Dirk Perrefort, The News-Times

Dirk Perrefort

The News-Times

Danbury, CT, United States

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Past articles by Dirk:

Danbury nursing home bandit in scrubs preys on elderly

DANBURY - Police are searching for a woman dressed in a nursing uniform who has been stealing from area assisted living facilities during the past week. Chief Patrick Ridenhour confirmed Friday that detectives are investigating reports of a black woman dressed in pink and purple scrubs who visited at least two nursing homes in the city during the past week and stole items from purses. The woman,… → Read More

Disagreement with prostitute leads to Danbury police chase

DANBURY - Police chased down a suspect believed to be armed with a gun through downtown streets recently after a disagreement between a prostitute and her client. Police were called to the area surrounding Frankin Street less than a block from the police station on a report of a street robbery with a gun. The woman, later identified as Karen Santoro said she was robbed at gunpoint and that the… → Read More

Ex-Redding school board member sentencing postponed

REDDING - The sentencing of former school chairwoman Sara Sobel was delayed Monday after she asked the court to seal letters and other documents provided on her behalf. The package of information included letters from supporters, Sobel's own statements, photographs and medical reports that were submitted Monday. Vicki Hutchinson, an attorney representing Sobel, also filed a motion Monday… → Read More

Danbury detective calls quick response to stabbing ‘part of the job’

DANBURY - Detective Len LaBonia didn't hesitate to act recently when he saw blood dripping from a man's chest after a stabbing on Main Street. Driving an unmarked police car, LaBonia was about halfway into his shift on Wednesday afternoon when he noticed a heated argument between two men. "It looked as if one of the men touched the other man in the stomach," LaBonia said Friday. "He lifted his… → Read More

Former Redding school board chair to be sentenced Monday in sex assault case

REDDING - Former school board chairwoman Sarah Sobel is facing up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced Monday for providing pornographic photos and videos of a young child to a convicted sex offender. Sobel pleaded guilty in August under the Alford Doctrine, which means the defendant questions some of the facts of the case but admits there is enough evidence for a conviction. She was… → Read More

Danbury releases identity of pedestrian killed

DANBURY - Police have identified the woman who died earlier this week after being hit by a car while walking across Franklin Street in the heart of the city's downtown. Authorities have identified the woman as Clemencia Guallpa, 71, as the woman who was killed early Thursday morning when she was hit by a Honda Civic driven by 38-year-old Angel Cambizaca of Danbury. Guallpa didn't have any… → Read More

Fire engulfs New Milford apartment

NEW MILFORD - A family of four is temporarily homeless after a fire engulfed their apartment early Thursday morning. The fire began around 4 a.m. in a legal apartment that was located above a detached garage on Kent Road. The people who were living in the apartment awoke to the smoke alarm and called 911. "The smoke alarm probably saved them from serious injuries," said Fire Marshal Brian Ohmen.… → Read More

Funeral services set for Bridgeport woman killed on Route 8

Relatives of a Bridgeport woman killed recently when she was struck by a truck purportedly owned by Newtown Electric have already raised more than $2,000 for her funeral expenses. Police said Tuesday they continue to investigate last week's crash. Maria Mendoza Robles was killed when she was struck by a truck while crossing Route 8 near Exit 5. The truck that struck Robles fled the scene of the… → Read More

Bethel police promotions show it’s not just a man’s world anymore

BETHEL - More women have been elevated to leadership positions within area law enforcement departments in recent years at a time when more females are entering the field. In Bethel, two of the three promotions announced this week were earned by women. Heather Burns, who has more than 18 years of experience, was promoted to lieutenant, and Courtney Whaley was recently promoted to sergeant.… → Read More

Pedestrian identified in fatal Danbury accident

DANBURY - Police have confirmed the identity of a 43-year-old city man who was killed after being struck by a car on White Street over the weekend. Police said the incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday when Jose Yupangui, 43, was attempting to cross White Street on foot near the intersection with Ives Street. He was struck by a Honda Accord driven by 18-year-old Jhon Penaherrera.… → Read More

Teenagers sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for fellow Danbury teen’s death

DANBURY - For family members of Gabriel Bardo - a young man killed last year over a $30 bag of marijuana - the image of him dying alone on the side of the road on that summer night still haunts them. Their grief palpable, the family came together Friday in Superior Court for the sentencing of two teenagers who earlier had pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for killing Bardo. Ronald Massagli… → Read More

Ridgefield lawyer died in plane crash off L.I.

A Ridgefield attorney was among the victims in the weekend plane crash off Long Island. Authorities confirmed Tuesday that town resident Richard Terbrusch, 53, was among three people killed Saturday when a Piper PA-34 went down over the Atlantic Ocean. "We are still numb," Susan Terbrusch said Wednesday about her husband's death. "He was a great guy who did a lot of good work for charities and… → Read More

Bethel police move into new headquarters

BETHEL - Police officers began the complex task Tuesday of moving into their new headquarters on Judd Avenue. "Originally we were planning to move out by the end of August but the day has finally arrived," said Police Chief Jeffrey Finch. "From security cameras to phones, radio communications and even key fobs, there are a lot of details that have to be considered in such a move." Officers began… → Read More

Plan crash probe continues

DANBURY - Officials have yet to say what prompted a flight instructor to stop Saturday at Danbury Muncipal Airport before a fatal crash off Long Island that killed both the instructor and two passengers. Authorities have identified 41-year-old Munidat "Raj" Persaud of Waterbury as the owner and pilot of the Piper twin turbo prop airplane that crashed into the water about three miles southeast of… → Read More

Newtown residents tour proposed police HQ

NEWTOWN - Police officials looking for a new headquarters gave residents a tour Saturday of the existing department and their proposed new home on South Main Street. The tours of both buildings, which were held from 10 a.m. to noon, were part of the department's ongoing efforts to build a new headquarters that began more than 10 years ago. Officials argue that the current headquarters, which was… → Read More

Downed power lines closes Route 7 in Ridgefield

RIDGEFIELD - Route 7 will be closed for some time this afternoon after significant winds took down a utility pole and several trees just north of Branchville. Police said it will likely take several hours and well into the afternoon before the road can be re-opened. Heavy winds, the remnants of Hurricane Michael as it moves out into the Atlantic, took down trees and a major utility pole that… → Read More

Overtime pays for Danbury cop shortage; officer earned $38,000 extra in six months

DANBURY - Some police officers in the city are racking up nearly 50 percent of their salary in overtime pay as the department struggles to hire enough officers. The top earning patrolman has already made more than $38,000 in overtime in the first six months of the year - that's on top of his annual $79,823 salary. And while the extra income might be welcome for some, many cops are routinely… → Read More

Outage impacted Danbury traffic lights

DANBURY - A downed wire caused hundreds to lose power and significant traffic delays downtown Thursday morning. Officials with Eversource said the outage, which began shortly before 11 a.m., was likely caused by a downed wire on White Street near a crossing on the Danbury rail line. Officials have been unable to determine what brought down the power line. About 200 customers were impacted,… → Read More

Former Newtown fire chief remembered for his service

NEWTOWN - The national anthem echoed through the halls of St. Rose of Lima Church Wednesday and hands laid on heavy hearts as the community mourned former Fire Chief Michael Lucas. Lucas, a former member of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue, died last Friday at the age of 92. Those who knew him said Lucas remained active in the fire department and the community until his final days. "He… → Read More

Beacon man dies in fiery I-84 crash

Police have released the identification of a Beacon man who was killed Monday during a fiery crash on Interstate 84 that closed the highway for most of the day. Authorities said the accident occurred around 4 a.m. near Exit 17 in Kent, NY, when a 2015 Volvo tractor trailer traveling eastbound in the left lane struck the guardrail. The truck, driven by Sergio Khundiashvili, 36, flipped onto the… → Read More