<![CDATA[NECN - ]]>Copyright 2017http://www.necn.com/feature/rhode-island http://media.necn.com/designimages/clear.gif NECN http://www.necn.comen-usFri, 20 Jan 2017 02:56:37 -0500Fri, 20 Jan 2017 02:56:37 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[RI Prison Escapee Morales Pleads Not Guilty]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:55 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/James+Walker+Morales+Transport+010517.jpg

An inmate who broke out of a Rhode Island prison and went on the run for five days has pleaded not guilty to an escape charge.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha says James Morales was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Providence.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Tuesday charging Morales with escaping from the custody of the attorney general.

Morales fled the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls on Dec. 31. He was captured 50 miles north, in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The 35-year-old former Army reservist had been held for about a year on charges he stole 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester.

It took hours for correctional officers to notice he had escaped.

Morales' attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA['Rewards Card' for Arrests? RI Man Faces 19th Arrest]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:58:31 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Jarett+OHagan.jpg

Police in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, say a man who has been arrested in the city 18 times has been arrested again on firearm charges.

In a Facebook post, Woonsocket police say Jarett O’Hagan, 29, “would surely be one of our best customers” if they had a “rewards card program for number of arrests.”

O’Hagan was arrested over the weekend after police responded to a dangerous call on Ascension Street. The exact details of the arrest have not been released, but police say they found a .45 Ruger that was discarded by O’Hagan.

O’Hagan was charged with several crimes, including assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a weapon by a felon, possession of a weapon while intoxicated and possession of a firearm without a permit.

<![CDATA[Rhode Island Bill Would Require School Bus Seat Belts]]> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 13:15:57 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/school+bus+generic+ct.jpg

Rhode Island lawmaker has introduced legislation that would put seat belts in school buses.

Coventry Republican Rep. Robert Nardolillo introduced the bill Friday to require a three-point seat belt for every passenger starting in 2019.

This is the third year he's sought to require seat belts on newly acquired school buses. A Nov. 21 school bus crash that killed five children in Tennessee has revived a debate about bus safety.

Nardolillo's bipartisan bill has four Democratic co-sponsors.

Only six states mandate seat belts on large buses. Others have considered but dropped legislation in recent years out of concerns including cost - estimated at around $7,000 to $10,000 per bus.

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month re-emphasized the agency's call for school bus seat belts.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Accused of Striking 14-Year-Old Girl, Fleeing]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:41:09 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Jessica+Skaggs+Dartmouth+Cropped.jpg

A driver has been arrested after police say she struck a 14-year-old girl Thursday in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and fled the scene.

The teen was seriously injured after being struck on Dartmouth Street. Police responded after 5 p.m. About 30 minutes after the crash, 34-year-old Jessica Skaggs of New Bedford turned herself in to police.

The victim was taken by helicopter to Hasbro Children's Hospital. She is in stable condition.

Skaggs' car was found in a parking lot near the scene of the crash.

Charges against Skaggs include leaving the scene of a crash causing injury and unlicensed operation.

Photo Credit: Dartmouth Police/Satellite News Service]]>
<![CDATA[4 Prison Workers on Leave After Inmate's Escape]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 23:57:43 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/inmate12.jpg

Four prison workers are on leave after an inmate escaped on New Year's Eve, sparking a five-day manhunt.

James Walker Morales escaped from Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, breaking out during recreation by climbing to a roof and ultimately scaling barbed wire fences, according to the warden.

Morales was captured Thursday in Somerville, Massachusetts, after he attempted to rob a bank.

U.S. Marshals were notified about the escape nearly five hours after it happened. In that time, Morales is accused of stealing a getaway car and ditching it in Framingham, Massachusetts, where his ex-girlfriend lives.

An internal and independent investigation is underway at the prison. Three corrections officers and a lieutenant are on paid leave.

"Anyone and everyone responsible for this escape will be held accountable," said Luke Gallant, chair of Wyatt's board of directors. "We want to know what happened, how it happened, and we want to improve the Wyatt so that it never happens again."

Richard Ferruccio, president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers — which does not represent the officers at the Wyatt Detention Facility — said staffing levels may have played a role in Morales' escape. There are more than 40 vacancies for corrections officers at the facility.

"When you run short, you can have a breakdown. I think that's kinda what happened here," he said.

A union official who represents the workers at Wyatt Detention Facility says corrections officers can work up to 80 hours a week, and that wages are substantially less than a state-run facility.

"We want to learn the timeline of counts, and accountability of Mr. Morales, from the time he was allowed to enter the recreation yard until the facility discovered him to be missing at 10:30," Gallant said.

Morales — a former Army reservist — stole six assault rifles and 10 handguns from the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester in 2015. He was arrested in New York days after the theft, and most of the guns were later recovered. He has a long criminal history dating back to 2009, including a child rape charge for allegedly sexually assaulting his friend's young daughter.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Rhode Island said Morales has also been charged with escape from custody of the attorney general as a result of his prison break.

Photo Credit: Massachusetts State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-School Bus Driver in Court on Drunk Driving Charges]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 11:56:13 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/webpicbus31915.jpg

A former Rhode Island school bus driver pleaded not guilty to drunk driving charges on Wednesday, according to WJAR.

Shelly Way, 52, was driving members of Westerly High School's boy's track team when the coach noticed her erratic driving and asked her to pull over, according to officials.

The coach had the students get off the bus and wait for another one nearby; meanwhile, police in West Greenwich were called after Way allegedly drove intoxicated along Route 3.

Police allegedly found Way with several bottles of alcohol - some empty - on the bus by her driver's seat.

Her blood alcohol level was allegedly nearly double the legal limit, and she failed three sobriety tests, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Suspects Wanted in Connection to Rhode Island Shooting]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 06:07:58 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/185*120/Central+Falls+Suspects.jpg

Police are looking for two suspects who may have been involved in a shooting in Central Falls, Rhode Island early Tuesday morning.

Robert Rego, 28, of Providence, and Samantha Brayall, 21, of Central Falls, are both wanted on felony assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy charges, according to WJAR.

Police responded to the intersection of High and Hunt Streets after hearing gunshots and the sound of glass breaking.

The victim has been identified and was treated at Miriam Hospital in Providence for a leg injury.

<![CDATA[PD: Woman Shoots Self After Slipping While Holding Gun]]> Mon, 02 Jan 2017 09:22:32 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Generic-Ambulance-Cropped.jpg

Police in Coventry, Rhode Island say a woman who was investigating a noise behind her home accidentally shot herself after the gun she was holding went off when she slipped.

According to necn affiliate WJAR, the incident happened at the home on Williams Crossing Road.

When she slipped, the gun discharged and the bullet struck the woman.

She was taken to Kent Hospital with unknown injuries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Man Who Escaped From RI Jail May Be in Mass.]]> Mon, 02 Jan 2017 06:21:38 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/inmate12.jpg

The getaway car has been found, but the inmate who escaped from a Rhode Island prison over the weekend remains on the loose.

Federal officials say former Army reservist James Walker Morales — charged with stealing 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester, Massachusetts back in 2015 — escaped from Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island on Saturday night. 

It is believed that Morales climbed onto the roof during outside recreation, then jumped down, and climbed barbed wire fence to get out.

Blood was found in various areas of facilities, so officials believe Morales is wounded and bleeding from the razor wire. Investigators are searching area hospitals.

The facility was put on immediate lockdown.

Morales is described as 6'1" and 180 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He has a large eagle tattoo on the left side of his neck and was bald at the time of his escape.

Early Sunday morning, a Massachusetts State Police K-9 Unit tracked Morales to the area under an Interstate 95 overpass near the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border. At that location, police found what appeared to be discarded prison clothing with blood on it. 

The investigation suggested Morales stole a car from the parking lot of the BK Mart tobacco store on Route 1 in Attleboro, Massachusetts, around 7 p.m. An employee at the BK Mart says the customer who had her car stolen left it unlocked and running while she was in the store. She added the customer's phone was still in the car.

The stolen car has since been recovered; however, Morales was not inside and state police have not released the specific town or state it was found.

Two senior law enforcement sources tell NBC Boston the car was found in Massachusetts. 

Authorities urge anyone who spots the suspect to call 911, and those with information are asked to call U.S. Marshals at 508-368-7300.

The FBI says Morales stole six assault rifles and 10 handguns from the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester in 2015. Morales was arrested in New York days after the theft, and most of the guns were later recovered.

He has a long criminal history dating back to 2009, including a child rape charge for allegedly sexually assaulting his friend's young daughter.

The facility that Morales escaped from is not state or federally operated.

"Wyatt is a privately run facility," said Richard Ferruccio, president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers.

Ferruccio has worked in prisons for more than 30 years. Since Wyatt is privately run, he does not represent their officers.

"I would assume right now though that Wyatt Detention Center, as any prison facility or any jail would be, is in a lockdown conducting a security audit," he said.

Wyatt's correctional officer's union president declined to comment on the ongoing situation.

Photo Credit: Massachusetts State Police
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<![CDATA[Police: Teen Pizza Delivery Driver Stabbed, Robbed]]> Thu, 29 Dec 2016 12:13:13 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/180*120/shootinfPilsen1.jpg

Police in Providence are searching for suspects after a pizza delivery driver was stabbed and robbed at an apartment complex.

Police say the Pawtucket victim told officers the three suspects mugged him shortly after midnight Wednesday as he was walking down the stairs. The suspects reportedly punched and stabbed him in the back.

The victim says they made off with $21, which was all the cash he had on him at the time.

The 19-year-old was treated at Rhode Island Hospital. WJAR-TV reports that he's in stable condition.

Police are looking into whether there's surveillance video of the attack. No arrests have been made as of Wednesday.

<![CDATA[Rhode Island Firefighter Injured After Falling Through Floor]]> Thu, 29 Dec 2016 08:52:58 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/180*120/Capture164.JPG

A firefighter has been injured after falling through a floor while battling a fire in North Providence, Rhode Island early Thursday morning.

Firefighters responded to the vacant house fire on Allendale Avenue around 4 a.m., according to WJAR.

The extent of the firefighter’s injuries is not yet known. The fire is currently being investigated by the state fire marshall.

<![CDATA[Man Who Jumped From Burning Building in 'Good Condition']]> Wed, 28 Dec 2016 07:00:08 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Providence+RI+Fire.JPG

The 60-year-old man who jumped from his burning home in Providence is in "good condition."

The man was sitting on the roof of his porch when firefighters arrived to the scene of the fire at 89 Belmont Avenue around 9 a.m. on Monday, according to WJAR.

A fire had spread from the basement to the roof of the home before he jumped.

The man is recovering from his injuries at Rhode Island Hospital.

A firefighter was also treated for minor injuries after suffering a burn to his ear.

The city building inspector said that the home is a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: WJAR]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Accident Shuts Down Lanes on I-95]]> Thu, 22 Dec 2016 07:39:52 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/police+line+generic+with+sirens.jpg

A man has been killed after a high speed crash on a Rhode Island highway Thursday morning.

Rhode Island police say that the driver was traveling at high speed when he lost control and crashed on I-95 southbound near Exit 22 in Providence, Rhode Island.

The driver was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police say that all travel lanes on I-95 SB are currently blocked in that area.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Union Approves Contract With Hospital in RI]]> Wed, 21 Dec 2016 09:18:58 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/214*120/Women+and+Infants+Hospital.jpg

Unionized health care workers at a Rhode Island hospital have approved a contract with management, finalizing a four-year deal. 

According to necn affiliate WJAR, SEIU 1199NE said the deal with Women and Infants Hospital in Providence averts a strike. 

The tentative deal was reached Friday morning. 

The contract includes an investment in job training, job security and two- percent pay raises.

Photo Credit: WJAR]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead After Highway Car Accident]]> Sun, 18 Dec 2016 15:49:41 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/generic-police-lights12.jpg

A Rhode Island woman is dead after a car accident on a highway in Massachusetts. 

Early Sunday morning, Massachusetts State Police responded to reports of a one-vehicle crash in Sharon.

The accident happened on Interstate 95 slightly north of Exit 9. When they arrived, State Troopers discovered a car had left the road off the right shoulder and landed in the wooded area off the highway.

The driver of the car was later identified as 41 year old Derice N. Fealy of Providence, RI. Fealy was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Officials from the Massachusetts State Police Foxboro Barracks are currently investigating the accident.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Cats Shot to Death, $1,500 Reward Offered]]> Wed, 14 Dec 2016 10:03:44 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Police+Lights10.jpg

Two cats have been found shot to death in Woonsocket, and authorities suspect a pellet gun.

The (Woonsocket) Call reports that the two cats, Oreo and Petu, were found dead a few feet from each other on Nov. 15.

One of the owners had a necropsy done by the veterinary clinic at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. The other cat's body was examined by the Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruetly to Animals.

The SPCA's Dr. Ernest Finocchio says both examinations found that the cats were killed in a similar fashion, with a projectile in the chest cavity.

Police are investigating. The SPCA and a city businessman are jointly offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever was responsible.

<![CDATA[RI Hospital Nurses, Staff Threaten Strike]]> Wed, 14 Dec 2016 06:51:50 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/hospital+generic+er+generic+emergency+room+generic.jpg

The union that represents nurses and other staff at the Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island may announce plans to strike if an agreement isn't reached with hospital representatives.

District 1199 SEIU New England members voted on Sunday and Monday to authorize their bargaining committee to deliver a strike notice. Executive vice president Patrick Quinn says a 10-day strike notice will be issued if an agreement isn't reached on Wednesday.

The current contract expired on Dec. 1. Quinn says members want more staff to share the workload and reduce forced overtime.

Hospital chief nursing officer Matthew Quin says the Providence hospital is hiring new nurses but rules governing the addition of new staff take a long period of time.

Quin says management is "extremely committed" to the contract negotiations.

<![CDATA[2 Teens Killed in Fiery Crash at Gas Station]]> Wed, 14 Dec 2016 13:47:46 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Gas+Station+Fire+Mark+Livingston.jpg

Two teens have died and two others were hospitalized after a crash involving three vehicles ignited a massive fire at a Rhode Island gas station Tuesday.

Authorities say Andrea D'Agostino, 87, was turning left onto Bishop Hill Road from Route 6 in Johnston just after 4 p.m. when her car crashed into the car 19-year-old Zachery Albanese was driving. The impact caused D'Agostino's car to veer off the roadway and into the parking lot of a Sunoco gas station. There, it struck an unoccupied SUV parked in front of a gas pump, Rhode Island State Police confirmed.

The gas station's manager told WJAR-TV he ran outside after two cars collided and the fire broke out.

"We were just taking the customers here and there was a loud bang," Zeshan Abid said.

One of Albanese's passengers, 18-year-old Taylor Reilly, died at the scene while another passenger, 18-year-old Dylan Laurenzo, died from his injuries on Wednesday at Rhode Island Hospital.

Albanese is still in critical condition. WJAR reports D'Agostino has since been released from the hospital.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 401-444-1000.

Photo Credit: Mark Livingston]]>
<![CDATA[Will RI Native Billy Gilman Win 'The Voice'?]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:47:35 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Billy+Gilman.jpg

Will Rhode Island native Billy Gilman be deemed "The Voice" on Tuesday's night finale? 

Gilman, one of the final four contestants, performed two songs Monday night, the Frank Sinatra classic, "My Way" and original song “Because of Me.” 

According to necn affiliate WJAR, “Because of Me” was supposed to be on the latest Maroon 5 album. 

Gilman told WJAR, “Adam texted me with a little bit of a snippet at like 1 a.m. a week ago, and he's like, 'I think this is the one.' And I immediately knew that it was." 

The night begins with a recap show at 8 p.m. followed by the live two-hour finale at 9 p.m. 

Photo Credit: WJAR]]>
<![CDATA[Remains Found at Rhode Island Construction Site]]> Sun, 11 Dec 2016 09:53:06 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/214*120/South+Kingston+remains.png

Rhode Island State Police say they are investigating the possibility of human remains found at a construction site in South Kingstown.

The remains were found Saturday evening near where a foundation is being on land adjacent to the St. James Chapel. The church recently sold the land to a developer who is planning to build several homes there.

Church officials told reporters the property at one time belonged to a prohibition-era bootlegger named Danny Walsh.

Walsh disappeared in 1933 and his body was never found.

Police say they have not yet determined if the remains are human.

Photo Credit: WJAR-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Man Found Fatally Shot at Rhode Island Auto Shop]]> Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:58:34 -0500 http://media.necn.com/images/214*120/Providence+Auto+Shop+Murder.jpg

Police in Rhode Island are investigating the death of man whose body was found in a Providence auto shop on Friday.

According to WJAR-TV, police were called to Borinquen Auto Repair on Amherst Street shortly after 2 p.m., where the man appeared to have been shot sometime during the day.

Police did not release the man’s name, but relatives identified him as Pito Ledee.

Family told WJAR-TV that they were told someone came into the shop, asked for Ledee by name, and then shot him in the head twice.

So far, no arrests have been made.

Photo Credit: WJAR-TV]]>