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2015 In Review: High-Profile Crimes Strike Fairfield County

Trooper First Class Kelly Grant announces the discovery of two bodies in a Weston yard in October. The remains were those of Jeffrey and Jeannette Navin.
Trooper First Class Kelly Grant announces the discovery of two bodies in a Weston yard in October. The remains were those of Jeffrey and Jeannette Navin. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Fairfield County is generally a safe place to live, but 2015 wasn’t without its share of high-profile crimes.

In October, students at all of Fairfield’s 17 public schools were put on lockdown and then dismissed early after a series of threatening phone calls were made to police and some school buildings.

The incident began when officers were called to what turned out to be a fictitious address on Black Rock Turnpike where an individual said he had killed a girlfriend and was holding hostages.

Police then received more calls — of a bomb at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, pipe bombs planted at Fairfield Warde High School, and a man with an M16 assault rifle headed to Holland Hill Elementary School.

The incident alarmed parents and students, many of whom knew that the lockdowns were not just a drill.

Despite the calls, officials said they found no evidence that any dangerous weapons or people were at Fairfield’s schools.

An inspector at an I-95 construction site Darien was alarmed after hearing gunshots in August and called 911. Police determined that the shots came from a driveway, where a car owned by a Darien police officer was shot several times.

Darien police Officers James Martin and Daniel Ehret were arrested by state police on Oct. 6 and charged with second-degree breach of peace, second-degree unlawful discharge of a firearm, and reckless endangerment for the incident.

In Stamford, a 43-year-old woman was killed in brazen shooting at Lione Park in November. Maxine Gooden was at the park with friends and family when she was shot. She was taken to Stamford Hospital, where she died.

In Washington, D.C., a Trumbull native and former intern for U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, was stabbed to death in a Metro station in July.

Kevin Joseph Sutherland, 24, was the son of Doug and Terry Sutherland and was a graduate of Trumbull High School and American University.

In Stamford, a man returned home from Washington, D.C. after jumping the White House fence on Thanksgiving Day. He was permitted to return to Stamford to live with his mother but barred from his classes at the University of Bridgeport until his trial.

Joseph Caputo, 22, was wrapped in an American flag when he jumped the fence. His image was captured by a tourist and spread on Twitter.

Also in Stamford, a man called 911 during a three-hour standoff -- with his cat -- in June. The man told police that his 7.5-pound cat attacked him as he tried to enter his Shippan Avenue residence.

The ferocious feline forced the man to retreat and an ensuing standoff lasted for three hours before the man called 911 at about 1:30 a.m.

In May, Kevin Wallin, a 63-year-old suspended priest dubbed "Monsignor Meth" who served in Roman Catholic parishes in Bridgeport and Danbury, was sentenced to a 65-month prison sentence for trafficking methamphetamines.

In Norwalk, the police department busted several people at a local strip club on drug and prostitution charges. The bar’s owner, two bartenders, a number of dancers and some patrons were among those arrested.

The bust at the Office Café occurred late on Dec. 1, after Special Services investigators obtained 38 arrest warrants for a dozen individuals and two search warrants. Undercover officers had infiltrated the strip club at 201 Liberty Square and purchased varying amounts of cocaine.

In Stamford, a man dragged a female jogger off the track at Cove Island Park in October and sexually assaulted her.

A man who said he had a knieft sexually assaulted the woman near the track, and then he dragged her to the waterline and sexually assaulted her again, according to police. The suspect fled the area, and the woman contacted police after jogging home.

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