Thursday, October 18, 2012

Man Hit by Train in Greenwich, Dies

Greenwich Time- Alexander Bertrand, 21, of Lawrence Court in North Woodmere, N.Y. has been identified as the man who died Wednesday night after he was struck by a train.

Metro North Railroad Police are handling the investigation, and Bertrand's identity was released by railroad spokeswoman Marjorie Anders.

Bertand died at Stamford Hospital Wednesday night after he was struck by a southbound Metro-North Railroad train in Greenwich around 6:45 p.m., officials said.

"We received an emergency call from MTA of a subject possibly hit by a train in the vicinity of the Greenwich train station," Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey said from the scene near the Davis Avenue overpass and Bruce Park Avenue Extension. "We located an individual who was in cardiac arrest who appeared to be hit by a train."

Bertand also suffered other traumatic injuries, said Heavey, who didn't know the extent of those injuries.

Metro-North spokesman Salvatore Arena said the man was hit by an eastbound train heading to New Haven. All four tracks had to be shut down, causing significant delays. At 8:45 p.m., Arena said two tracks had been reopened, but delays remained up to 45 minutes on the New Haven Line in both directions.

Police, fire and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service personnel flooded the area of the train station in search of the individual before finding him about 1,000 feet east of the Davis Avenue overpass on the Metro-North Railroad tracks, Heavey said.

The area where Bertrand was found is just under a half-mile east of the Greenwich train station. The man was between tracks 1 and 3, Heavey said.

"The train that apparently struck him was empty at the time," Heavey said.
MTA police are conducting the investigation of the incident, Heavey said. He didn't know if the incident was a suicide attempt.

"The conductor is being interviewed by MTA police," said Heavey, who was joined at the scene by First Selectman Peter Tesei.

Police closed the Davis Avenue intersection with Bruce Park Avenue to traffic as the investigation continued.

Metro-North service was restored shortly before 10 p.m.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Carrie Shelomis Remembered

Carrie Ann Shelomis, age 34 of Hamden previously of Monroe passed away in Greenwich as a result of a automobile accident on September 26, 2012. Born in Bridgeport , she was a graduate of Masik High School class of 1996. Carrie was a Human Resource Coordinator for Abilis , Inc of Greenwich . 

She enjoyed computer games, gardening, animals, shopping and shoes. She was a loving mother and will be sadly missed by all who knew her. She was predeceased by her father Elliott Shelomis. Survivors include her beloved family, her mother, Laurie Halko Buckley and her step father John Buckley of Monroe, her fiance' Phillip Balcastro of Hamden, a son, Kevin Shelomis of Monroe, two daughters, Gabriella and Gianna Balcastro of Hamden, two brothers, Gary Shelomis of Derby and Patrick Buckley of Shelton, five sisters, Patricia Shelomis of Shelton, Melissa (Richard) Cole of Georgia, Victoria Acuzzo of Monroe, Jennifer Sneider of Seymour, Melissa Buckley of Shelton and many aunts, uncles, cousins nieces and nephews. 

Friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Sunday September 30, 2012 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. in the Dennis & D'Arcy - Abriola & Kelemen Funeral Home, 2611 Main St. Stratford . A funeral service will follow at 7:30 p.m. in the funeral home with Deacon Raymond Chervenak, officiating.

Connecticut Man Identified as Newburgh-Beacon Bridge Jumper

NEWBURGH — Police have identified the man who jumped from the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge last week as Frank D. Rende of Bridgeport, Conn. after remains were sighted floating in the Hudson River near the City of Newburgh waterfront area around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
According to state police, Rende, 34, leaped to his death after he broke away from a Troop F state trooper while threatening to jump from the bridge around 6:55 p.m.

Police said he jumped off the north side of the westbound span of the Newburgh-Beacon bridge.

Rende had recently been accused of committing a sex crime in the state of Connecticut, said state police Sergeant Joseph Lutz.

His body was recovered on Sunday morning from the Hudson River and turned over to the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Assisting with the recovery of Rende's body was the New York State Police Aviation Unit and Scuba Units along with the City of Newburgh Police and Fire Department, Middlehope Fire Department, West Point Fire Department, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Boat Patrol, Orange County Fire Command, Mobil Life and Town of Newburgh Emergency Medical Services.

Former Greenwich Man ID'd as Hudson River Jumper

Stamford Advocate- The man who committed suicide last week by jumping off a Hudson River bridge was a 1996 graduate of Greenwich High School.

New York State Police say the body subsequently recovered from the river near the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge last weekend was that of 34-year-old Frank D. Rende, most recently of Bridgeport.

Police say Rende jumped from the westbound side of the bridge around 7 p.m. on Sept. 20.

Troopers were called to the bridge for a report of an abandoned vehicle midway across the bridge in the westbound lanes. State police say a pedestrian on the bridge spotted the body floating in the middle of the river Sunday morning. Firefighters from Newburgh recovered Rende's body.

Murder Trial Jury Deliberations to Continue

STAMFORD -- Jurors in the trial of a Greenwich man accused of shooting two gas station attendants in 2009, killing one of them, asked in state Superior Court in Stamford on Tuesday to review evidence and testimony.

During the trial of Alain LeConte, 24, jurors listened to testimony about three armed holdups he is accused of committing over a two-month period. He allegedly shot two convenience store clerks in the head, killing one in Norwalk and severely injuring another in Greenwich. LeConte is also charged with using a gun to rob a Stamford bodega.

He is facing more than 60 years in jail on the charges.

As they did earlier in the trial, jurors Tuesday heard a secretly taped jailhouse conversation involving LeConte, in which he admitted to many details of the crimes.

"I'm full throttle with this (expletive)," LeConte can be heard saying on the tape, referring to the time period immediately before the 2009 robbery of the Mobil on the Run gas station on East Putnam Avenue in Old Greenwich.

LeConte recalled how he rushed away from the Greenwich crime scene with an accomplice, later identified as Teran Nelson, and they sped toward Bridgeport "like it was a movie."

Nelson, the getaway driver in the robbery, took the stand previously in the trial.

Jurors listened Tuesday to a recording of his testimony.

Nelson testified he acted as a lookout outside the gas station while LeConte entered and, soon after, he heard a popping noise.

"When I heard the pop noise, I panicked and started to run," Nelson said.

Nelson has signed a cooperative agreement in the case, exchanging his testimony to reduced exposure to jail time.

Jurors once again saw video surveillance footage from the Greenwich crime and the Oct. 10, 2009, robbery at the West Avenue Shell station in Norwalk, in which a hooded suspect shot and killed gas station attendant Jose Joaquin Morales.

In surveillance footage from both crimes an armed man dressed in black aims a gun at the attendant.

The attendant in the Greenwich video can be seen exiting the store clutching his head after the man leaves.

David Wash, of Bridgeport, faces robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery charges in connection with the Greenwich crime.

Mustafa Jacobs is facing felony murder, robbery and conspiracy charges for his alleged role in Morales' murder.

Mark Phillips, LeConte's attorney, and Senior Assistant State's Attorney James Bernardi, the case prosecutor, both rested their cases last week.

Fire Kills 1, Badly Burns Another In Extreme Hoarding Intervention Gone Awry

GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — An extreme hoarding situation ended in extreme sadness on Tuesday. It may have been a final act of defiance that killed a man and seriously injured his sick mother.

The run-down home has been an eyesore for years, attracting complaints from neighbors and the city of Greenwich. Now, the woman who owns it is badly burned and her 42-year-old son is dead, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

The fire started inside a home jammed with stacks of personal possessions — a hoarder’s den turned death trap.

“Smoke pouring out of the house and we said there’s someone still inside, and about five or six minutes later they took the second person out in an ambulance over there,” neighbor Richard Meehan said.

“The fire department has determined it was intentionally set,” Greenwich Police Lt. Craig Gray said.

An intervention was apparently already underway in connection with the clutter inside.  A dumpster on site was supposed to be used to house the many belongings the occupants had amassed. The fire, apparently set by the son, broke out just hours before state social workers were supposed to arrive, police said.

“The lady used to work for the Board of Education in Greenwich and then she got sick and basically her son was taking care of her.

It was a slow decline,” neighbor John Pardo said.

The man of the house — a retired Greenwich cop — died in the 1980s. Things got especially bad in the past five years, neighbors said, but the occupants, Dean Verboven and his 69-year-old mother, Barbara, were well-liked.

“I know this boy since he was 8 years old and they are … they are sweet people, nice people,” Gladys Pardo said.

But he is now dead and she is in critical condition, getting treated at Bridgeport Medical Center for severe burns.

One neighbor said Barbara Verboven spent almost all her time in a single room of the house, eating and sleeping in a room with a television on 24 hours a day.

1 dead, 1 Injured in Greenwich Fire

Greenwich Time- An intentionally set fire killed a 42-year-old man and critically injured a 69-year-old handicapped woman Tuesday morning in their Old Greenwich home, police said.

Neighbors identified the victims as Dean Verboven and his mother, Barbara Verboven. Barbara Verboven remains in critical condition in the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital, after being initially transported to Greenwich Hospital.

The fire broke out at about 7 a.m. at 46 Havemeyer Lane, police and fire officials said.

Speaking at a news conference at the police station in the afternoon, Police Lt. Kraig Gray said a preliminary investigation determined that the fire was set, but stopped short of using the term arson. He said the fire is being investigated by a joint team of police and firefighters.

Gladys Pardo, who lives next door to Verbovens with her husband, John, said she was sitting at her computer at about 7 a.m. when she saw smoke and flames coming from the window next door.

She screamed to her husband that there was a fire and got out of their house, which is only a few feet away from their neighbors.

When firefighters arrived, Gladys Pardo said she directed them to the ground-floor bedroom of Barbara Verboven, who she said has been wheelchair-bound for about five years. The Pardos and another neighbor, Robert Meehan, directed firefighters to look for a second occupant, at which point they found Dean Verboven and brought him out of the house about five minutes later, Meehan said.

After hearing the firefighters arriving on scene, Meehan said, "I came out and saw the house fully engulfed in smoke."

Meehan said that Dean Verboven was placed in an ambulance, which sat for about five minutes before driving away.

Gray said he did not know if the man had been declared dead on the scene.

Greenwich Fire Chief Peter Siecienski said heavy fire gutted part of the first floor of the house where the two had their bedrooms, and smoke caused heavy damage to the second floor.

Assistant Fire Chief Bob Kick said the state fire marshal's office brought a dog to the scene. The dogs are typically used to search for accelerants, Kick said.

The last fire-related fatality in Greenwich occurred in 2006, according to Kick, who commended firefighters on their work at the Havemeyer Lane scene.

"They did a good job," he said Tuesday night. "They got in there quickly."

A Greenwich police crime scene investigation truck arrived on scene shortly after 9 a.m., and a large section of Havemeyer Lane around MacArthur Drive was closed for several hours while numerous police and firefighters conducted their investigation.

Gray said that the house was "cluttered" and its condition had an effect on the ability of firefighters to get in and pull the residents outside. Both victims were brought out of the rear of the house, neighbors said.

Sixty firefighters from Sound Beach, Cos Cob, North Street and Glenville responded to the 7:10 a.m. call, Siecienski said.

The Pardos said they had been neighbors of the Verbovens for more than 30 years.

"They were a very nice family... This is heartbreaking," said Gladys Pardo.

"It is so hard for me to believe he is dead. He was 8 years old when we moved in," said John Pardo.

Gladys Pardo said that she saw Dean Verboven two days ago, but it has been two years since she saw Barbara Verboven.

Up until recent times, "They were a very outgoing family," Gladys said about the Verbovens.