Man Arrested For Ramming Branford Police Cruiser

by marcia chambers | Aug 5, 2017 8:00 am | Comments (1)

Branford P.D. A 36-year-old East Haven man, who allegedly rammed a Branford police officer’s cruiser as he was fleeing a parking lot in his car following a tire theft at Al Mac Motors II, was taken into custody Wednesday on an arrest warrant, police said. 

The tire theft took place on July 5 at the tire store, at 117 North Main St. According to Branford Detective Lieutenant John Finkle, the suspect, identified as Janssen Padilla of East Haven, was driving his gray Jeep Cherokee when he rammed into the officer’s cruiser as it was entering the parking lot.

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Police Seize Opioids After Car Stop

by marcia chambers | Jul 14, 2017 8:08 am

Branford Police Photo Branford police confiscated eight kilograms of narcotics, a combined mixture of Fentanyl and Tramadol, both opioids and valued on the street market at $2 million, after stopping a car with very heavily tinted windows Wednesday.

They arrested Carlos Albert Hernandez-Salazar, 27, of Canton, Ohio, after Officer Josef Herten stopped the car because of the windows. The stop occurred at about 5:15 p.m. but police did not say where in Branford or where on a highway it took place. Maria Zambrano, 20, was driving. Their two children were with them. 

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Ben Callahan, 10, Lived a Strong, Engaged Life

by marcia chambers | Jul 9, 2017 8:00 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Ben Callahan, just 10 years old when he died, was an outstanding athlete, a kid who loved to play football, basketball, and lacrosse. His coaches said he “pushed himself to the max in each sport and would often wear his heart on his sleeve.”

They called him a talented player who played like “a true warrior.” And they were devastated this weekend to report to their community that Ben, their warrior, had died Friday afternoon in a tragic accident on the Branford River.

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Body of Missing Boy Found in Branford River

by Staff | Jul 8, 2017 7:59 am

Mary Johnson Photo Police Capt. Geoff Morgan and Fire Chief Tom Mahoney announced yesterday that the body of a 10-year-old boy, reported missing along the Branford River, has been found. The initial call was tweeted by the Branford Fire Department around 1 p.m.; the boy’s body was found about 50 yards away from shore by divers around 4 p.m.

Bill O'Brien Photo The boy, whose identity has not been disclosed, was playing along the Branford River along Tabor Drive/South Montowese Street with his two brothers and, according to officials, lost his footing and was “sucked into a culvert.” His brothers, one older, one younger, tried to help him. He was found by the Guilford dive team in the initial search area, although the search extended along the Branford River toward Indian Neck. 

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Man Charged With Crashing into Police Car, Assaulting Cops

by marcia chambers | Jun 3, 2017 8:19 am | Comments (1)

Branford P.D. An 18-year-old man was arrested Thursday night after he crashed his motorcycle into a police cruiser, then lunged into the window of the police car, attempting to assault the police officer. He was wearing a bandana to cover his face. When another officer attempted to pull the man from the window, he bit the officer on the hand, police said.

After the crash, the man arrested was identified as Gino Vella, who was charged with assault on a peace officer, a “C” felony, and was held in $50,000 bond until his court hearing in New Haven Superior Court Friday morning. Police are seeking a third young man as yet unidentified who joined Vella on a wild ride that ended when Vella went head-on into the front of the police car.
       

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Branford Police Canine Officer Sues Over Termination

by marcia chambers | Apr 18, 2017 7:31 am | Comments (6)

File Photo Luigi Amasino (pictured), Branford’s former police canine officer, filed a lawsuit against the town of Branford yesterday, asserting Police Chief Kevin Halloran threatened last December that he either withdraw a grievance against the police department or the chief “would destroy the plaintiff’s career as a law enforcement officer.”

In a four-page civil complaint filed in New Haven Superior Court, John R. Williams, Amasino’s New Haven attorney, says Amasino did not withdraw his grievance, a grievance filed in response to a two- day suspension ordered on Dec. 6 for alleged violations of departmental rules and regulations.

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Daylight Robbery at ATM Employee’s Van

by marcia chambers | Apr 5, 2017 9:21 am

An ATM employee who had just reloaded funds at an ATM inside Allegra’s restaurant and was heading back to his van was pistol whipped by a group of men who forced him into his van where he was ordered to open up a safe and turn over thousands of dollars.

The robbery, which occurred in broad daylight at Lakeview Plaza, left the employee dazed and bleeding from his forehead as he sought help near his Mercedes van, which was in the parking lot, about 15 feet from Allegra’s. A woman came to his aid, giving him tissue wipes to absorb the blood on his face. An ambulance was called and he was taken to a local hospital.

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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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