WFSB - Eyewitness News

Hartford City Council proposes ban of vaping productsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – As doctors continue to research the harmful effects of vaping, some Hartford city leaders want to take a big step towards getting rid of all e-cigarettes and vaping products. Massachusetts just banned the sale of vaping products statewide and some Hartford leaders want to do the exact same thing in Connecticut’s capital city. The vaping products under the glass at Hartford Vape ‘N Smoke have become part of a hot button political issue, but for the store’s owner, Mohammad Azad Abdul Daffor, they’re still just the tools he uses to pay his mortgage. Daffor says his revenue is shrinking by the day. He claims media reports of the 30 deaths related to vaping nationwide, including one in Connecticut, have severely impacted his business. “I lost a lot of customers. I’ve been struggling for months now. It’s not even confirmed what’s the cause or anything and I lost many customers because of it,” Daffor said. Change that could impact Daffor may be on the horizon. Hartford Councilman Larry Deutsch has proposed banning the sale of all vaping products and equipment within the city limits. “With the vaping and e-cigarettes, people thing it’s safe. It is not safe because of all the differences you would still wind up in the hospital,” Deutsch said. Daffor argues the ban is overly sever and would be toothless because people could just go across city lines to buy vaping products. He claims his business is the only vape shop in Hartford, but the ban would destroy it. Deutsch says he hopes the state eventually follows Hartford’s lead and understands the ban would hurt some businesses, but as a pediatrician, he says the public health concern must outweigh everything else. “The Academy of Pediatrics, the American Lung Association, they all say just don’t do it. And so, we can’t slap people on the hand if they do it, but we have ways to limit it,” Deutsch said. The ban would only impact sales of vaping products, not vaping itself. The City Council would have to approve the ban before it became a law.
Police identify two UConn students arrested after racist video surfaces onlineSTORRS, CT (WFSB) -- UConn students are demanding change after a racist video circulated on social media. Students held a "March Against Racism" on campus Monday afternoon. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/uconn-officials-hold-meeting-after-racist-video-surfaces/article_c82289a4-f088-11e9-8d8e-63c8ded54db2.html" target="_blank">RELATED: UConn officials hold meeting after racist video surfaces</a> Students are urging school administrators to act after the video, which showed three people walking outside the Charter Oak apartments on UConn’s campus yelling the "n-word," surfaced. On Monday, the UConn Police Department announced they arrested two male students in connection to the video. Police identified the students involved as 21-year-old Jarred Karal of Plainville and21-year-old Ryan Mucaj of Granby. Police said a third person, who had accompanied the other two students outside the apartment, did not participate in the behavior and was not charged. They say UConn hasn't done enough or acted quickly enough, including President Tom Katsouleas, who issued a statement more than a week after the incident was caught on video. Students gathered at the student union and marched to the center of campus where they then shared their own experience with racism. "But these acts are only a few of many racial incidents that have impacted marginalized groups on campus," said Tiyah Thompson, Assistant Treasurer of UConn NAACP. The student government also encouraged all students to get involved. "Today, we're calling you in, we're enjoying you to enjoy our efforts. We will not be idle during this time," said Emmanuel Chinyumba, UConn Undergraduate Student Government Vice President. UConn students have been speaked out since the video circulated on Twitter. A second student shared a picture on social media of members of a fraternity who called her the "n-word." Katsouleas joined the two-hour rally half-way through. He condemned racism in brief remarks, then stayed to listen to other students. He also said he plans to work with students, including attending an African American Cultural Center even this coming Friday. He says he'll address student's concerns at that time. On Monday night, the university's NAACP chapter addressed the racism with guidelines in the student code of conduct, as well as hiring at least 10 black administrators, faculty, staff and police officers. The chapter also set up a firm deadline for the beginning of the spring 2020 semester for the demands to be met. A new statement from Katsouleas was released saying, "It is supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that has cause considerable harm. I'm grateful for the university's collective effort in responding to this incident, especially the hard work of the UConn Police Department, which has been investigating the case since it was reported."
Early Warning Weather ForecastFrom Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest in the Channel 3 Early Warning Forecast Center… Tonight: Clear this evening then increasing cloudiness late tonight, areas of fog forming. Low: 38-46. Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with showers and drizzle developing during the afternoon. Periods of rain likely at night. High: 59 inland, 58 shore. Wednesday: Showers will end early in the morning, then becoming mostly sunny and breezy. Low: 50. High: 64 inland, 65 shore. Thursday: Mostly sunny and pleasant. Low: 40. High: 65 inland, 64 shore. Friday: Partly sunny, then increasing cloudiness during the afternoon. A chance for showers at night. Low: 44. High: 63 inland, 62 shore. Saturday: Showers ending early then becoming mostly sunny. Low: 45. High: 57 inland, 59 shore. Sunday: Mostly sunny and cool. Low: 33. High: 59 inland, 59 shore. Monday: Partly to mostly sunny. Low: 37. High: 63 inland, 62 shore.
EnCon police release names of people involved in Hebron boating accidentHEBRON, CT (WFSB) -- Officials said three people were taken to the hospital following a boating incident on Amston Lake in Hebron on Saturday. The Department of Energy and Environmental (DEEP) Environmental Conservation Police Captain Lundin said a 19-year-old woman was taken by LIFESTAR to Hartford Hospital for injuries related to a canoe incident on Amston Lake in Hebron just before 4 p.m. on Saturday. State EnCon police identified the people involved as 19-year-old Nabiha Syed of Elmont, NY, Roshaan Siddiqui, and 18-year-old from Chicago, IL, and 19-year-old Zainab Mubalsher of Aldie, VA. Police also said 19-year-old Nadya Jaunbocus of Post Louis, Maritius refused medical treatment. All three people attended Wesleyan University in Middletown. Few details were released on the incident and the events that took place, as the investigation continues. Capt. Lundin said the young adults were wearing life jackets. Multiple fire companies, including Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company, Lebanon and Hebron, as well as, DEEP EnCon Police, State Police, and LIFESTAR responded.
Police offer up tips to deter 'porch pirates' ahead of holiday seasonWOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) -- Christmas is more than two months away, but police say porch pirates are already targeting their neighbors’ deliveries. Unfortunately, package thefts are no longer only a problem during the holidays. “The thing is now people, for the most part, are buying things online, so this isn’t just for Christmas time, this is year-round how to protect your packages,” said Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens. While these thefts happen throughout the year, the frequency increases as the calendar creeps towards the holidays, and potential targets are everywhere. “A lot of these criminals, what they’ll do, they’ll either follow a UPS truck, they’ll follow a mail truck,” Stephens said. “We’ve had people say they’ll just drive around the neighborhoods and they’re looking.” Thanks to increasingly inexpensive technology, more and more of the thieves are getting caught on camera as homeowners are striking back. Stephens also said people should always look up delivery tracking numbers, so they know when packages arrive. If you can’t be home for the delivery, ask a friend to grab it or if possible, get it shipped your office. Doorbell systems with cameras also serve as a great deterrent. “The word is out people know the Ring doorbell. I think they’re more hesitant to actually go if they notice that type of doorbell,” Stephens said. In Meriden, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/meriden-police-release-ring-doorbell-photos-of-suspected-package-thief/article_386f5478-f401-11e9-8148-db4cdb9c74d2.html" target="_blank">police released pictures of a woman</a> on Monday that they say stole two boxes that had been dropped off outside a home on Harness Drive. For those who might be sending gifts through the mail, be sure to tell the person you’re sending it to so they can let you know when it arrives.
German Shepherd left abandoned in Enfield has passed awayENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- An abandoned dog that captured the attention of people across the state, and the country, had to be euthanized, according to Enfield police. The <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/enfield-police-looking-for-information-on-abandoned-dog/article_eb20bd30-d739-11e9-a178-4f2388faa7e9.html" target="_blank">German Shepherd was left in a crate</a> and was found down an embankment of State Street last month. After taking the dog to a veterinarian to perform a health and behavior assessment, it was determined the dog was overly aggressive and “beyond the tolerance level that was considered acceptable for a potential adoption.” Police said per a state law, if a veterinarian determines that a dog is injured or diseased and unlikely to recover, the dog is to be humanely euthanized. “The dog was euthanized in accordance with CT General Statutes however the significance of this event is not lost on us. Most of us are animal lovers and though they’ll never admit it, sick and injured animal calls are among the most difficult calls that we go on. This was a professional decision made on the responsibility not only to our community but to the animal, who based on his behavior had led a difficult life at the hands of someone who clearly does not share our love of animals,” the department <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PoliceEnfieldCT/posts/3339442566073741?__xts__[0]=68.ARAOzqUgo4N1cBtFM4g-vLHuJNUH3hPDeVjhfK5k9RNuZZK_KbjHJkLKpQETx9cCOPYJODM-rYPoaRYiul9HDEzuGUmhk4f_LJX8s0wqevmtXyn5ziVWTn-B-qRAO6XC-RupHUKOIN8DePBGQlNE9vfl96TAir8ULqDodD22ZQKMVEZ91fU3BTvlFZjdFJSKAe6TvusHaNooIkQ2PHEgs1XUYHJHZ6fiULVn6LZgOOtvcNwv66Ne92mtMVCjFHLwSoITPjEeJfd4yaVp5h4MWXJS6-re0XDRT5KcA79TYPplKcCPq-M7Eic2nQS2R4EyjhB5kKQAOr5z3KmJDwzYpg&amp;__tn__=-R" target="_blank">wrote in a Facebook post</a>. An investigation is still ongoing, and anyone with information should contact police.
Something's Good: 12-year-old boy scores touchdown in Watertown12-year-old Jack got to live out a dream by scoring a touchdown in Watertown during the final play.
Hamden officer who shot at unarmed couple facing chargesHAMDEN, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut state police said Monday morning an arrest was made in connection with an officer-involved shooting that happened in New Haven in April. Hamden Officer Devin Eaton, 29, was charged with first-degree assault and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, according to the state's attorney's office. He was released on a $100,000 bond and is due in New Haven Superior Court on Oct. 28. The report from the state's attorney's office can be read <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/use-of-force-report/pdf_36ae2f54-f412-11e9-9504-27b929100bc6.html" target="_blank">here</a>. Eaton's arrest warrant was also released on Monday and can be found <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/eaton-arrest-warrant/pdf_9c701190-f412-11e9-bdf9-eb0448ba3b8a.html" target="_blank">here</a>. Eaton and Yale University officer Terrance Pollock <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/protesters-rally-for-second-night-in-a-row-following-officer/article_5933bbd8-60f7-11e9-bc30-5370fb583841.html" target="_blank">opened fire on a vehicle</a> driven by Paul Witherspoon on April 26, according to state police. According to the reports, Eaton fired his weapon 13 times. Witherspoon's passenger, Stephanie Washington, was hit but recovered. The shooting happened on Argyle Street near Dixwell Avenue in New Haven and was partially <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/clergy-community-awaits-release-of-body-cam-footage-of-officer/article_37bfad56-6532-11e9-84b4-db2f813d7f7e.html" target="_blank">captured by surveillance cameras</a> and <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/video-police-release-body-cam-footage-of-new-haven-officer/video_e89347bd-e22c-5655-8ea0-d634cb6128ca.html" target="_blank">officer body cam footage</a>. Investigators said Eaton believed Witherspoon's vehicle matched one that was involved in an armed robbery in Hamden. Witherspoon told police he was following orders to get out of the car when the bullets started to fly. “I was trying to take cover from the gunshots, so I was leaning in between the driver and passenger seats, towards the back seat. It was like being in a nightmare. I thought I was going to die," Washington said to police according to the arrest warrant. While Eaton was charged, Pollock was found to be justified in firing his weapon. According to the state's attorney's report, from Pollock's vantage point, he heard a series of gunshots and believed that gunfire was exchanged. Pollock believed his cruiser was struck by gunfire and was even wounded by a shot fired by Eaton. In the report, New Haven State's Attorney Patrick Green said that even if an argument can be made that the first shot was reasonable, believing Witherspoon had a gun, it wasn't reasonable to continue shooting when he retreated, never returned fire, and moved towards the passenger side, still shooting, knowing someone was sitting there. “He recklessly engaged in conduct which created a risk of death, and thereby caused serious physical injury to Washington. Additionally, the reckless manner in which the shots were discharged placed those in the immediate vicinity, including Paul Witherspoon and Officer Pollock, at risk for serious physical injury," Green said in the report. In the aftermath of the shooting, investigators said no weapon was ever found. Neither Witherspoon nor Washington were charged. The incident sparked statewide protests over racial profiling. "You’ll probably never be satisfied with the charges, but the charges are based upon the law and what the state attorney came up with, were within the law," said Rev. Boise Kimber, First Calvary Baptist Church. Eaton was placed on administrative leave after the incident. Now, he'll be on unpaid leave. He's due in court next week. His attorney released a statement on Monday saying "The job of a police officer is a difficult one, and that job has been made even more difficult by the arrest of Officer Eaton. Police officers are called upon to make split-second decisions that often require the exercise of discretion and judgment. Officer Eaton’s arrest sends a dangerous but clear and unambiguous message to the men and women who are sworn to protect the people of this state: You better be 100 percent right 100 percent of the time, and if you are not, you will face criminal prosecution. I can only hope Office Eaton’s arrest will not cause other officers to hesitate when confronted with similar circumstances." Meanwhile, the Hamden Police Department said its ethics and integrity unit will conduct its own investigation. The chief will then make a recommendation to the police commission about whether or not Eaton should be fired or face discipline. That's expected to happen within 30 days. “We cannot change the past, but we can all strive to do better everyday moving forward," said Hamden Mayor Curt Leng. Pollock is on paid leave. The ACLU released a statement on Monday that said "Regardless of the outcome of this one case, true police accountability still does not exist in Connecticut. Police accountability will not exist until every level of government works to prevent police violence and to hold police employees responsible each time they hurt or kill someone, not just in cases when hundreds of people have taken to the streets in protest. Justice would have been Devin Eaton never shooting Stephanie Washington in the first place. Justice would have been the City of Hamden’s Board of Police Commissioners following the City’s own law by accepting residents’ complaints about Eaton’s violence. Justice would have been the City of Hamden firing Devin Eaton months ago. There are still many ways in which justice has not been served in this case, and there are still many ways it can go wrong. The ACLU of Connecticut will be watching this case closely."
Money Monday: Best times to save on travelWETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- For anyone looking to save on travel, now is the time. Melissa Albright, who runs Wethersfield Travel, said many tourist destinations are in, or are heading into, their “Shoulder Seasons.” "So ‘Shoulder Season’ is defined as the destination's period between peak season and low season,” Albright said. While prices in Shoulder Season aren’t rock bottom, Albright said they are low enough to get the attention of travelers. Oftentimes in low season, travelers won't be able to do a lot of the sightseeing that makes a place popular. However, in Shoulder Season, “you get good value and you can still experience the destination as it should be,” Albright said. For those looking for an ocean escape, the Caribbean is entering its fall Shoulder Season now that hurricane season is coming to an end. “Shoulder Season in the Caribbean typically will be November to beginning of December, before the holiday pricing,” Albright said. For example, Albright compared pricing for a family of four to stay at Nickelodeon’s all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republican, without flights. "January 18 to the 25 is $6,826. November 2 to the 9, $4,010,” Albright said. It’s Shoulder Season in Alaska right now too, and the destination can be enjoyed with minimal crowds. “The days are getting a little bit shorter so that you might have a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights. There's less cruise ships that are visiting the ports. The colors are starting to change, so it's really beautiful. The animals are still out,” Albright said. Regarding discounts on an Alaska cruise in October, Albright said “for a family of four in a balcony, you could save about $1,000 if you go in Shoulder Season period versus the peak." Come November, the ships stop running, so if you want to go to Alaska and save some money, consider booking now for next October or in the spring shoulder season, which is in May. It’s Shoulder Season in the national parks too, which can be hard to book in the summer months. The same goes for Europe, where folks can enjoy places like Paris, London and Madrid at a discount. "October is a great time to, to do Europe. Italy is still warm. Less crowds. Go in November, that's when they do the olive harvesting, press the olive oil,” Albright said. For those looking to travel to Hawaii, book your trip now for March.
New state hire will focus on growth in manufacturing industryNORTH HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- On Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced the hiring of the state’s first chief manufacturing officer. The purpose of the position is to focus on regulations, hiring, and training. This comes after manufacturing companies said they would like to hire more Connecticut workers but they are struggling to find them. Lamont is hoping this new hire will promote growth and get those jobs filled. "There are a lot of opportunities and it comes back to working across the different sectors of the government and working within sectors of manufacturing community,” said Colin Cooper, the state’s new chief manufacturing officer. Cooper is the former CEO of the Whitcraft Group, an aerospace manufacturing company, which is in an industry that is growing and ready to hire qualified workers. His new job is to create a strong partnership between the state's community colleges and tech schools with manufacturing companies. "I think we have to do a better job when it comes to those smaller companies in the pipeline,” Lamont said. The announcement was made Monday in North Haven at Ulbrich, which manufactures stainless steel and metals. They have five locations. "We are beginning to see more and more people coming into manufacturing. We have hired a number of people from UConn and Gateway, and are beginning to get more and more skills and this can only help,” said Ulbrich CEO Chris Ulbrich. About 9 percent of Connecticut jobs are in manufacturing, which creates about 130,000 jobs. The goal is to add 30,000 more. Manufacturing has changed, and is no longer the old dark factories of the past. In fact, salaries start out around $60,000 a year with benefits. The key is getting young people on board early, and even their parents. "A lot of us are bottle necked right now. We can't increase our output enough to meet the demand. And so, if we can't meet that demand here in Connecticut, it will go somewhere else,” Cooper said. Connecticut’s manufacturing workforce is also aging, as many are looking to retire, so that creates an even bigger push to fill the jobs.