K-9 Joker, Police Handler Abruptly Leave P.D.

by marcia chambers | Feb 8, 2017 9:40 am | Comments (3)

Mary Johnson Photo UPDATE—Police Officer Luigi Amasino and his canine partner, Joker, abruptly left the police department last month, according to several sources. Their departures came after Branford police conducted internal investigations into two events, one in which Joker bit a teenage boy and another in which he bit a firefighter with whom he was playing ball. 

The incident involving the teen, who attends Branford High School, occurred last August; the incident involving the fireman took place in October when the firefighter and the dog were playing with a tennis ball at fire headquarters. Apparently Joker and the fireman went for the ball at the same time and Joker, thinking it was his ball, bit the fireman’s hand. The officer was taken to the hospital where his hand was stitched up, according to those familiar with the event. The bite was not deemed premeditated. Another inquiry may have been initiated. 

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Motel 6 Is Scene of New Year’s Day Arrest

by marcia chambers | Jan 4, 2017 9:07 am

Branford Police Department A 37-year-old West Haven man has been charged with robbery, unlawful restraint and strangulation in connection with a series of events in a room at Motel 6 in the early hours of New Years Day.

Christopher Pruitt, of 129 Park St., West Haven, was arrested on charges of assaulting and robbing two women and a man in their motel room. According to Officer Ryan Gotowala, who investigated the incident, Pruitt allegedly “robbed, assaulted and held the two women and a man captive.”

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Hamden Boy Dies After Branford Crash

by Sally E. Bahner | Nov 29, 2016 9:00 am | Comments (1)

East Haven P.D. Photo The Connecticut State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Squad (CARS) is investigating a crash at Exit 55 in Branford Sunday that resulted in the death of a 4-year-old Hamden boy who appears to have been seated on his father’s lap in the front seat of the car when the crash occurred, according to the state police accident report.

The child, identified by state police as Jairus S. Benjamin of 79 Bowen St., Hamden, was taken to Yale New-Haven Hospital, where he died. According to the Hartford Courant, Briana Simuel of Hamden, the boy’s mother, said his personal identification documents had been updated recently and his name is Jairus Little. Simuel said Monday that Jairus died of internal injuries Sunday night, according to the Hartford Courant.  He fought for his life for hours, she said, receiving a blood transfusion and other treatment before dying after 11 p.m., she said.

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Branford Cops Crack Down on Holiday DUI Drivers

by marcia chambers | Nov 25, 2016 9:28 am

Branford P..D. The Branford police have announced they are on the lookout big time for intoxicated drivers this Thanksgiving weekend and onto the Christmas holidays and beyond. 

Never shy about pursuing speeding motorists or stopping drivers who drive without registrations or driver’s licenses, the police are concentrating on drunk driving in the weeks ahead.

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Motorcyclist Seriously Injured In Collision

by marcia chambers | Nov 15, 2016 8:40 am

A 52-year-old West Haven motorcyclist traveling on East Main Street was seriously injured Sunday after a car driven by the former chair of the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) attempted to turn left onto Mill Plain Road and collided with the cyclist. 

Ellsworth (Mac) McGuigan, 79, the longtime and now retired P&Z chair, was attempting to make a left-hand turn off East Main Street and onto Mill Plain Road when he collided with Christopher Scranton, who was driving West on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. McGuigan was uninjured.

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Pick-Up Truck Crashes into Store

by Staff | Sep 29, 2016 8:02 am

Branford Police Department A young woman driving a pick-up truck crashed her truck into the Cork Shop liquor store Monday night causing “significant damage,” the police said.The driver, who lives in New London, was given a ticket, an infraction, police said, for improperly backing up. 

The crash occurred at 317 East Main Street, the address of the Cork Shop, at about 8:15 p.m.

The driver had first backed away from the building when she realized her truck had lodged onto a telephone pole guide wire.

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Joker, the Police Dog, Escapes from Car; Bites Teen

by marcia chambers | Sep 13, 2016 7:44 am | Comments (6)

Mary Johnson Photo Branford police recently conducted an internal investigation into the actions of Joker, Branford’s police K-9, after he apparently managed to get out of a locked but air-conditioned Branford police car last month and bite a teenage boy outside a house where teens were holding a beer party.

Police Chief Kevin Halloran outlined the dog’s actions at a police commission meeting held at police headquarters last night. Joker, a German Shepherd-Belgium Malinois, has been on the job for more than 15 months. During that time he has faced numerous dangerous situations, including escaping from a choke-hold that nearly killed him. He was graduated from the state police K-9 training academy in late May, 2015.

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9/11 Remembered in Branford, East Haven

by Marcia Chambers & Sally E. Bahner | Sep 12, 2016 7:00 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo The 15th anniversary of the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City was commemorated by firefighters, police officers, dignitaries, and citizens at Fire Headquarters in Branford and at the Shoreline Trolley Museum.

Marcia Chambers Photo In the morning, a remembrance ceremony was held at Fire Headquarters where two separate moments of silence were held, the first at 8:46 a.m. when Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center between the 93rd and 99th floors and the second one at 9:03 a.m. when Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower between the 77th and 85th floors. Fire Chief Tom Mahoney noted the times.

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Branford Man’s Body Found on Tabor Land

by marcia chambers | Aug 31, 2016 3:01 pm

Branford P.D. UPDATE—State police, Branford police and state prosecutors are investigating the suspicious death of Joseph Miller, 28, a Branford man whose body was discovered this morning deep into the town’s 77-acre Tabor property off Tabor Drive. (See top map)

Branford police believe Miller had been lying on the side of the dirt roadway that connects the end of Ark Road to Pine Orchard Road, since last evening, Detective Lt. John Finkle said. Detective Finkle is leading the investigation. 

Late today police identified the man as Miller. His last known address was 25 Yowago Ave. The body was found on the Tabor property. (See top photo.) Miller was not carrying any identification when he was found, police said. Police are asking anyone with information to contact the police at 203-481-4241 or the Branford Crime Tip Line at 203-315-3909.

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