Patriots' Rob Gronkowski's home burglarized during Super Bowl, police say

Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 11:35 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

What You Need To Know About Rob Gronkowski

Update 11:33 a.m. EST Feb. 7: Police in Massachusetts are investigating after authorities said burglars broke into the home of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski while he was in Minneapolis playing in Super Bowl LII.

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According to a heavily redacted police report, the break-in happened at 8:50 p.m., just five minutes after Gronkowski scored his first of two touchdowns at the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“This is Rob Gronkowski calling,” the football player can be heard saying in a recording of the 911 call he made about the incident. “While I was gone, my whole house got robbed – while on the Super Bowl trip, and I just got back.”

According to the police report, burglars were not able to get into Gronkowski's bedroom -- it was found locked and secured. However, items were taken from the his housemates’ bedrooms, and other valuables were stolen from common areas of the home.

Original report: In exclusive video obtained by Boston 25 News, police can be seen responding Monday to Gronkowski’s home in Foxborough, a few miles from Gillette Stadium. In the video, Massachusetts State Police vehicles can be seen parked outside Gronkowski’s home until about 11 p.m.

Gronkowski briefly appeared at the door of his home, but he did not say anything about the investigation.

Boston 25 News obtained a police audio recording of the responding officer talking about the break-in. In it, the officer says that “the homeowner… reports while he was on his trip, his house was broken into.”

>> On Boston25News.com: Foxborough police provide update on break-in at Gronk's house

The officer also mentions that “multiple safes” and “possible guns” were reported missing after the break-in.

Foxborough police Chief William Baker spoke with reporters outside the police station Tuesday morning and confirmed that Gronkowski’s home was burglarized while he was away in Minnesota.

“I think it’s kind of a tough combination,” he said. “You know, to have suffered this unfortunate loss and then to get home and be a victim of this kind of crime.”

A neighbor spoke with Boston 25 News early Tuesday and said he noticed something unusual Sunday at Gronkowski’s home.

“We went past the house on Sunday, about 12:30-1 p.m., and I happened to notice the gate was ajar, which is very unusual," Tom Savino said. "You never see that gate ajar. So, as a joke, my son and I said, ‘Gee, maybe we should just call the police or something.' Now I’m sort of sorry I didn't."

>> Rob Gronkowski noncommital on return to Patriots after loss

Gronkowski and the rest of the New England Patriots left for the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Jan. 29, and didn’t return home until around 5 p.m. Monday.

Police declined to release additional information on the burglary as they continue their investigation.

“Whether you’re Rob Gronkowski or Bill Baker, being the victim of a residential property crime like that is unpleasant,” Baker said. “So, out of respect for Mr. Gronkowski’s privacy, and because this is an active and dynamic criminal investigation we are not going to release any information right now about what was stolen or whether any suspects exist.”

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Broward County Sheriff visits Parkland school shooting victim in hospital

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 8:57 PM

Victims of the Florida High School Mass Shooting

The Broward County sheriff said he was honored to visit a young student who survived the Feb. 14 South Florida school shooting that's left a community reeling. 

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The Broward County Sheriff's Office published a photo of Sheriff Scott Israel holding the hand of Anthony Borges, 15, in his hospital room.

"Fortunately, he is recovering -- but has a long road ahead with more surgeries needed," the Sheriff's Office posted. "Please join us in praying for the swift recovery of Anthony and all the other victims of this horrific criminal act."

The Sheriff's Office said in the Facebook post that Borges was shot five times during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Seventeen people, including students and staff, were killed in the shooting.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, who admitted to the shooting, remains in custody at the Broward County jail after being ordered held without bond on 17 counts of premeditated murder.

As memorials for the shooting victims continue, students are demanding tighter gun control and walkouts are being planned in the wake of the tragedy. 

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Study: Common household chore just as damaging as smoking 20 cigarettes a day

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 10:05 AM

Household Chore Could Be Just As Damaging As Smoking A Pack Of Cigarettes A Day

Love to keep a tidy home? The chemicals in common cleaning sprays could be detrimental to your respiratory system, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from universities in Norway recently conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, to determine how cleaners may contribute to lung decline over time. 

"While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well-documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact," senior author Cecile Svanes said in a statement. "We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age."

For their assessment, the researchers examined the lungs of more than 6,200 women and men from 22 health institutions, following them over a course of 20 years. During that time span, the participants were asked if they cleaned their homes and if they were professional cleaners. If so, they were also required to record how much they used typical liquid cleaning products. 

After analyzing the results, they found that women who cleaned as little as once a week had an accelerated lung decline risk. In fact, they said using cleaning products for 20 years is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 to 20 years for women. Men who cleaned did not see the same decline as women who cleaned.

The scientists said they were initially shocked by the results. "However, when you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all," they wrote.

They believe the cleaning chemicals irritate the mucous membranes that line the airways, which causes damage. To lower the risk, the British Lung Foundation suggests looking for products that are labeled "allergy friendly" as they have fewer chemicals. 

While the researchers acknowledge their study included very few people who did not clean, they said their findings are strong. 

"The take-home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs," they wrote. "These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes.”

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Florida sheriff pushes for 'game changer' program to arm teachers

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 7:50 PM

Shooter Reportedly In Custody In Florida High School Shooting

Sheriff Grady Judd in Polk County, Florida, went on the news Saturday to talk about the so-called “Sentinel Program” as a possible legislative response to mass shootings like the one that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week, that left 17 dead.

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Judd called the program a “game changer” by arming select educators whose backgrounds have been vetted thoroughly, who have been psychologically evaluated and trained in weapons more intensely than law enforcement by state standards.

The sheriff argued that the solution is not something he wants, but it’s something that must happen.

“We have got to wake up, wake up and understand that we have to have … specially trained people that have concealed firearms that can run to the threat and protect our children,” he said.

“Do you know that there is gun control on every campus in Florida -- and, I would submit, across the United States -- that you can’t bring a gun on campus. And no one does, except the crazed person, the active shooter. There has to be a line of defense,” Judd said.

“There’s no absolutes in life, but I can tell you this: At least two coaches were killed standing in front of and trying to protect kids. Don’t you believe it would be a game-changer if they had a gun to defend the children?”

Students and parents have responded to the mass shooting perpetrated by Nikolas Cruz by calling for stricter guns laws in Florida.

Many participating in the #NeverAgain campaign seem to agree that they don’t want to arm teachers, but want “genuine, lasting change.”

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Republican mega-donor issues ultimatum on assault weapons

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 6:29 PM

WATCH: President Trump Addresses the Nation After Florida School Shooting

Al Hoffman Jr., a North Palm Beach real estate developer and major Republican donor, is cutting off donations to candidates who do not support a ban on assault weapons, according to a report in the New York Times.

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Hoffman said he would urge other Republican donors to support an assault weapons ban, according to the report. Hoffman announced the ultimatum in an email to half a dozen Republican leaders, including Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott. Hoffman has donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates and causes over the years.

A critic of President Trump, Hoffman supported Jeb Bush during the 2016 presidential campaign and donated more than $1 million to Right to Rise, a super PAC that supported Bush’s brief candidacy, according to the report.

“I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” Hoffman wrote in the email. “Enough is enough.”

The loss of Hoffman’s support could be especially harmful to Scott, who is considering a Senate bid this year. Republican Rep. Brian Mast also will not see any donations from Hoffman if he does not support new gun legislation, according to the report.

Hoffman, who has a history of speaking his mind, has threatened to cut donations before. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post in 2013, Hoffman said he would be reluctant to raise money for candidates who do not support “reasonable” gun control. The same year, Hoffman wrote a letter to former House Speaker John Boehner, urging him to also support gun measures.

Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chair and ambassador to Portugal, further rankled Republicans in 2013 when he said President Barack Obama was right on gun issues, Hoffman made the comment after most Senate Republican and a few red-state Democrats blocked legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers.

Hoffman alluded to past mass shootings in his email after the deaths of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week. He said future gun massacres are inevitable without government intervention, according to the New York Times report.

“If we go from Orlando to Las Vegas, and now Parkland, you just have to know that there are others around the country just dreaming about staging another mass murder.”

Republican lawmakers in Florida have pushed back on gun control initiatives, despite the state being the site of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando -- the second-worst mass shooting in U.S. history that left 49 dead. Only the October shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas claimed more lives, with 58 killed.

The day after the Parkland shooting last week, Senate President Joe Negron said his interest would be focused on improving school safety and access to mental health treatment – not restricting gun laws.

“My focus is on making sure that lawful citizens who are obeying the law and entitled to their constitutional rights have appropriate access to firearms,” Negron said.

Although several gun bills were introduced during the state’s ongoing legislative session, the only one likely to pass -- HB 1419 and its companion SB 1048 -- expands the rights of a licensed person to carry a concealed weapon inside a church or other house of worship.

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