Tag Archive: Crime

  1. Fair Haven man shot to death

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    Police are searching Fair Haven for an assailant who shot and killed a 27-year-old man in the neighborhood early Tuesday morning.

    New Haven Police Department officers responded at 3:25 a.m. Tuesday to reports of a gunshot victim on Atwater Street, according to department spokesman David Hartman. Police found Reuben Gonzales with a gunshot wound at the scene. He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

    Gonzales had just returned to New Haven after finishing work in Newington, Conn. and was dropping off his cousin at his Atwater Street house shortly when he was shot, Hartman said. Three men approached Gonzales’ vehicle and ordered Gonzalez and a passenger to the ground and stole money and a cell phone from the car before one of the assailants shot Gonzalez as the three men started to flee.

    The murder brings New Haven’s 2012 homicide tally to 11.

    The NHPD has launched an investigation, though no suspects have been apprehended so far.

  2. Yale undergrad survives Colorado theater shooting

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    A Yale undergrad is among the survivors of a mass shooting at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo. early Friday morning. Though Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent ’13 was with two friends who were both shot and injured, he himself was not hit.

    “I’m fine; my friends are recuperating; and life will go on in roughly the same fashion as it did before this event,” Rodriguez-Torrent said in an email. He declined to comment further.

    Rodriguez-Torrent was on a cross-country bicycle trip with high school friend Stephen Barton, a 2012 graduate of Syracuse University, when they decided on Thursday to stop in at a midnight screening of the new Batman film. The 12:01 a.m. showing was sold out, so the two, along with another friend from the area, bought tickets for the 12:05 screening. They picked seats in the middle of the theater.

    When the theater filled with smoke and flashes of light about fifteen minutes into the movie, the three friends mistook the chaos for fireworks, according to the Los Angeles Times. In reality, a gunman had opened fire on the audience.

    Barton was hit in the neck and had shrapnel wounds on his face and right arm, but was able to run out of the theater through an emergency exit. Rodriguez-Torrent remained crouched in the theater with the other friend, who had been shot. The movie continued to play and there was gunfire on the screen. Rodriguez-Torrent told the Los Angeles Times that, from the floor, he could not tell if it was fake or real and that he recalled thinking: “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die like this. I don’t want my friend to die.”

    When the movie stopped and the lights came on, Rodriguez-Torrent helped his friend stand up, and they made their way to the lobby via the emergency exit, still unsure whether the gunman had left.

    Twelve people were killed in the shooting, and 58 were injured, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Rodriguez-Torrent posted to Facebook around 5:30 a.m. Colorado time Friday morning, confirming that he and Barton were OK. At around 7:30 p.m., he posted again.

    “Biked 80 miles, got shot at, and have been awake for 38 hours,” Rodriguez-Torrent wrote. “Time to crash, hard. All three of us are either fine or on the mend. Thanks for all the good wishes.”

    CORRECTION: July 21, 2012

    Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Stephen Barton’s brother was accompanying Barton and Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent ’13 on their cross-country bicycle trip.

  3. Nineteen-year-old man murdered in the Hill

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    A man was shot dead Friday evening in the Hill neighborhood, at the spot of a homicide a month earlier.

    The New Haven Police Department received reports of gunshots at Frank and West Streets at 11:05 p.m. When officers arrived, they found Robert Cirino, 19, with gunshot wounds in the chest and leg, according to department spokesman David Hartman. Cirino was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

    Cirino was killed at the same location of another homicide, the May 4 shooting death of 29-year-old Nathan Richardson. The NHPD’s Major Crimes Unit has launched an investigation into both cases, but thus far has made no arrests.

    The Elm City’s homicide count for 2012 now sits at seven.

  4. New Haven sees two murders in two days

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    The Elm City saw its second homicide in less than 24 hours when a woman was shot dead in Newhallville early Wednesday morning.

    New Haven Police Department officers responded to a ShotSpotter report of gunfire at 94 Shelton Ave. at 12:17 a.m. Wednesday, and found Ashley Armstrong, 20, seated in the driver’s seat of a Volkswagen with gunshot wounds to her head and neck, according to department spokesman David Hartman. Armstrong was taken to St. Raphael’s Hospital and pronounced dead at 12:37 a.m.

    Detectives from the NHPD’s Major Crimes Unit have launched an investigation and recovered evidence from a crime scene at 84 Shelton Ave. Hartman said no suspects have yet been identified.

    Armstrong’s murder followed the shooting death of 20-year-old Tyrell Trimble shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday. A masked gunman shot Trimble at Elm and Kensington Streets, near the Stop & Shop frequented by Yalies, before fleeing in a Chevrolet van.

    “We just lost another child of this city today to another gunshot wound,” NHPD Chief Dean Esserman told the New Haven Register on Tuesday. “It’s the same supermarket that I shop at and I’m not scared.”

    A witness said that a Chevrolet van with Pennsylvania plates fled the scene south on Orchard Street. Police later found the vehicle at Vine Street and Sylvan Avenue. Because of the proximity of the vehicle to Strong Elementary School, officials placed the school on lockdown for more than an hour.

    The two murders bring New Haven’s homicide count for 2012 up to five.

  5. City sees third homicide of 2012

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    The Elm City’s homicide count for 2012 rose to three Friday evening, after a man was shot dead in the Hill neighborhood.

    New Haven Police Department officers responded at 8:25 p.m. to a report of gunfire on Frank Street near West Street, where they found Nathan Richardson, 29, with a gunshot wound, according to department spokesman David Hartman. Paramedics took Richardson to Yale-New Haven Hospital and he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

    Latif Richardson, the victim’s father, told officers that he and his son had been walking along Frank Street toward Washington Avenue when they heard gunfire, adding that the two of them started running when Nathan collapsed to the ground, Hartman said.

    A stretch of Frank Street between West Street and Washington Avenue has been cordoned off and the NHPD’s Major Crimes Unit has launched an investigation. As of Friday evening, no suspects had been identified, Hartman said.

    The homicide is the city’s third of the year, after two men were killed within a three-day period in March. By this time last year, the city had seen 13 homicides, en route to a 20-year high 34 murders.

  6. Wang files “poetry and philosophy” in pre-trial hearings

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    Lishan Wang, the man accused of murdering a Yale doctor in 2010, made his 30th appearance in New Haven Superior Court on Tuesday, filing motions that the judge said amounted to “poetry and philosophy,” the Branford Eagle reported.

    During Tuesday’s pre-trial hearing, Wang filed a series of motions that included statements Judge Roland Fasano said could be seen as admissions of guilt. Pre-trial hearings in Wang’s case began in January, after 21 months of arguments over the defendant’s mental state and planned self-defense. Fasano has not yet set a date for trial.

    “These latest group of motions to a large degree are repetitious, irrelevant to charges filed and at times may be considered slanderous to others,” Fasano said to Wang, the Eagle reported. “You have to understand you are here for a legal process, for a trial. Poetry and philosophy are not relevant to this case.”

    Wang is charged with the murder of School of Medicine clinical fellow Vajinder Toor in Branford on April 26, 2010. Wang filed a motion to subpoena documents and information on Toor — the two worked together at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2008 — as part of a federal case he has launched against the medical center. In that motion, Wang labelled Toor’s conduct toward him as “malicious,” “disgusting,” “hurtful” and “evil.” Wang also filed a motion asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate doctors at the Kingsbrook center.

    In addition, Wang addressed a series of poems and letters to Fasano in a bid to demonstrate the multifaceted personality of “the defendant.” In one of the poems, titled “I am a Different Species,” Wang wrote that “Injustice invigorates me like a trumpet / Calling for a march to the battlefield.”

    The theme of injustice appears in several of the legal motions Wang filed, according to the Eagle.

    Wang is charged with murder, carrying weapons in a motor vehicle, criminal attempt to commit murder, possession of a handgun with no permit and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

    In 2010, Wang allegedly shot Toor multiple times in the parking lot outside Toor’s Branford condominium, and attempted to shoot Toor’s wife, who survived unscathed. When police arrested Wang, they found three handguns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and Google Maps directions to Toor’s home in his vehicle.

    Wang is set to appear in court at 2 p.m. on May 29.

  7. NHPD officers arrested for off-duty shooting

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    Three New Haven Police Department officers were arrested Friday morning for their involvement in an off-duty shooting incident outside the State Street bar Christopher Martin’s last Sunday.

    The NHPD secured arrest warrants from the State’s Attorney’s office Thursday evening for the three officers, who voluntarily turned themselves in at police headquarters on Union Avenue this morning. Officers Lawrence Burns and Charles Kim were charged with interfering with a police officer, unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment in the first degree, while Officer Krzystof Ruszczyk was charged with interfering with a police officer.

    The arrests came after a week of investigation conducted by the NHPD’s Internal Affairs and Investigative Services divisions, said NHPD spokesman David Hartman. The investigation began after NHPD officers responded to a report of gunshots around State and Pearl streets at 2:27 a.m. Sunday and learned that fellow officers were involved in the incident.

    “No one was shot at, no one was hit, no property was damaged,” NHPD Chief Dean Esserman said at a Sunday press conference addressing the incident. “The actions of the few do not speak for the many.”

    Esserman asked the three officers to surrender their guns, badges and police identification Sunday afternoon and promised the NHPD would “move rapidly” in its investigation of the incident.

    The three officers will appear in court for their arraignment April 20.

  8. ICE arrests 145 New England residents

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    In a six-day nationwide sweep of illegal immigrants that ended Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 145 New England residents, including one in New Haven.

    The Connecticut arrests were part of 3,100 arrests ICE has made since last Wednesday, when its Enforcement and Removal Operations agency began the latest crackdown on undocumented residents convicted of serious crimes. Of the 145 people arrested in New England, 119 had prior criminal convictions including six who have been convicted of sex offenses, ICE said in a Tuesday press release. Thirty-two Connecticut residents were arrested in all. Nationwide, over 1,000 of those arrested have multiple criminal convictions.

    “The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE’s ongoing commitment to public safety,” said Dorothy Herrera-Niles, field office director of ICE’s ERO for New England, in the a statement. “When we focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives, we get an immediate payback in our communities.”

  9. NHPD officers under investigation

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    Three New Haven Police Department officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after an off-duty shooting incident outside State Street bar Christopher Martin’s Sunday morning.

    NHPD Chief Dean Esserman said he asked the three officers to surrender their guns, badges and police identification Sunday afternoon after the department launched an Internal Affairs investigation into the incident.

    “No one was shot at, no one was hit, no property was damaged,” Esserman said. “The actions of the few do not speak for the many.”

    Officers responded to a report of gunshots around State and Pearl streets at 2:27 a.m. Sunday morning and found evidence of gunfire, City Hall spokeswoman Elizabeth Benton ’04 said.

    The two officers who fired their guns were Charles Kim and Larry Burns, while the third officer did not fire his gun, the New Haven Register reported.

  10. “Hamburglar” strikes in Connecticut

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    A former restaurant worker at Johnny Rockets, a popular American fast-food chain, was arrested in South Windsor, Conn., Thursday morning after he was caught on camera stealing about $900 worth of food, the Hartford Courant reported.

    The suspect, 45-year-old Alphonso Williams, was taken into custody on $2,500 bail and faces charges of third-degree burglary and fifth-degree larceny. Williams worked with another former employee of the Johnny Rockets to steal food using hand trucks

    Police officers have named him Hartford’s “Hamburglar,” according to the Courant. We sincerely hope he stays away from Prime 16.

  11. New Haven records second homicide of 2012

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    Just three days after New Haven had its first homicide of 2012, a second man was shot and killed Tuesday evening.

    New Haven Police Department officers patrolling around Valley Street heard shots at 11:06 p.m. Shortly after, they located a “black male victim with several gunshot wounds” lying on the ground in front of 58 Hilltop Place in the West Rock neighborhood, according to department spokesman David Hartman. The man, who Hartman said was “in his late teens or early twenties,” was pronounced dead at the scene.

    NHPD detectives from the Major Crimes Unit immediately launched an investigation, talking with neighbors and collecting forensic evidence, Hartman said, though the victim of the homicide has yet to be identified.

    Tuesday evening’s murder is the second in four days. The first homicide, which broke a streak of more than two months without a homicide, took place Saturday morning. In the first homicide, a “black male, suspected to be in his late teens or early 20s,” was found dead in a silver Range Rover near the intersection of County and Munson Streets in Dixwell.

    At this time last year, the city had recorded seven murders — en route to a 20-year high 34 murders.