NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a roundup of Norwalk newsy items:
- Lawsuit against NPS withdrawn – but ‘far from over,’ lawyer says
- Beach hunting ban been on radar screen for a long time
- ICYMI: Two Norwalk men were recently accused of plotting mass shootings
A ‘different strategy’
The lawsuit filed by Hope Coles and Sadiya DeIrish against Norwalk Public Schools, accusing the district of wage theft, was withdrawn Friday.
Attorney Ryan Daugherty said Saturday that there’s “been a change in strategy” and he will elaborate Tuesday. “Just know, we’re not going away and this is far from over,” he wrote.
Norwalk Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeffry Spahr on Monday pointed out that he filed a motion to dismiss in the case, a motion that he feels “pretty much made it clear that it was inappropriate for them to have filed their lawsuit. It seems clear that the position that we had taken all along in this regard was correct and that their legal reasoning and logic was mistaken.”
NancyOnNorwalk asked Daugherty for more information. No details until Tuesday (Sept. 10) but, “we discovered more violations after talking with more NPS employees,” Daugherty wrote Monday. “So, we withdrew the original complaint instead of ‘amending’ it. This will give us more options moving forward, as we can ‘restore’ that case back to the active docket if we file a ‘motion to restore’ within 4 months.”
Coles and DeIrish, both NPS employees, in their July complaint accused NPS of systematically depriving them and hundreds of their colleagues of pay.
Mocciae requested beach hunting ban back in 2000
Waterfowl hunting has been temporarily closed through May 31 at Calf Pasture Beach, Taylor Farm Park and Veterans Memorial Park, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) states on its website. This was publicized last week by State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25), Mayor Harry Rilling and others.
While the officials have DEEP’s cooperation now, a similar request was denied by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2001.
Then-Deputy Police Chief Mark Palmer and then-Acting Recreation and Parks Department Director Mike Mocciae wrote to DEP and requested a ban, citing increased recreational use of the beach, a new children’s playground and complaints to police, the Recs and Parks Department and the press. DEP cited state statute which states:
“The commissioner may amend such regulations for a particular locality where he finds that: (1) The physical setting of a particular locality presents an unreasonable risk that hunters may violate the regulations regarding hunting in proximity to buildings occupied by persons or domestic animals or used for storage of flammable or combustible materials or the regulations regarding shooting towards persons, buildings or animals; or (2) a record of documented complaints reveals that violations of such regulations occur with significant frequency.”
Calf Pasture and Shady Beach sees relatively little hunters, mainly in late goose season, from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15, and usually early in the morning when “use of the park is limited,” DEP found. It would be a violation of regulations for a hunter to shoot toward the pier or the Veterans Park docks. “The Department will not close a site based solely on noise concerns or public opposition to hunting…. Waterfowl hunting is a safe activity that routinely occurs near areas of high human use with few conflicts.”
This news comes to you from NancyOnNorwalk reader Jack Harder, who wrote:
“There have been no physical changes to the area. Calf Pasture and Veteran’s Park haven’t had any changes since 2001.
“The statute on closing areas for hunting is very clear. For closure the area must present a clear risk. To give you an example the Saugatuck River in Westport has an area that is closed. The reason for closure was that the Town opened the ice skating rink on the tennis courts at Longshore. It was decided that there would be a good chance that a waterfowl hunter discharging there could drop shot on the ice rink.
“In my opinion Calf Pasture and Veteran’s Park are not good places to hunt and I wish people wouldn’t hunt there.
“The problem that I have is that every time a few people complain about waterfowl hunting it should not trigger a closure.”
Norwalk felon ‘could have been targeting’ a Maine Walmart
The arrest of Brandon Wagshol on Aug. 15 generated much concern in Norwalk as the 22-year-old was suspected of intending to commit mass murder with high capacity weapons. He was charged with four counts of illegal possession of large capacity magazines.
Jeremy Hugh Rogers, 25, was arrested days later in Maine and charged with charged with terrorizing, terrorizing with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, multiple news reports say. Rogers is a Norwalk native who had recently moved to Rockport, Maine, according to the reports. He was arrested here in 2016 and charged with violation of probation, altering ID on guns, criminal possession of a firearm, and risk of injury to a minor, the Daily Voice reports. He was convicted of criminal possession of a firearm and risk of injury to a minor.
A Thomaston, Maine, Walmart was evacuated on Aug. 20 due to threats made by Rogers, reports say. Police said they seized an assault rifle from the Rockport home where Rogers was staying, according to the Hartford Courant, and a police spokesman told the Bangor Daily News that Rogers “was prepared for something.”
NancyOnNorwalk could not find any news reports after the initial spate announcing the arrest.
Wagshol was arrested through a joint effort of the Norwalk Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the FBI received a tip that Wagshol was attempting to purchase large capacity rifle magazines from out of state, an NPD press release said. “During the investigation it was revealed that Wagshol was buying rifle parts online in an attempt to build his own rifle. Wagshol had a Facebook post that showed his interest in committing a mass shooting.”
“Wagshol told police he did not intend to commit a mass shooting, according to his witness statement,” the Hour reports. “…Wagshol’s public social posts, which did not include the one authorities cited, showed he had a disdain for the FBI, disliked transgender people and appreciated weapons.”
Wagshol has been released to house arrest under the stipulation that he wear a GPS tracking device and has to report to his probation officer every day until this case is resolved or until the conditions of his release or modified, Fox61 reports. “The prosecution says one of the things that concerns them about Wagshol is his well documented history of psychiatric issues, dating back to when he was 11-years-old.”