SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

STATE POLICE SEEK SUSPECT IN PUTNAM BANK ROBBERY

Putnam bank robbery suspect (Hartford Courant)

PUTNAM, CT (WFSB) – The Connecticut State Police detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify a man who they said robbed a bank in Putnam on Saturday.  Police said the suspect seen in the still images captured by surveillance video approached the clerk at the People’s United Bank inside the Stop and Shop on Providence Pike just after 4 p.m., and demanded money.   Police said the clerk told them that the suspect passed a note through to the teller demanding money. Police said he also handed the teller a plastic bag and demanded large bills.   Police said he implied he had a weapon in his waistband.   Police describe the suspect as a 5’7” to 5’9” man with an average to husky build, very light blue eyes and clean shaven with brown hair.   They said he was wearing a dark-colored t-shirt, dark pants, and a light-colored baseball hat without a logo and a key-type lanyard hanging from his front left pocket.   Police said the suspect fled in a dark colored car that was awaiting his arrival.   Police are encouraging those with information on the suspect or his whereabouts to contact Detective Hoffner at 860-779-4943 or text TIP711 to 274637.

LANDSCAPER FINDS GUN DISCARDED BY COVENTRY SHOOTING SUSPECT

Daniel Ballard

COVENTRY, CT (WFSB) – A landscaper called police after he almost accidentally ran over a loaded gun with a lawnmower.   Chris Yates, of Keepers Lawn & Garden, was mowing a South Street lawn in Coventry when he spotted the handgun in the grass.   He almost ran it over.   Yates called the police, with suspicions of who the gun belongs to.   Coventry police said the gun is registered to Daniel Ballard, who is currently being held on a $1 million bond for several charges, including attempted murder.   Ballard is connected to a domestic incident that happened on Wednesday night.   Police were called to Flanders Street, where Ballard shot up a home 20 times.   The 36-year-old drove off before police could even get there, leading state police and even UConn police on a chase that spanned several towns with speeds as fast as 90 miles an hour.   Stop sticks were used but police say Ballard kept going until he was finally stopped in Vernon.   Coventry police say troopers found the gun used in the shooting, but no one expected a second gun registered to that same suspect to be found off of South Street.   Coventry police believe the suspect Daniel Ballard threw the gun out his car window the night of the crimes, but officers say it was not fired that night.

BOY FIGHTS OFF MAN WHO TRIED TO STEAL FATHER’S CAR

Edward Asberryn (Hartford Police)

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – An 11-year-old boy fought off a man who attempted to steal his father’s car while the child was inside on Saturday morning, police said.   Police arrested Hartford resident, 44-year-old Edward Asberry and charged him with kidnapping, larceny, and risk of injury after he attempted to steal a running car that was parked at the McDonald’s on Albany Avenue.   Police said an 11-year-old boy was waiting in the car for his father when Asberry got in the driver’s seat and began to drive off.   Police said the child began physically assaulting the man until he stopped the car and ran off.   With information on the suspect from the child and eyewitnesses, police were able to catch up with Asberry at the intersection of Garden and Mather Street and arrest him.   The stolen car was recovered to the family.

WOMAN SHOT

Tramaine Marquese Poole (Hartford Courant)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Authorities are offering a cash reward for information about the whereabouts of a Connecticut man wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman while she was in a car with her two young children.   The U.S. Marshals’ Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of 41-year-old Tramaine Marquese Poole.   Authorities say Poole is wanted for questioning in the shooting death of the 28-year-old woman who was shot in her car in New Haven Thursday night. Her 11-year-old and 6-year-old children were in the car with her.  Authorities have not named her to protect her children’s identities. Officials say they believe she was targeted.   Authorities say Poole is also suspected of shooting his 36-year-old wife last month.

BUSINESS AID

Electric Boat, Groton

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state of Connecticut will be handing out nearly $81 million in grants and loans to help 16 companies relocate, expand and create jobs.   Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the companies are expected to add nearly 3,900 new jobs and retain about 15,000 others. The state Bond Commission approved the funding Friday. General Dynamics’ Electric Boat is getting the largest loan — $35 million to help buy machinery and equipment for expanding operations in Groton and New London. The company is expected to create nearly 1,900 new jobs and retain 11,300 others. The company’s expansion project is estimated at $852 million.   PricewaterhouseCoopers will receive a $9 million grant for its $20 million expansion project in Stamford. The company plans to add 400 new jobs and retain more than 900.

FOOD BUSINESS GRANTS

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Agriculture and seafood businesses throughout Rhode Island have been awarded grants to help them start or expand their operations.   The state Department of Environmental Management says 21 local food businesses will be awarded a total of about $210,000.   The Local Agriculture and Seafood Act grant program is funded by the state and charitable foundations.   The grants of up to $20,000 are meant to help grow Rhode Island’s local food economy.   The Urban Greens Food Co-op received one of the larger grants of nearly $20,000 for a kitchen to process and use local ingredients.   The African Alliance of Rhode Island received about $15,000 to support community gardens and farms.   The grant program is now in its fifth year. The department says more than $1.1 million in grants have been awarded.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS-RHODE ISLAND

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Thousands of athletes and supporters are gathering at the University of Rhode Island this weekend for the Special Olympics Rhode Island.   The events kicked off Friday as athletes marched into the arena and sang “Happy Birthday” to the games, which are celebrating their 50th anniversary.   Athletes are participating in swimming, bowling, cycling, powerlifting and other events. About 1,500 athletes are expected to participate.   Events will run through Sunday on the Kingston campus. The University of Rhode Island says it’s the 46th year the games will be held at the school. Mary-Ellen Powers of Barrington is one of the longest participating athletes in the games. She tells The Providence Journal: “Today our world is more divided than ever” and “coming together has never been more important.”

LAWSUIT – SWIMMING INJURY

Brett and Stacie Smith

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A jury has awarded $31 million to an Iraq War veteran and his wife after a swimming accident at the University of Rhode Island left him paralyzed from the chest down.   The Providence Journal reports a Superior Court jury ruled in favor of Brett and Stacie Smith, of Farmington, Conn., on Thursday in a lawsuit against URI.   Brett Smith was injured in 2014 when he struck his head on a submerged rock in a pond at URI’s Alton Jones campus. He was there to attend a wedding and was among other guests swimming in the pond.   His lawyer says staff members had indicated swimming was allowed, even though it is prohibited. The lawsuit accused URI of negligence.   The Journal says a URI representative did not immediately respond to an email.

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