RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Ridgefield residents were stunned after a local man reportedly waving a gun was shot to death in his home by a police officer and unhappy about the news of a new cell tower in the northern part of town. Here are some of the top stories from 2013 in Ridgefield.
In May, a Ridgefield police officer shot and killed a man who had reportedly been waving a gun after a call to police about a domestic dispute at a house on Ridgebury Road. The State Police announced the next day that the man who had been killed was John Valluzzo, 75. He was the founder and president of the Military Museum of Southern New England in Danbury. The officer involved was identified as Jorge Romero, a seven-year veteran of the Ridgefield Police Department, according to the state police, which investigated the shooting. Romero was still on paid leave in August.
The alleged killer of a Ridgefield resident turned down a plea offer and will go to trial in 2014, it was reported in October. Ernest Williams Jr., 22, rejected a deal that called for him to serve a 25-year prison term in return for pleading guilty to the July 2012 slaying of Brian Schiavetti, 21.
Ridgefield police were called into action again in September when a local man took his 5-year-old son from his home in Ridgefield, launching an Amber Alert across the state. A Silver Alert was issued for the father, Paul Lupo, 49, shortly after the abduction, police said. Lupo had taken the boy after a domestic dispute with his wife, police said. Ridgefield police said they believed the father was intoxicated.
An Olympic dream is coming true for Tucker West, whose luge career began when his father built an icy backyard track for him when he was still in elementary school. Just 18 now, he heads to Sochi in February as the youngest member of the U.S. luge team.
Eighth-grader Jessica Boxer of Ridgefield knew her father for just over a year before she lost him to a brain tumor. In June, she helped to raise more than $30,000 for the Brain Tumor Walk in New York.
Antoinette Leal of Ridgefield embraced her inner baker and entered the Pillsbury Bake-Off with her own special creation -- the Cherry Almond Brunch Tart. She ended up winning third in the national contest after baking her special recipe on a Las Vegas stage.
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