Category Archives: police

Webster Hill kid was lying

The story seemed shaky all along, and the schools’ reaction overblown in any case, but now we know that that the intruder story was a lie from the start, according to a story in today’s Courant.

What bothers me most is the police clearly suspected from the start that the incident never happened. They should have expressed skepticism from the start, if only to alleviate the fear this sort of thing creates.


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Filed under police, Public safety, Schools, Webster Hill

Why announce DUI checkpoints?

WEST HARTFORD — — The police department will set up a driving-under-the-influence checkpoint Friday evening in the area of New Britain Avenue and Shield Street, department officials said. Police plan to run the checkpoint between 6 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday.

This little blurb is in today’s Courant, clearly the result of a press release. Why is it announced ahead of time? I suppose most drunks don’t think about how to avoid the cops, but surely some on the margin will do just that. I remember in much younger days giving some thought when driving home from the local watering hole as to which route would be least likely to have police along the way. Who exactly is helped by this practice and how come it’s done?


Filed under DUI, police, Public safety

Home invasion on Exeter Avenue last night

See The Hartford Courant story.

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Filed under crime, police, Public safety

Webster Hill intruder may be ID’d

Channel 30 is reporting that police “have identified a ‘person of interest’ who may have approached a 10-year-old fourth grader in the bathroom of Webster Hill Elementary School on Friday. ”

The school went into lockdown mode Friday afternoon after the student told a teacher what the man said to him.

“It was something inappropriate,”  Lt. Donald Melanson told the television station. “[We] really can’t say the words, but it was nothing. He didn’t touch the child or make any physical contact.”

Police said the man fled the school through a side door and jumped a fence leading into the surrounding neighborhood, according to Channel 30.

I’ve been in our schools enough to know that it’s easy to gain entry and walk around. That’s mostly because we have chosen to make the schools reasonably accessible to the community so that parents can come and go, participating all the time. It is one of West Hartford’s strengths.

But it only takes a single incident like this to call the whole long tradition into question. It’s so easy to see how things could have gone much worse.

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that what did happen is relatively minor. And it’s encouraging that the student wasted no time reporting the incident.

I hope we don’t have to make security our most important aim in school. That would be deeply sad.

I also hope that the police act swiftly.

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Filed under education, police, Public safety, Schools, West Hartford

Wild turkeys getting out of hand everywhere

A recent police blotter printed in The Mirror, the student paper at Fairfield University, contained several noteworthy items, but pay close attention to the second one:

Thursday, March 22

7:00 p.m. Female students in Campion Hall reported items missing from their room over spring break. There are no suspects.

9:19 p.m. A note was left on a student’s car parked in the Village saying he witnessed the car being attacked by male turkeys while mating.

Friday, March 23

10:15 p.m. An underage male was found intoxicated in Gonzaga Hall and was transported to St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

11:30 p.m. The Health Center reported a call it received from an RA in Regis Hall. The RA called to report an intoxicated freshman vomiting the bathroom.

11:53 p.m. A female freshman was found staggering and intoxicated while attending Club 42. She was brought to the Health Center for further evaluation.

Saturday, March 24

1:32 a.m. A female freshman was found severely intoxicated and was taken to the Health Center.

1:44 a.m. A lamppost was found knocked over at the townhouses. An electrician was called in to take care of the exposed wires. There are currently no suspects.

2:01 a.m. An 18-year-old male who was severely intoxicated and covered in marker drawings was taken to the Health Center. He was sent to the hospital. However, he left before anyone noticed and was found in a local diner asking for directions back to campus. He was brought back to campus by the Bridgeport Police Department.

4:34 p.m. An apartment fire alarm was set off due to a melted strainer from cooking. There was minor damage done to the stove and floor.

10:49 p.m. An RA in Regis Hall called to report pepper spray being sprayed underneath their door. The RA was told to exit the premises and return 45 minutes after the spray dissipated. There are no suspects.

Sunday, March 25

1:52 p.m. Maintenance called to report vandalism in the Claver lounge. The vandalism included a broken table and a smashed oven door.

Monday, March 26

11:28 p.m. A non-student driving a vehicle filled with students was stopped at the campus checkpoint because the guard detected a marijuana odor coming from the vehicle. A bag of marijuana and a bag of mushrooms were also turned over. The non-student was arrested, and the students were referred to judicial after admitting to smoking the substances.

While it’s hard not to stop and wonder about the drunken 18-year-old covered with “marker drawings” – which screams out for more detail! — or to fret about the shenanigans of today’s college crowd (I mean, WE never did stuff like that, right?), you really need to think about wild turkeys mating so crazily that they attacked a car in the process. And I keep trying to imagine why someone left a note on the car to tell its owner what happened. What could they write? “To whom it may concern: Your car was attacked by some crazy lovemaking turkeys.” And how did the police come to be involved?

What we do know, thanks to the Courant and The Mirror, is that turkeys are much more interesting than they appear when they’re crispy and headless on our Thanksgiving tables.

PS: The blotter item about the crazed turkeys also has the additional advantage of having been written so poorly that one could take it to mean the car had been mating. But I’m pretty sure the writer meant the turkeys were going at it, not the car.


Filed under college students, Fairfield University, News, police, turkeys

Crazed turkeys in West Hartford

Finally, the Courant has a story you can sink your teeth into.

We learn from today’s paper that in the past month a number of wild turkeys are raising hell near King Philip Drive. According to the paper, “the increasingly brazen birds have surrounded cars on driveways, torn up gardens, chased pedestrians and postal workers and even attacked a cop, pecking the officer’s hand and drawing blood.”

“They pick the bulbs from my flowers. I have to chase them away,” said Maria Rodrigues, a Brewster Road resident for nine years told the daring duo of turkey-hunting reporter. “They chase cars, too.”

Now at first I scoffed, then recalled that last summer I had to stop on Trout Brook Drive where they’re building some new condos because there were four wild turkeys in the road. Pedestrians and drivers were all gawking at the birds. The turkeys themselves just ignored us all, until a cop car came up with a siren wailing. Then the sauntered off toward the woods.

Apparently, the birds are getting more brazen.

Again, per the Courant, “Postal carrier Sherry Zitani, working her route on Lindy Lane, was surrounded and pecked by a flock of turkeys. According to animal control officer Karen Jones, the turkeys had followed Zitani from house to house. The following day, Feb. 23, Zitani was pursued and attacked again, presumably by the same group of turkeys.”

I’m guessing that postal workers are not typically advised of how to handle a posse of wild turkeys attacking them.

The police seem to fare no better.

The Courant tells us that “last Saturday, two weeks after he last responded to a report of annoying turkeys, police Officer Dominick Creaco went to Brewster Road to investigate a complaint that a pair of the big birds were chasing people on the street. When Creaco stepped out of his cruiser to talk to the homeowner who had called police, a turkey attacked him.”

“The turkey just came up to me and started flapping its wings and pecked at my right hand,” Creaco told the paper. He still has a small scab on his hand.

Creaco scared the turkey away by waving his baton, the Courant reported, “but fellow police officers won’t let him forget the incident. They put together a photo lineup that included the picture of a turkey. ‘They’re making turkey sounds and they’re putting up signs of turkeys,’ Creaco said.”

The Courant found state animal control experts who said that residents shouldn’t feed the turkeys — now, there’s a twist, since typically it’s turkeys feeding humans — and ought to make the birds feel unwanted.

Well, maybe.

But I think perhaps they just want a three-bedroom place with a nice kitchen. Maybe we should let them move in.

In any case, thank you to Courant reporters HILDA MUÑOZ and DANIEL P. JONES for a great turkey tale. And shame on their idiot editors for failing to put it on the front page, where stories of this caliber belong.


Filed under animal control, Hartford Courant, News, police, Public safety, turkeys, wild turkeys, wildlife

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What You Need to Know to Be Prepared for a Disaster with

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Chief William Austin, West Hartford Fire Department

Barbara Carpenter, Town Councilwoman

Therese Nadeau, Disaster Preparedness Expert

Meet your Fire Department

Sign-up of the Disabled Registry

Free Literature and Information to help

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Filed under disabilities, disaster, emergencies, fire, police, Public safety, West Hartford