Father of Baby Killed in Dog Attack is Person of Interest in New London (CT) Fire

Fire Engineering news

John Penney

Norwich Bulletin, Conn.

(MCT)

May 11—The father of an infant killed in Norwich by a family dog is a “person of interest” in a New London house fire that has been classified as arson, police said on Tuesday.

During a late afternoon press conference outside a charred multi-family home at 10 Rosemary St., New London police Chief Peter Reichard said 32-year-old Timothy Settles is a suspect in the intentionally-set blaze.

Settles is the father of a month-old infant that was killed Monday night by a pit bull at 36 McKinley Ave, police said. Reichard said Settles was reportedly the last person seen outside the New London home before its front porch caught fire around 4 a.m.

The fire forced the evacuation of several residents, including one woman who was initially transported for evaluation. Reichard said there is no arrest warrant for Settles and no probable cause yet for an arrest.

Reichard said it’s not clear what Settles’ connection is with the two-story New London house or its tenants. He said New London detectives have been in contact with Norwich investigators.

The pit bull that attacked and killed the Norwich baby has been taken to the city’s animal control pound as the investigation into the tragedy continues.

Norwich police Lt. Anthony Gomes said Tuesday that severe dog attack incidents typically end with the animal being euthanized.

“Even when it’s just a dog bite, there’s a three-pronged approach to how the animal is handled, but in incidents like this, the dog is generally put down,” he said.

Patrol officers were dispatched to the McKinley Avenue residence at 8:39 p.m. for a report of a dog attack made by a family pet. Arriving officers found a month-old infant at the scene who succumbed to injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The department’s detective division is assisting with the active investigation.

The apartment at 30-36 McKinley Ave. is owned by Yousef Fakhoury Holdings, LLC out of Yonkers, N.Y., according to city records.

On Tuesday morning, several Norwich police officers were still stationed outside the multi-family apartment. Gomes said the family members, who have not been identified, and responding officers were doing “as well as expected” on Tuesday.

He said members of the department’s chaplain corps were dispatched to the scene on Monday to offer their services to officers, the family and neighbors.

“There’s typically a de-briefing session in these kinds of incidents where we also re-iterate the kind of help we can offer to officers, including officer-to-officer peer support,” he said. “This is a tragedy and our hearts go out to the family.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Steve Callender at (860) 886-5561, ext. 3154 or at scallender@cityofnorwich.org. Confidential information can be relayed at the department’s anonymous tip line at (860) 886-5561, ext. 4.

John Penney can be reached at jpenney@norwichbulletin.com or at (860) 857-6965

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