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Thursday, June 26, 2014


I guess lesson number 13 for Hartford criminals might be don't fire on three guys that all are carrying guns of their own, legally with permits.
On the listed date and time Patrol Units were dispatched to 215 Branford Street for multiple shots fired
being reported. STF Units were in the area and responded with the Patrol Units. On arrival officers were
flagged down by three parties who identified themselves as pistol permit holders who had just fired their
firearms at a suspect who had attempted to shoot at them. Witnesses stated a black male arrived in the area
of 215 Branford Street in a gray Infiniti. The operator parked, exited the vehicle, and stood in the street
yelling out someone's name. The operator then produced a firearm and pointed it at a resident who was
standing on the sidewalk in front of his home. The resident stated the suspect fired shots at which point all three permit holders returned fire at the suspect .

The suspect fled west on foot out of sight, leaving his vehicle behind. 
Due to no HPD K9 working, a StatePolice K9 responded. A track from the suspect vehicle tracked to the suspect hiding in the rear of 145 PalmStreet along the side of a porch. The suspect was taken into custody after a brief struggle by Detective Rodney and Trooper Charette. The suspect was still in possession of a .380 caliber firearm. 

The suspect,identified as Russell Payne, was not struck by gunfire. The suspects vehicle and a citizen vehicle was struckby gunfire. Witnesses positively identified Payne as the shooter. The suspect was in possession of keys that fit the Infiniti. An extensive neighborhood canvass was conducted in the direction the shots were fired to  ensure no random victims were struck by stray projectiles.

Accused Payne was irrational and violent throughout the incident. Payne spit at officers, refused to submit to
the booking process and flooded two cells.

Accused: Russell Payne, M/B/24 (12/20/1989), of 73 Lenox Street, Hartford, CT.
Charges: Carrying a Pistol w/o a Permit, Possession of Pistol w/ Obliterated S/N, Crim. Attempt Assault 1st
Degree, Assault on Police, Reckless Endangerment 2nd Degree, Threatening 2nd Degree, Interfering w/
Police, Refusal to Submit to Fingerprinting and Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree.

Firearm Seized: Bersa .380 Caliber Firearm w/ Obliterated S/N, with one chambered round and empty magazine.


On August 14, 2013 at 9:57pm Hartford Police Department patrol units responded to 48 Evergreen Ave. on the report of shots fired. On arrival two victims were located in front suffering from numerous gunshot wounds. They were identified as Jerome Copeland 1/18/91 and Rasheed Sterling 3/20/91.  

Both were transported to Saint Francis where Copeland was pronounced deceased at 2223 hours. Sterling survived his injuries. The HPD Major Crimes Division Homicide Detectives responded and began an investigation. Several witnesses were identified and interviewed. Detectives located key physical evidence at the scene that assisted in the investigation.  

A suspect was developed and on 6/26/14 an arrest warrant was secured charging the suspect Demetry Mclean DOB 5/28/1992 with  Murder, Criminal Attempt Murder, Assault First Degree and Carrying a pistol without a Permit. Mclean has a judge set bond of 3 million dollars cash or surety. 

Mclean also has 3 additional warrants for Failure to Appear in court on separate cases. It is believed that Mclean is a flight risk and has possibly already left the state and/or country. HPD is looking for information on his whereabouts. 



All of the attention to the Rock Cats deal is drawing attention to the real problems at City Hall. Apparently the media hasn't figured out that Mayor Segarra placed $450.000 into a special "non-specific" account in MUNIS. MUNIS is the City's accounting and operations software program. . The money is  in the "secret " account that has been used to pay a couple hundred thousand dollars so far for consultants , lawyers and  other "incidentals" related to the Rock Cats deal.

Although Segarra had to sell off City assets to balance his budget, he was able to find almost half a million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) money to stash away to work to start the crazy deal. This probably isn't even legal since reallocation of CIP money typically would require a City Council resolution to re-allocate the Bond funds.

Where is our City Council  as far as addressing this violation? They are too busy holding press conferences and back pedaling now to worry about playing by the rules.

But my reason for this posting is a rather scary document I received that should have the Council scrambling to find every penny they can to avoid a huge disaster on the horizon.

The Council Has repeatedly cut money from the Hartford Police Department budget, especially for Police hiring. This year Governor Malloy and the legislature found and gave a couple million dollars to give to Segarra to once again bail him out. I am not sure they will fall for that again after $60 million was just handed to a group of real estate billionaires from a City that claims to be broke.

The money from the State that allowed the Council to re institute a Police Academy class of 20 or 30 officers is definitely a good start.  Thank you Governor Malloy, shame on you Hartford City Council.

It is a good start.Unfortunately police hiring is not just a matter of placing an ad in the paper. It is almost a two year process from testing to backgrounds to hiring to academy training to FTO (street) training and evaluation. And even after that, most officers will admit that they really weren't comfortable on their own until maybe four or five years into their careers. And the statistics support that. The learning curve for problems in those first years is high. For everything from cruiser accidents, bad shootings  bad arrests they are all high in the first few years and then drastically  begin to dip around year seven.

The chart below, which I am sure is available to any Council person if they cared, shows that disaster on the horizon I mentioned earlier.  Even though the Council will be replacing up to thirty officers, those numbers somehow seem to get cut when we really get around to it , and then typically 5 to 10 usually don't make the cut in the end. We may actually get 20 new officers if they fully fund the class.

 The chart shows the 94 officers that can retire before that next class would be ready for use on the streets. Now when a Council addresses budget issues for a City that is broke and talks layoffs and tax increases  and then within weeks are ready to give away $60 million they don't have, I am comfortable in saying they either can't add 2 plus 2 to get to 4 or they don't understand economics.

Here is a quick tutorial for Council President Wooden. if you have 94 Police officers that can retire and you have 20 Police Officers that complete the Police Academy how many Police Officers does that leave you?  Don't bother taking off your shoes to use your toes to count,.It is a net loss potentially of 74 Officers. A "net Loss" is not a good thing Councilman. Kind of like when you are broke and selling the parking garages on the monopoly board  and have no cash to pay the $200.00 to pass go.

I only posted those potential retirees that could retire over the next 2 years before a new Academy class would graduate. There are a total of 94 Officers. The first column are the officers, second column is their rank, third is their date of hire and the fourth is the year they could retire.

As with the baseball Stadium, the numbers just don't add up


This posting is not the beginning of the latest police novel or a promo for a new television show. It may be a sad chapter of the latest HPD history to play out as an internal police investigation takes shape.

It will be a lengthy posting so, keep reading.

In the mid to late nineties a unit was established in the LAPD  to combat crime in one of the worst precincts in the City, the Rampart Division. It was called the "CRASH Unit". It evolved into the Los Angeles' Police Departments  worst corruption and frame-up scandal. News reports have revealed a widespread pattern of unjustified arrests, beatings, drug dealing, witness intimidation, illegal shootings, planting of evidence, frame-ups and perjury at the CRASH unit of the Rampart Division of the LAPD.

CRASH is the acronym for the "Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums", an anti-gang program. It was police officers essentially going to any length, legal or not, to make arrests and get gangs off the street. Numerous LAPD officers were actually arrested and sent to prison after it was revealed they planted drugs and set people up for arrest...or worse.

You might be asking yourself what his has to do with HPD? I am not insinuating that any extreme actions like that have occurred in Hartford. Sometime around 2006 or 2007 a group of Hartford Police Officers were able to convince the radio technicians that handled the City's trunked radio system to establish and set up a special talk group that only certain officers could access and talk on, Very few supervisors had access to the channel and it was not monitored in the Dispatch Center. High level administrators were aware of the channel, but apparently did nothing at the time to shut it down.

The channel was called the CRASH Channel by the officer's who had it set up, apparently named after the LAPD Crash Unit  who had a history of operating outside the normal boundaries  and supervision.When the Hartford Officers who had access to the channel wanted to operate "under the radar" they would instruct others with the channel "to go crash". That meant to switch their portable radios over to the crash channel and they could communicate without supervisors or others knowing what they were doing.

On the evening of December 1, 2007, shortly before 7:00PM  a vehicle pursuit  was started by HPD officers in Hartford's southend. the chase quickly got up to high speeds and LT. Brian Foley who was a southend zone Lieutenant at the time, (Now Deputy Chief Foley) immediately ordered the chase to be broken off and for the HPD Officers to stop pursuing the vehicle. According to sources familiar with the chase ,Foley believed the officers involved obeyed his order and the pursuit had ended.

Again, according to sources the order to " go crash" went out over the radio and unbeknownst to Foley and anyone else except the officers involved and using the "CRASH Channel" the pursuit continued at high speeds south into Wethersfield on Ridge Road where an HPD unit attempted to ram the vehicle being pursued but the vehicle did not stop. All of this is in direct violation of the HPD pursuit policy. Again sources that were part of this pursuit  eventually verified these facts through an Internal Investigation.

I have requested that report through the Freedom of Information Act and will post it here as soon as I receive it. The lead vehicle in the pursuit was operated apparently by HPD Officer, now Sergeant Felix Ortiz and apparently Ortiz was also the operator of the cruiser that rammed the vehicle they were ordered by Foley not to pursue while on Ridge Road in Wethersfield.

The vehicle and the chase continued at high speeds south into Wethersfield over Cedar Mountain through Newington Center and eventually up Fenn Road headed toward West Hartford. Again, this pursuit was taking place on the "Crash Channel" and no Hartford supervisor except for Ortiz and those officers following him were aware of what was taking place. Once on Fenn Road the vehicle being chased apparently lost control near West Hill Road. The vehicle apparently crashed into a house and a passenger in the vehicle, a teenaged female, was killed.  The Crash Channel  immediately came to life with orders to "get out of here before anyone realizes who we are" Ortiz and the others did just that. Apparently no first aid was rendered, no one called for Emergency services, they just returned to Hartford. 

At the time I was told that none of this was recorded, but that was untrue and the IAD file reportedly contains all the details as well as audio recordings of the incident. Ortiz was apparently disciplined  after this incident by former Chief Daryl Roberts but there is no indication why criminal charges were not pursued for the death that resulted from the  illegal chase.

You might be asking yourself now why this matters seven years later.

It appears that this past Monday morning , history may have repeated itself. Sergeant Ortiz who was working Sunday night into Monday morning as the Supervisor for the Downtown Detail around the bars was near Club NV on Allyn Street when a motorcycle began revving its engine, quite possibly in an effort to bait a cop to chase him. Ortiz took the bait and the chase was on. According to sources who witnessed the activity said the motorcycle fled at high speed, cutting through downtown lots with Ortiz in hot pursuit. The motorcycle headed towards Pulaski Circle  and the Conlin- Whitehead Highway eventually to head towards 91 north.

At the stop sign from Jewel Street to  Pulaski Circle (by the skating rink), witnesses have stated  that
Ortiz activated his overhead lights and siren and was pursuing the motorcycle at high speed toward the highway, within a short time Ortiz radioed HPD Headquarters  and told the dispatcher that apparently "a citizen" had stopped him and said that there was a bad motorcycle  accident on I-91 North. within seconds , Ortiz was calling for Fire, EMS and an Ambulance for the motorcyclist as if he happened to come across the accident and not because he had continued his pursuit  onto the highway where the motorcycle operator had crashed and died.

How could a "citizen" have witnessed th e accident  and then notified Ortiz back down at Pulaski Circle?  Did they come upon the accident and then back off of 91 and down the Conlin Highway to find Ortiz and advise the officer who just seconds earlier had been in pursuit or was this the second time an Ortiz pursuit had taken a life.

A couple things in this matter will prove interesting. Video is everywhere now. The Attorney General's building at 55 Elm has several cameras recording shots of the street and the area  around Pulaski Circle.  I believe that at least one media outlet has or is in the process of requesting the video through FOI. There are also numerous restaurants  apartment buildings and other places recording 24 hours a day.

There are also Ortiz's fellow police officers who witnessed the events and probably aren't going to jeopardize their careers by lying in something that has the potential to evolve into a criminal investigation.

We all know these motorcycles are a nuisance but is it worth chasing them? In the meantime I will hopefully have the 2007 IAD investigation soon to post here

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


On Saturday June 14, 2014 at approximately 12:56pm, Hartford Police Dispatch received reports of shots fired and a person shot in the area of 66 Main Street South Green. Patrol units were immediately dispatched and responded to the area. Upon arrival the victim, later identified as Huberto O'Neil DOB 07/15/1979 AKA KILLA BEE or KB, was located lying face up on the west sidewalk of Main Street with apparent gunshot wounds to the face/head.


Responding Hartford Fire Department Engine #1 and Emergency Medical Technician's (EMTs) arrived shortly after patrol units and began to administer emergency first aid.  O'Neil was subsequently pronounced deceased, on scene, at 1:12pm.


A post Mortem examination of O'Neil was conducted by Chief Medical Examiner and the manner of death ruled: Homicide.


The suspect, Michael Pryce DOB 04/03/1993, was identified through subsequent investigation by Hartford Police Homicide detectives. On June 18, 2014 an arrest warrant was obtained by detectives charging Pryce with one count of MURDER, C.G.S. 53a-54a. The warrant is active.


Pryce’s whereabouts are unknown at this time and information has been received that he is currently homeless. Efforts to locate Pryce have not been successful. Pryce has a judge set $300,000 cash bond only with full extradition across the United States. The firearm in this incident has not been recovered. Pryce may affiliate himself with the BLOODs street gang and may have contacts in the following previous arrest locations:

Arrested on Babcock Street, Edgewood Street, and  Thomaston St. Hartford, CT

Anyone with information on Pryce’s whereabouts is asked to contact Sergeant Brandon O’Brien at (860) 757-8940.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Miles Harris is wanted for questioning in last weeks reported Church Burglary (see details below, and attached pictures) Harris is also actively wanted and has an outstanding felony warrant for Larceny 2nd in Hartford related to an incident where an elderly man was seriously assaulted. Harris is also a suspect in other Church Burglaries in the area. Efforts to locate Harris have not been successful. We are asking for the communities help in locating him. Anyone with informtation is asked to call Sergeant Brandon O’Brien 860-757-4089
Burglary on 6/12/14, case number 14-19064,  650 Blue Hills Avenue “Family Worship Center”.  Items taken;
  • 40”Insignia Television ( no serial number)
  • 60” Sharp LC LED Television serial number 206847463 model number 60LE640U
The suspect is this case appeared to be  a black male, with short hair,  thin built, approximately 5’08”, in his late teens or early twenties. The suspect was wearing a brown hooded sweat shirt, baseball hat, red T-shirt under his sweat shirt, dark colored pants, adidas (black and white) sneakers and carrying a blue Yankees string book bag.
The surveillance camera revealed that on 6/11/14 at approximately 2000 hours the suspect entered through the front entrance of the church during bible study. The suspect walked through the hallways of the church and entered the rear office without detection.  It was later determined that the suspect cut one wire to the rear entrance alarm and left the south side window unlocked.
The Pastor called the alarm company in order to reset the alarm that was malfunctioning, unaware that the alarm was tampered with.  The alarm company called the Pastor at 2300 hour later that night because the sensors were setting off but they decided not to call Police thinking that the alarm was malfunctioning.  Surveillance later revealed that the suspect returned and he was the one setting off the sensor but at that time he did not take any items.
Surveillance also revealed the suspect returned for the third time on 6/12/14 at approximately 0900 hours and ripped both of the televisions off the wall and exited through the rear entrance where the alarm was tampered with.  The suspect carried out one television at a time.  -4089.