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Nov 272014
 

BEST-POLICE-Patch-EVER-275x300On Nov. 25 at 6:07 p.m., Antoine Heath, 28, of 265 Blake St., #28, New Haven surrendered himself at police headquarters after learning of a warrant for his arrest.

The warrant was the culmination of an investigation that began after one of Heath’s relatives reported that she had been assaulted by him in the parking lot of a local restaurant on Oct. 25, 2014.

Heath was charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

He was released after posting $15,000 bond for court Nov. 26.

Nov 272014
 

Snow-Plow1The Orange Police Department released this list of tips to remember when winter storms hit the area.

• Vehicles should not be parked on Public streets, even if not prohibited to do so. Keeping streets clear of parked vehicles will expedite road clearing.

• Do not leave snow piles in the road when clearing driveways. This makes for a dangerous hazard for vehicles on the roadways.

• Adjust your speed for bad weather. Vehicles can slide on slippery surfaces. Always slow down on snow covered roads and increase following distances between your car and others on the roadway. Remember, your 4 wheel drive car or truck wont stop any quicker than others on the roadway.

• Avoid unnecessary travel during snow events.

Your Highway Department will be out clearing streets as soon as the storm hits.

Nov 272014
 

OVFDThe Orange Fire Department was called to a home on Russell Avenue for a house fire Wednesday night just before 7 p.m.

The first firefighter to arrive lives nearby and reported a fully involved fire, which was knocked down rather quickly after the Orange Volunteers arrived.

The Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department still sent a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) to assist.

When they arrived they were asked to stand by at Station 1 on Orange Center Road and cover the town in the event of another emergency while Orange finished up at the scene.

The Red Cross arrived and offered the residents lodging and any other assistance they may need, but the family had already made arrangements.

Fire Marshal Tim Smith said the fire was likely caused by a cigarette in a chair in the living room.

 

Nov 242014
 

woman-fastening-her-seat-belt-17051871The Orange Police Department is taking part in the annual Click It Or Ticket safety campaign during the Thanksgiving Holiday week.

Seat belts provide the best defense against impaired, distracted and aggressive drivers.  In fact, wearing your seat belt is the single most effective crash protection available.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens and young adults wear seat belts less than any other age demographic.  Sadly, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American youth — exceeding all crime and disease related causes.

That’s why the Orange Police Department will once again join hundreds of other law enforcement agencies across the country in renewing a pledge to save lives by intensifying efforts to enforce seat belt laws during the Thanksgiving Holiday “Click it or Ticket” seat belt campaign.  This national mobilization effort will help reduce motor vehicle fatalities by cracking down on low seat belt use — among all motorists and around the clock.

The two week enforcement wave will run from Tuesday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 30 and include traffic stops, checkpoints, and saturation patrols.

Orange Police Chief Robert Gagne stated that the Orange Police Department remains committed to the Click it or Ticket campaigns because these high visibility enforcement efforts work.

“Buckle up this holiday season and encourage friends and family to do the same,” Chief Gagne said. “You’ll not only save the cost of a ticket, you may even save a life.”

The Orange Police Department urges everyone to be safe both on and off the roads this Thanksgiving holiday.

Nov 232014
 

How Cute!

How Cute!

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will host its annual Christmas Bake Sale at Treat Farm, 361 Old Tavern Road, Orange, on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fresh, home baked goodies include pies, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, fudge and cookie bars.

If you’ve come to the sale in the past, you know that the Auxiliary women are among the best bakers in town. There is always something for everyone.

Hot chocolate and hot apple cider also will be available.

All proceeds benefit the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

Originally Published on: Oct 31, 2014 @ 19:17

Nov 232014
 

Police Blotter Logo thx DaveOrange police patrolling the Boston Post Road observed a vehicle weaving in and out of traffic on Nov. 9 at 9:05 p.m., with a license plate covered by a plastic bag.

Upon stopping the vehicle, officers reportedly saw a knife in the driver’s side door pocket.

Police secured the knife and later found a facsimile firearm in the glove box.

The driver,David Pulcinella, 43, of 97 Bull Hill Lane, West Haven, was subsequently taken into custody and charged with carrying weapons in a motor vehicle, failure to carry insurance, reckless driving, driving with a suspended registration, and failure to display a license plate.

He was released on a promise to appear in court Nov. 24.

Nov 222014
 

Police Headquarters

Police Headquarters

On Monday, Nov. 17, Lynn Skerlick, 57, of 21 Barry Road, Shelton surrendered herself at police headquarters at 10:35 a.m. after learning of a warrant for her arrest.

According to police, the warrant service was the culmination of an investigation that began in September, when the Orange Police Department received a complaint that the credit card of a town resident had been compromised.

Officers learned that the owner of the card, a local elderly woman, was ill and residing in a rehab facility when her former home health aide had used her credit card numerous times, usually to buy gas and cigarettes — total of fraudulent usage was $5573.84.

Skerlick was charged with first-degree identity theft, third-degree larceny, third-degree forgery, illegal use of a credit card, criminal impersonation and credit card theft.  

She was held on $5,000 bond, for court Nov. 18. 

Nov 212014
 

(Photo by Terri Miles)

(Photo by Terri Miles)

Do you have small children? Do you love the magic of Christmas? For 20 years Santa Claus has teamed up with the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for its Santa’s Helper Fundraising event in which 100 percent of the proceeds are used towards the purchase of firefighting and rescue equipment. 

For two decades Santa’s Helper Teams of firefighters, special helpers, family and friends have been honored to deliver gifts, smiles, fun and visit with thousands of families throughout Orange. And now they are visiting the children of the children that they first saw back in 1994 pressing their little faces up against glass doors waiting for the fire trucks to come down their street with lights and sirens announcing Santa’s arrival.

If you would like to join in the fun and have one of the Santa teams arrive at your front door on Sunday, Dec. 14 between 2-8 p.m., it’s easy, Just follow the simple steps:

GIFT RULES: 

There is a fee of $15.00 per gift. Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an over-wrap of plain brown paper. The name and address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside.
Please try not to make the gifts too large or heavy, Santa appreciates that.

We have a limited delivery number of 160 homes. This is an extremely popular event, and those spots fill up quickly. We strongly encourage you to have all of the gifts for your stop with you on Gift Drop-Off day. **For those families having a large party with many gifts on delivery day, please e-mail us at: [email protected] for special instructions.**

GIFT DROP-OFF DAY: 

Gift Drop Off Day for the general public is at Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road, (Across from TGI Fridays) on Saturday, Nov. 22 from noon to 2 p.m. PLEASE NOTE THE NEW TIME FRAME. This year, the organizers ask that the general public begin to arrive no earlier than 11:30 a.m. (30 minutes prior to the 12 p.m. start time.)  You will have a much shorter wait in line by following these new guidelines. Thank you!

PARKING FOR DROP-OFF DAY: 

Please park your car in the rear of the Fire Station. There will be firefighters there to assist you. The Drop-Off line will be located INSIDE the fire station. USE REAR DOOR MARKED ENTER. 

SANTA’S HELPER DELIVERY DAY:

Delivery takes place on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 2-8 p.m. Santa on his fire truck with his Elf, and special firefighter helpers will arrive at your home to deliver the gifts back to your loved ones, and spend some time with your family for photos and smiles. 

If you have any questions, you can e-mail Elf Mama at: [email protected]
She will help you via e-mail. Please DO NOT call the Fire Stations as it’s a volunteer department and there will not be anyone there available to assist you with Santa’s Helper information.

**E-mailing Santa’s Helper does not guarantee you a spot on the delivery route. Sign-up on drop-off day is on a first come-first serve basis.

 

Originally Published on: Oct 8, 2014 @ 9:44

Second Publishing on: Oct 29, 2014 @ 17:00

Third publishing: Published on: Nov 19, 2014 @ 16:00

Nov 192014
 

A member of Amity's SADD plays the part of an accident victim.

A member of Amity’s SADD plays the part of an accident victim.

Seven Years ago, the Amity Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) hosted a mock car crash in the parking lot of Amity High School. The presentation was powerful and memorable and hit home with many of the students who watched from the sidelines.

Such demonstrations commonly take place before prom or graduation, but this year, the students and their advisors chose to do it during Homecoming week and before the holidays to show the entire student body, all 1,600 of them in real time what can happen when you drink and drive (or even text and drive)

A committee of more than 10 people came together to plan the event, including Gary Lindgren, Robert Kennedy, The SADD members, Woodbridge police and fire departments and the Medic 44 ambulance team, so it ran like clockwork.

NOTE: As a reporter, I have been on-scene at many accidents and stay away from taking the “money” shots of victims, grieving loved ones, etc, but since this was not real I took a little more liberty and broke my own accident scene rules, even going as far as shooting a photo of the arrestee in custody inside the police cruiser. Remember, all of the photos are of a set up scenario. The victims, suspects, etc are just actors, even though in the script, the actors’ real names were used. 

IMG_6860The presentation took place at Amity on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 9:45 a.m. The students came out to the parking lot where two cars were covered in tarps.

Orange Assistant Police Chief Tony Cuozzo was the moderator, who read the carefully crafted script and added his own touches to it.

Following is the Mock Car Crash as presented to the Amity Student Body:

These two cars have just been involved in a high speed collision on Amity Road. A witness to the crash has called 911 and emergency personnel have been dispatched to the scene.

The driver of the, blue car , Cristian, is a 17-year old male. He and his passenger Bailey had been drinking at a party at a private home in Orange and were on their way home. Due to his impairment, he ran a red light and impacted another vehicle in the intersection. Cristian was the only one wearing a seat belt. Although Cristian is conscious, he has been screaming to his friend who isn’t responding.

"Bailey" was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown through the windshield.

“Bailey” was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown through the windshield.

His friend, Bailey, the front passenger, is a 17-year old female. Upon impact, her body was thrown forward through the front windshield because she was not wearing her seat belt. She hasn’t answered to her friend’s screams and it appears that she may be dead.

Cristian starts crying and continues to scream to Bailey who is not moving

After the house party in Orange, the girls in the silver car drove into New Haven and went for a burger at the 24 hour diner. The driver of this car, Lauren, a 17 year-old female is conscious at first and appears dizzy and confused. Lauren was the only person in the silver car that was wearing her seatbelt. Unfortunately, Abagail, the unrestrained front seat passenger, was thrown with such force she is pinned under the dash board with severely crushed legs and head trauma. Although Abagail has obvious trauma to her face and head , she is conscious and cannot free herself. She is in a tremendous amount of pain.

Abagail is SCREAMING!

Then Lauren gets out of the car crying and trying to free Abagail from the passenger seat. Cristian continues to scream

"Cristian" checks on the passengers of the car he just plowed into.

“Cristian” checks on the passengers of the car he just plowed into.

and runs to the other vehicle. Cristian realizes the severity of the collision and discovers that the passengers in the other vehicle are friends from their own school.

Keep in mind that, in some cases, emergency personnel must drive several miles and the first person to the scene may not arrive for 10-15 minutes. During the response, they may be slowed by motorists who fail to yield to them and then have to deal with onlookers blocking the roadway around the crash scene. That can be a long time if … you are the victim.

A siren is heard and two Woodbridge officers arrive on the scene 

To the victims’ advantage, an officer happens to be in the proximity of the crash. He is the first to arrive on the scene and will emergently try to evaluate the condition of the victims. In Orange and Woodbridge Police are first responders and have emergency medical training.

Officer surveys the scene and condition of the victims

A first responder assesses the scene.

A first responder assesses the scene.

The officer is running between vehicles, assessing the situation, determining who is in immediate need of assistance, and frantically calling for back up on his radio
.
Officer “I need back up, quick; this is a severe crash involving multiple victims, the injuries are severe, please send me EMS as soon as possible. Hurry, this may be a fatal of one or more victims.”

Ambulance arrives on scene with siren

Bailey, the 17-year old passenger in the blue car appears to be dead. Her injuries were too severe; therefore, there will be no immediate effort to remove her body from the wreck. All effort will be made toward saving lives. EMS personnel will begin administering medical attention to the severely injured, who is Abagail.

While rendering attention to Abagail, they determine that she is trapped inside the vehicle. The IMG_6885paramedics are in need of the EMS Rescue Unit; as the door must be cut open to safely remove Abagail from the vehicle. She remains conscious and in a great amount of pain. She is screaming and her injuries are severe; Abagail needs to be removed quickly by the Rescue Unit in order to receive further medical care. EMS provides as much medical assistance to Abagail as they can, then turn their attention to Cristian and Lauren.

While EMS offers assistance to the victims (moderately injured receive assistance as well).

Because EMT’s are unable to remove Abagail from the vehicle, they are awaiting the arrival of the EMS Rescue Unit for further assistance. The first 60 minutes following a severe injury crash is the most critical time period. Abagail is alive and screaming in pain. EMT’s stabilize Abagail and the others. Lauren has mild bruising and is shaken, but her injuries are not as severe as Abagail’s, who will be transported via ambulance.

A police officer tends to driver 'Cristian" as EMTs evaluate the wounded.

A police officer tends to driver ‘Cristian” as EMTs evaluate the wounded.

Paramedics determine that Bailey is dead.  Baileys body will remain in place for hours until the police conclude their accident investigation. 

Woodbridge PD radios that there has been a fatality in the accident.   

Cristian screams when he hears that Bailey has been killed.  All others react as well. 

 EMT’s decide on rescue of other victims

While EMS is rendering care, the police officers primary objective is to protect the crash scene. He must first consider the safety of the victims, rescue workers and bystanders. He will also gather evidence to be used in court if necessary. He will try to determine what caused the crash and who is responsible. He will also determine what charges if any will be filed against the wrongful driver.

Officers survey the accident scene 

Cristian, the driver of blue car has only minor injuries, mainly because he was wearing his seatbelt. As the

"Cristian" stumbles through the roadside sobriety test.

“Cristian” stumbles through the roadside sobriety test.

officer talks with him, he can smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Cristian’s breath. Upon inspection of Cristian’s car he finds empty beer cans etc.  The officer then performs a field sobriety test on Cristian.

* Officer’s microphone is on. Officer does a SFST over mic and places Cristian under arrest (all audible) Conduct a shorter version of SFST

While Cristian is handcuffed, read Miranda rights and placed in officer’s unit

*EMS Rescue arrives on the scene.

The extrication of Abagail will take additional time, but which is necessary and critical to her survival. The tool the rescue personnel are using is a Hurst Rescue Tool, also called the “Jaws of Life.” The spreaders can exhibit up to 44,000 pounds of force and the cutters can exhibit 152,000 pounds of force. This presents a certain amount of danger to the victims and the rescuers, which is why rescuers will place cervical collars on the victims’ necks to keep the vertebrae in line. This will prevent paralyzing damage to the spinal cord if their necks are fractured or broken. The victims will also be covered to protect them from flying glass and debris as the Hurst Tool is used to cut away parts of the vehicle. When the “Jaws of Life” arrive, Abagail will be placed on a backboard to keep her back straight, and her head immobilized as she is removed from the vehicle.

EMS Rescue talks to extricated participant – while he is working, he is explaining to Abagail that she is trapped and he will have to use the equipment to take the doors off of the vehicle, calm down for me, etc…….

Firefighters use the Jaws of Life to free a severely injured passenger.

Firefighters use the Jaws of Life to free a severely injured passenger.

The “Jaws of Life” are used and Abagail is extracted and loaded into the ambulance.

The Ambulance leaves scene with Abagail & Lauren.

After Abagail is extracted:  Bailey’s mother Maggie arrives on scene in her car.   Maggie explains to the officers that a passerby saw the accident, recognized the kids in the car and called her.  Maggie will approach an officer and ask for her daughter Bailey.  The officer will try to figure out who Bailey is and then explain to Maggie that her daughter has been killed in the accident.  Maggie will act out loudly and emotionally.  She yells at Cristian and the other kids in the car.  The officers will have to try and calm Maggie who is obviously devastated over the news of losing her daughter. 

Abagail is loaded into Ambulance to go to the Hospital

Due to the severity of the impact, Abagail’s legs were crushed under the dashboard. Her pulses are weak and there are obvious deformities – indicating multiple broken bones. As her legs begin to be severely discolored and swollen, the doctors soon realize that she must undergo immediate surgery to save her legs. She is at high risk of having both legs amputated. In addition to losing her legs, her mental status has

"Maggie" the grieving mother tries to get to her daughter's body.

“Maggie” the grieving mother tries to get to her daughter’s body.

become diminished. Abagail is diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury. She will need the blood evacuated from her head to lessen the impact of the head injury. Lauren’s injuries aren’t as severe and her vital signs are stable. A staff member dresses her wounds and notifies her parents.

Abagail’s parents have been notified that their child has been involved in a motor vehicle crash. Directions are given to the Yale New Haven Trauma Center, however for safety reasons, the severity of her condition is not discussed until the parents arrive. Abagail will require months of rehabilitation. She will need to re-learn fine motor skills including feeding herself, writing, and brushing her teeth. She may have to get prosthetic legs fitted for her body. She will require years of physical therapy to re-build her muscles and rehabilitate the nerves that were damaged in her brain.

Bailey’s mother runs past officers and pounds on the windows of the police cruiser where Cristian is sitting in handcuffs. Police pull her away and walk her back away from the scene. 

As you look at the following photo spread notice how many of the 1,600 kids in the audience are texting their friends, laughing, fooling around, etc. — can’t find any? That’s right, you don’t see even one. There were a few kids using their phones to film the presentation, but from what I saw, everyone was paying attention.

Students listen to the presentation at Amity.

Students listen to the presentation at Amity.

Some of the kids cried as the scenario occurred in real-time with the arrival of first responders and Asst. Chief Cuozzo’s narration adding to the emotion, especially when he told them that their deceased classmate’s lifeless body would remain on top of the car until the investigation was completed. That really hit home.

Do these Mock Car Crash programs work? All of the actors were “miked” so everyone could hear the officer giving Cristian his sobriety test instructions, and reading him his Miranda Rights before slapping on the steel handcuffs. They could hear Abagail crying and moaning in pain inside the car. They could hear the Medic talking to her softly as he prepared her for extraction. The sound of her panicked heavy breathing before the firefighters cut the roof off the car.

One boy in a wheelchair told a teacher, “This is all so surreal for me.”

Nov 182014
 

Face stills 001

 

On Friday, Nov. 7, at around 10:30 a.m., an unknown male assaulted a 73 year old man at Target, 25 Boston Post Road.

According to police, the unprovoked assault occurred inside the store as the victim approached pharmacy counter where the assailant walked up from behind him and shoved him, causing the victim to fall forward to the floor and injure his knee.

A store employee attempted to follow the suspect after the assault, but lost sight of him outside in the parking lot.

The incident was captured on surveillance video.  Orange Police have so far been unable to identify the suspect and are seeking the public’s help in identifying him.

He is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 30 years old, of average height and a stocky build.  He was wearing a thin beard, gray baseball cap and workout attire.  A still photo shows the suspect leaving the store.

Anyone recognizing the suspect or who may have witnessed the assault is asked to contact Officer Rob Cafaro at 203-891-2130.