Roundup: Robbery, High Tide, Triathlon …


A rash of car break-ins and thefts is bad enough. Yesterday, a different crime was committed: an alleged robbery, just before noon on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

A man approached a couple quickly from behind, Westport Police say. The suspect walked in step with the male victim, allegedly brandishing a knife, threatening the female and demanding to be brought to the couple’s car.

The woman darted across the Post Road to escape. Her husband followed, and flagged down a patrol officer driving by. The suspect fled toward Jesup Green

A detailed description of the suspect was relayed to all officers. Patrol units flooded the area. During a search of the area, a member of the Westport Fire Department said he had seen a suspect fitting the description across from Playhouse Square.

Officers quickly James S. Cummings, 41, of Bridgeport. He was identified by the victims as the man who accosted them on the bridge. A knife was found in his possession.

Cummings was charged with attempt to commit robbery in the 1st degree, attempt at larceny in the 3rd degree, carrying a dangerous weapon, and threatening in the 2nd degree. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.


Here’s the latest on one of Westport’s greatest, and so-glad-it’s-back-after-COVID, traditions: the Rotary Club’s Lobsterfest.

A crowd of 1,500 is expected this Saturday (September 18, 3 to 7 p.m.), for a townwide party.

Fewer than 80 tickets remain. You can get them at Hook’d by the Sound (Compo Beach concession stand), or by emailing They’re $70 each, for either 2 lobsters or a 14-ounce steak.

Plus lots more, of course. Volunteers and Rotarians will cook and serve 2,500 lobsters, great steaks and a raw bar. They’ll serve beer and win (with a Tito’s scotch tasting). Plus there’s a great band, and plenty of kids’ activities (including magic shows, and an antique fire engine to climb on).

COVID protocols include 30% more tables, further apart, and fewer seats per tables. Masks are optional, but recommended when spacing is not possible.

There’s also a drive-through option, for guests who choose to party elsewhere.

As well as an exhibition tent, and a kickoff for Rotary’s Afghan relief resettlement project.

Volunteers are still needed! To help, click here or email

As the sun set on Lobster Fest in 2016, no one wanted to leave.


Burying Hill’s High Tide Club has been around a long time.

Not as long as the venerable beach perhaps. But its members have seen — and swum in — more than their share of incoming and outgoing tides.

Membership skews older. But recently an influx of younger swimmers has waded into the water. They’ve enjoyed the social gatherings too, while forming one of Westport’s most fun, under-the-radar groups.

Nico Eisenberger reports that at high tide yesterday — just after 4 p.m. — members brought food and drinks to celebrate another great season.

High Tide Club: It’s not just about swimming. (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

The late summer weather was perfect. The camaraderie was strong. Nico says he and his wife “feel blessed to have this place, and these fun and funky folks, as part of our daily lives here.”


Yesterday’s Westport Kiwanis Club Minuteman Triathlon was another success.

The family-friendly event at Compo Beach included a jetty-to-jetty swim, and short bike and running courses throughout the flat neighborhood streets. It was perfect for first-timers, and families that race together.

It was advertised as open to all abilities, and that was true.

MyTeamTriumph was out in force. The organization helps children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who otherwise could not participate in endurance events like triathlons and road races.

Volunteer “angels” take “captains” out on the water in special inflatables. They assist with wheelchairs for the biking and running parts too.

There were plenty of smiles yesterday at the Minuteman Triathlon. And regardless of times, everyone was a winner.

MyTeamTriumph captains and angels. (Photo/Peter Swift)


Munich has Oktoberfest. Westport has Westoberfest.

Now we’ve also got Oaktoberfest.

Okay, there’s no drinking, drinking games or lederhosen. But the October 4 event (7 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm) is still worth checking out.

Sponsored by Westport’s Tree Board, it’s a chance to learn about all the good things trees do in our yards — and how to return the favor, by caring for them.

Attendees receive free samplings, too.

Panelists include Mary Ellen Lemay (Aspetuck Land Trust), Danica Doroski (Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection), Doug Williams (Bartlett Tree Experts), and Tree Board members.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

White oak tree at Kings Highway Elementary School.


Jesup Green is the site of this Saturday’s free, outdoor Japanese Fall Festival (September 18, 2-4 p.m.). The event — sponsored by the Japan Society of Fairfield County — features taiko drummers, an Okinawan dance performance, a live play of the Japanese folktale “Tanabata” (“Star-crossed Lovers”), traditional Bon dancing, Japanese calligraphy and a craft activity to make dance hats.

Click here for details.

A scene from the 2019 Japan Fall Festival.


“06880” has posted many stories and photos of “Gloria,” the oyster boat owned for years by the late Alan Sterling.

It was beached this summer in Gray’s Creek, between Compo Beach and Longshore.

Bruce McFadden has watched and — photographed — the craft for years. He wonders if this is its final resting place.

“Gloria” (Photo/Bruce McFadden)


Linda Doyle was harvesting rhubarb for jam, when she spotted this guy in her garden. What a great way to start off the “Westport … Naturally” week!

(Photo/Linda Doyle)


And finally … in honor of yesterday’s gathering at Burying Hill Beach (see story above):

6 responses to “Roundup: Robbery, High Tide, Triathlon …

  1. Yeah! the Lobsterfest is back! Best community event of the year.
    I wouldn’t miss it for for the world……mostly because I volunteer to help cook the 2,500 lobsters every year…LoL. Truly the best community building event in Westport.

  2. Regarding the attempted robbery, you left this important detail out…”Cummings had been out on bond at the time of this incident stemming from an arrest that occurred on Sept. 5 in which he was charged with two counts of sexual assault, second degree threatening, third degree attempt to commit assault, and second degree reckless endangerment.” He was just arrested on 9/5! Such a shame we just let these criminals out to commit more crimes!

  3. Regarding the attempted robbery, you left this part out of the story….”Cummings had been out on bond at the time of this incident stemming from an arrest that occurred on Sept. 5 in which he was charged with two counts of sexual assault, second degree threatening, third degree attempt to commit assault, and second degree reckless endangerment.” Why are we letting criminals out so quickly to commit more crimes? He was just arrested on 9/5!!!

  4. thank you Jodi, you are totally correct!, especially with the break ins and car thefts the police take them in, and courts don’t lock em up. EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW, THIS HAPPENED AT 11AM ON A SUNDAY, BROAD DAYLIGHT!!!!! Many people around town do not realize that our POLICE do an exceptional job. Because they take care of problems and arrive in seconds, and most things seem easy and great, well that is because they do a great job of maintaining that. People do not realize how many drugs they seize traveling from NYC up the corridor thru Bridgeport. These are drugs that end up in kids hands at our schools. Also our Police are huge supporters of youth sports, and almost every community charity. things on the crime side are getting worse, i am glad we have Chief Foti and his team in place.

  5. I thought Gloria was owned now by Mike Calise

  6. We can thank Hartford and the other poorly ran cities and corrupt leadership lacking relationships with their constituents who refuse to clean up their own messes, and rely on us to pay for it while trying to bring us down to their level with overpopulation and kicking the can to us. Commit a crime, come right back! There is no order and god forbid we let our great police department do their job, instead of pulling the, “My book says you’re doing it wrong,” and letting national issues in other poorly ran cities and departments reflect on our department and call for change when our department and officers are trained and retrained constantly, held to a higher standard, and all bring a particular expertise and incredible background.

    And please stop leaving your cars unlocked with your keys and valuables in it…it is getting old.

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