Police: Employee Sent 50-Plus Threatening Texts to Local Business Owner

Police early Tuesday arrested a 33-year-old Bridgeport man by warrant and charged him with second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct. On April 15, officers took a complaint from a business owner regarding harassing text messages from an employee, according to a police report. Through an investigation, police learned that the Bridgeport man had sent the texts to his employer, the report said. He’d sent messages more than 50 times demanding money and a percentage of the business, threatening that if he wasn’t paid the business would be ruined, it said. Police took custody of the man at Norwalk Hospital and transported him to NCPD headquarters for processing at about 5:49 a.m. Tuesday, the report said.

Warrant Includes New Details of Widely Discussed Arrest

A New Canaan man locked himself in the bedroom of a Seminary Street apartment and refused to leave, even after firefighters told him that the residence needed to be evacuated in order to clear it of a harmful gas, according to a police affidavit. Firefighters found the man and his girlfriend inside the apartment’s bedroom after responding to a neighbor’s report of smoke and a fire alarm that had been going off for 20-plus minutes, New Canaan Police Officer Giancarlo Vincenzi said in the sworn affidavit. The incident unfolded at about 9:18 p.m. on April 15 (a Friday), he said. A New Canaan Fire Department captain, after forcing his way inside the apartment because no one responded when he “knocked on the front door of the residence several times … observed a very young child slumped over in a high chair alone,” and a piece of chicken burning on a kitchen stovetop, according to Vincenzi’s affidavit, which forms the basis of an arrest warrant application later signed by a judge, charging the man and woman with risk of injury to a child. Firefighters then found the man and woman in the bedroom (she later told police they hadn’t heard the fire alarm or smelled the smoke).

Fire Marshal: Two Brush Fires Over Weekend

This past weekend, New Canaan experienced two brush fires, the first was at Bristow Sanctuary on Old Stamford Road. This was caused by a small campfire that got out of control due to gusting winds. The second was at a residence on Valley Road. This fire was caused by a resident burning brush that again got out of control due to the gusting winds. While campfires are not permitted in Bristow Sanctuary at any time, the New Canaan Fire Department was not issuing open burning permits due to the high forest fire danger.

Authorities: 10 Dogs Shot To Death, Numerous Puppies and Canines Abused at Local Police Officer’s Private Business [UPDATED]

The general manager and other workers at a Naugatuck-based canine training business owned by a New Canaan Police officer shot and killed least 10 dogs there, officials say. Placed on leave last week after police in his hometown of Stratford brought an initial set of charges that included felony charges of illegal use and possession of explosives, Officer David Rivera, 34, on Monday turned himself in to Naugatuck Police on a warrant for conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals, first-degree reckless endangerment and conspiracy to commit euthanization of a canine. 

Alerted last week by state and other authorities about possible animal cruelty at Black Rock Canine Training—a facility for prospective military and police dogs, as well as for privately owned canines by individuals seeking such training— Naugatuck detectives and Animal Control officers found “that numerous canines of all ages and breeds, including German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Labrador Retrievers, have been abused and injured during their time at Black Rock Canines,” according to a press release issued by Naugatuck PD. “More specifically, that at least 10 canines have been killed by employees with a firearm,” the press release said. “The canines that were shot and killed were then buried on the property by the owner/operators of the business.”

Its general manager, 33-year-old Daniel Luna of Waterbury, “had abused numerous puppies and dogs during his time of employment at Black Rock Canines facility,” the press release said. Lunda’s abuse included “the shooting of dogs which were deemed no longer viable for the business,” it said.

Police Triple ‘Location Checks’ in New Canaan

New Canaan police officers through the first quarter of 2022 more than tripled their targeted checks of locations such as public parks and downtown areas as part of a wider effort to fight rising crime. The number of “location checks” increased from 167 the first three months of 2021 to 544 this year, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski told members of the Police Commission during their April 20 regular meeting. “The bulk of that increase is related to checking our parks and other locations,” Krolikowski said during the Commission’s meeting, held at New Canaan Police Department headquarters and via videoconference. 

“Intensive patrols to try and prevent people who are coming into town and committing crimes from doing that,” he said. “So that’s good work by our officers, certainly.”

Krolikowski said earlier this year that police have been “very concerned about” rises in crimes such as stolen vehicles and thefts from cars—including smash-and-grabs at public parks, where criminals wait for visitors to park their cars and leave for a walk—as well as residential burglaries and organized thefts from retail establishments. He noted at the Commission’s meeting that burglaries through the first three months of 2022 were up to four compared to zero for the year-ago period. 

“Our investigators are working on those cases and it’s a Fairfield County group that is committing the majority of those and we are hopeful at some point that we will be able to make some arrests and catch those people,” Krolikowski said.