- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 2, 2007

CONNECTICUT

Kidnapping added in runaway case

HARTFORD — Authorities added kidnapping charges yesterday against a man and two women accused in the yearlong disappearance of a teenage runaway who was found locked in a hidden room in their home.

Adam Gault, 41, and the women appeared briefly in court to face the new charges. They did not enter pleas, but all three previously pleaded not guilty to other charges, including reckless endangerment.

A judge denied their attorneys’ requests for lower bail.

“It is our belief that the manner in which Adam Gault pursued the juvenile was the equivalent of using force,” Bloomfield Police Capt. Jeffrey Blatter said. He said he could not provide details. The warrant is sealed for 14 days because it involves a sexual assault case.

Mr. Gault has denied having sexual contact with the girl, who authorities say ran away from her Bloomfield home in June 2006 when she was 14 and moved in with Mr. Gault, a man who had worked with her stepfather years earlier.

FLORIDA

Real Harry Potter weathers Pottermania

BRADENTON — Sometimes it’s a hassle being Harry Potter.

Especially when you’re a 78-year-old man who happens to share the name of a certain fictional boy wizard who is famous the world over.

Each time a new Harry Potter book or movie comes out, Bradenton resident Harry Potter starts getting phone calls from children, interview requests from the TV networks and autograph requests.

“The kids want to know if I’m Harry Potter,” he said with a chuckle. “I tell them I’ve been Harry Potter for darn near 80 years!”

The real Harry Potter said he hasn’t had time to read any of the J.K. Rowling books or see the five hit movies.

“When Harry talks to the kids, they’ll ask about the owl and he’ll say, ‘Oh, he came by and brought the mail,’ ” said his wife, Jan. “Then, when they’re done, the mothers come on and say thank you for talking to the kids. He gets a big kick out of it.”

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