif. residence, which he shares with his parents. Yee appeared at his Tuesday court hearing in San Fernando, Calif. in a surgical mask, which his lawyer said was necessary because Yee had contracted chicken pox.
Officers showed up at Yee’s residence in September shortly after he allegedly wrote that he was “watching kids and did not mind murdering them” in an online comment on ESPN’s website.
Yee had been released from jail on $100,000 bail, which was originally set at $1 million. Prosecutors have considered filing charges against the former Yalie for making terrorist threats, but Yee’s attorney David Wallin said he believes there is no argument behind the charge.
“There has to be some specificity in the alleged victim,” Wallin told ABC News. “Here, he just said I am going to shoot kids, and because there is no specificity, you cannot have a criminal threat against just every kid in the United States.”
Yee, who is due back in court Nov. 28, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. His parents, when reached by phone, declined to comment.
Though authorities did not fully disclose the content of the threat, an ESPN spokesman said Yee was writing in response to a Sept. 13 ESPN story about new Nike sneakers retailing for $279 — a price that other readers commented might lead to children getting killed.
Yee was expected to graduate last May with a degree in economics but withdrew from the University.
Sixteen new state laws went into effect yesterday, some original for the state and others that expanded on previously existing penalties for crimes of violence or cruelty. For your convenience, Cross Campus has compiled some of the major ones below so you know what to expect in the upcoming year.
Medical marijuana (HB 5389): One of the most controversial bills, HB 5389 was signed into law by Conn. Gov Dan Malloy last May and legalizes the prescription of medical marijuana. The move made Connecticut the 17th state to enact such legislation allowing the palliative use of marijuana. There are, of course, still restrictions on how and when patients can smoke or ingest the drug — an individual can possess up to a one-month supply and patients cannot use marijuana at work, school, public or while moving vehicles or in the presence of children.
Caylee’s Law, named after the missing daughter from the famous Casey Anthony trial of 2011. The law makes it a class A felony to knowingly fail to report the disappearance of a child under the age of 12, and requires adults to report a missing child if they haven’t had contact with the child for 24 hours. Similar bills have been approved in seven other states.
Two laws against human violence have been revised to include harsher penalties and more support for victims. It is now a class C misdemeanor to purchase space advertising a commercial sex act depicting a minor, which has the greater goal of preventing sexual exploitation of children. Secondly, courts and law enforcement agencies will provide greater protection against domestic violence.
Punishments for animal cruelty are also stricter. The maximum penalty for subsequent convictions has risen from $1,000 to $5,000 and from one year of imprisonment to five years.
Connecticut prisons are now required to comply with federal standards for rape prevention and response.
Two changes to road safety measures: First, licensed ham radio operators are now exempt from the ban on using hand-held mobile devices while driving. Second, drivers must move over one lane when approaching a stationary moving vehicle on any highway with at least two lanes.
Emergency vehicle services: People who receive medical treatment or transportation will be held accountable for the cost of an emergency vehicle regardless of whether or not they asked for emergency help.
Real estate: Landlords are now forbidden by a new law from evicting an elderly or physically disabled tenant simply because his or her lease has expired. The owners of nursing homes must tell prospective and current residents if the buildings are in receivership or have filed for bankruptcy.
Data breaches: A new measure now requires companies to notify the Attorney General’s Office of any data breach.
New standards for the appointment of legal guardians to incapacitated adults or children.
Two new environmental bills also went into effect yesterday: Both bills are revisions of previous policies. To improve record-keeping of open space within the state, a report has been commissioned for December 15. The report should include an estimate of how much land has been preserved as well as potential methods and costs of accurately tracking open space land. The state expects a new report every five years after. The second environmental law considers a rise in sea level when planning coastal development.
Health care: A new measure passed yesterday that requires all institutions caring for newborns to test them for critical congenital heart disease, which studies show accounts for 30 percent of infant deaths. Parents of identified newborns will be quickly directed to counseling and treatment to reduce mortality. The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
In the landmark 2009 decision Ricci vs. DeStefano, the Supreme Court ruled that New Haven’s fire department violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when, in 2003, it ignored the results of a test for promotion to management and chose to make no promotions for fear that the test may be racially biased, as the white candidates had performed higher on the exam than the black candidates. Now, Karen Torre, the attorney who successfully argued in front of the Supreme Court for the white firefighters, is filing a motion to intervene in the case of Michael Briscoe v. New Haven.
Briscoe, a black firefighter in the Elm City, brought the city to court because he thinks the 2003 exam did not adequately assess his qualifications. Torre says she’s intervening because the interests of the firefighters she previously represented are at stake in the current trial. She told the Independent that her motion will challenge the constitutionality of a doctrine established by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment policies that negatively impact minority groups.
Judge Charles Haight issued a stay on all legal proceedings in the case so the city can file a request to have the Supreme Court consider the case, which was brought back after an initial dismissal was appealed.
Lawrence Rosenberg, a contract attorney for the city, said the Supreme Court’s decision should be clear by May, according to the Independent.