By Nick Keppler
9:15 AM EST, November 20, 2012
Right before Superstorm Sandy hit, Sam Zherka, owner of the Farmington Hills apartment complex in New Britain, slipped notes beneath tenants' doors implying the city would charge them $500 if they called 911, reports the New Britain Herald. Zherka was apparently mustering up opposition to a proposed ordinance that would fine landlords of properties that rack up a large number of nuisance calls. However, matters of immediate danger are excluded, said city officials, and the law would fine landlords, not tenants (and not at a rate like $500 a call). "People's lives were deliberately put at risk in order to build opposition to a common sense proposal," said the mayor's chief of staff. (Zherka, a real estate entrepreneur, was in the news last May when Charlie Sheen threatened to sue him over the "Charlie Sheen Room" of his Manhattan strip club, Cheetah's, where patrons can eat sushi off the skin of dancers, a practice the actor apparently enjoys.)
More than 36,000 households in Connecticut receive state EBT cards for food. However, they do not have to be used at a grocery store; in fact, cash can be pulled from them at any place where debit cards are used. Hartford TV station WFSB obtained a list of places where the cards were swiped in the last three months of 2011. While a vast majority of the 5,156 withdrawals didn't raise an eyebrow, the station says 53 were "questionable." The cards were used at tobacco shops, a tattoo parlor, three different strip clubs and the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. Department of Social Services Spokesperson David Dearborn said we shouldn't jump to conclusions. "[T]here's no proof, for example, that someone who uses a cigar shop ATM is spending $20 on cigars," he says. "Sometimes in a neighborhood there may not be an ATM machine that's handy." But he admitted the situation "doesn't look the greatest."
PCP Is a Helluva Drug: Groton police reportedly approached the home of Justin Henderson to find him clad in only socks and underwear and standing in a doorway while holding a frightened-looking older man by the shoulders, reports The Day. With his family hiding throughout the house, Henderson, 30, allegedly fled to the kitchen but an officer subdued him with a stun gun. While in custody, Henderson, who had apparently smoked a PCP-laced cigarette, notified officers that he needed to be home by 7:15 p.m. to drive his son to basketball practice. (Police were called to the home last year to allegedly find Henderson naked and clutching a knife in the backyard.)
High School High: Three students at Staples High School in Westport were expelled for allegedly eating pot brownies at school. Administrators were tipped off when the teens are seen excessively "giggling" after consuming the baked goods, according to the Westport News. Also, two students at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge were arrested when one ate a mixture of peanut butter and marijuana spread on a cracker in the cafeteria and then passed out. Both the eater and the student who sold him the cracker were hauled away, reports the Associated Press.
U.S. Marshals had located alleged fugitive Angel Luis Sorria at his friend's Bridgeport apartment. The friend had opened the door and consented to a search, but Sorria, 36, still refused to give up. He briefly hid behind a coach as the Marshals filed through the door, police told the Connecticut Post. (Sorria was wanted on a host of charges, ranging from theft of a firearm to unlawful restraint and stemming from three separate incidents.)
Nolan Garvey of Greenwich allegedly grabbed a 12-year-old boy on the street and demanded marijuana, shaking his fist at the child's head, reports Greenwich Time (which didn't say whether Garvey, 21, knew the boy). The police who confronted Garvey asked if he had any weapons. He allegedly responded to the command by taking out an open folding knife and holding it in a threatening way, leading to a brief struggle.
Hartford Police Officer Natoya Guthrie found herself in hot water after she allegedly stole lobsters and other seafood from a city Stop & Shop where she was working a private security gig. Staff say that Guthrie purposefully failed to pay for the items while using the self-checkout line. After an internal affairs investigation, Guthrie resigned from the force, reports the Hartford Courant.
A bomb threat was scrawled onto the wall of a boys bathroom in Ridgefield High School, reports the Ridgefield Patch website, but administrators refused to cancel school, having caught on to a pattern in recent years: A threat like that is discovered whenever a hotly anticipated video game is released. Call of Duty: Black Ops II came out the day after the threat was found.
Steven Vinci of Middletown violated the protective order the mother of his child has against him and trespassed onto her property in order to scrawl the word "ho" onto the hood of her car using a key, police told the Middletown Press. (Vinci, 25, also reportedly called the woman 45 times, starting at 6 a.m., on the day of the alleged crime.)
Deborah Hilton, the one-time president of the Tolland County public-access TV station Community Voice Channel, was arrested for allegedly embezzling nearly $380,000 from the station, reports the Journal-Inquirer of Manchester. Public access viewers were shocked to discover the station ever had $380,000.
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