Regional Briefs – January 27, 2016

Raccoon Attacks Boy, Bystander Beats It to Death

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. – A raccoon who ran across the street, jumped on a 6-year-old boy’s back and crawled onto his face Wednesday was beaten to death by a passerby, The Record reported. The child was hospitalized with deep cuts. The animal was tested for rabies.

Garbage Truck Fueled by Natural Gas Explodes

HAMILTON, N.J. – A garbage truck fueled by natural gas exploded “like a missile” on Tuesday, blasting a hole and melting parts of four homes, The Associated Press reported. The drivers evacuated when they saw smoke coming into the cab and no one was injured.

2 Teens Rescued After Falling Through Ice Into River

PATERSON, N.J. – Two teens were rescued on Tuesday after they fell through ice and plunged into the freezing 10-foot-deep Passaic River, The Associated Press reported. The fire chief who rescued them said someone alerted the firehouse. The teens were screaming and suffering from hypothermia.

Pelican Who Made Rare N.Y. Appearance Found Dead

SYRACUSE – An American white pelican first spotted last week at Syracuse’s Inner Harbor instead of following its species to winter in the Gulf of Mexico was found dead under a bridge Tuesday afternoon, WSTM reported. Its rare appearance had excited bird watchers.

Families of 2 Killed in Train-Car Collision File Lawsuits

WHITE PLAINS – The families of two men killed a year ago when the Metro-North train they were on struck an SUV filed negligence suits against the MTA and its engineer, the Journal News reported. Joseph Nadol and Robert Dirks were among the five riders killed.

Cop Shooter Convicted For Bullet in Neck

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – A man was convicted Tuesday for shooting and wounding a plainclothes officer in the neck last March, Newsday reported. Immediately following Sheldon Leftenant’s conviction his sister warned that the next cop shot would be killed. Officer Mark Collins nearly died but has since returned to work.