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Friday, December 16, 2016

FROM HPD: WIFE TRIES TO SHOOT HUSBAND DURING DOMESTIC INCIDENT

On December 15, 2016, at 6:36pm Hartford Police Department patrol officers responded to the area of Wethersfield Avenue at Elliot Street in response to a citizen report of a shooting incident. The citizen caller reported the incident
involved her daughter who had attempted to shoot her husband during an altercation. HPD Patrol
 officers responded to the incident location and located the victim (31yo male from Htfd)
 outside the Premium Grocery at 347 Wethersfield Avenue.  The victim stated that he had been
 approached by his estranged wife, Madeline Mercado, while outside the Premium Grocery while he
 was operating his Nissan Maxima. He told officers that she had approached him in his vehicle
 and began banging on the front passenger window with a firearm while he was parked outside the
 grocery. She then pointed the firearm at him and while in close proximity, shot at him once. He
 reported that she then fled the incident location on foot towards 25 Elliot Street. The listed 
vehicle was located on scene and observed to have a broken window, and a hole in the front
 passenger side door consistent with that of a gunshot. The victim was found to have suffered 
no injuries as a result of the incident and declined medical attention. The projectile appeared 
to have lodged within the passenger compartment of the vehicle and the vehicle was seized as 
evidence.

Detectives from the Hartford Shooting Task Force responded to the location to assist patrol
 officers in the ongoing investigation. Madeline Mercado was located at 25 Elliot Street and 
agreed to provide a statement to the investigators in relation to the incident. She claimed 
she had been involved in an altercation with her estranged husband at the location and was 
forced to discharge her firearm at him in self defense. Madeline Mercado was found to hold a
 valid CT pistol permit and freely turned over her registered firearm that was used during 
the incident, a Ruger LC9 9mm firearm containing five live 9mm rounds.

Both were then transported to HPD to conduct interviews with the STF Detectives in regards to 
the incident. In the course of the Detective's investigation, video surveillance footage was
 located by analysts in the HPD Crime Center. The video was not consistent with the details
 provided by Ms. Mercado. As a result of a thorough review of all recovered evidence and the 
interviews, HPD officers developed probable cause to charge Madeline Mercado in connection to
 the shooting.

Madeline Mercado was transported to HPD booking for processing procedures and charged with 
Criminal Attempt Assault 1st Degree, Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm, Reckless Endangerment
1st Degree, Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, and Breach of Peace 2nd Degree.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ARE WE SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING GUNS OFF OUR STREETS?

It is going to take more than just parading victims of gun crime at political events to curb the gun violence in our cities. It is going to take creative efforts and a real commitment to ending gun violence.

Locally, one of the most creative efforts to combat gun violence was created by our own Chief of Police while he was still an inspector with the Connecticut Chief States Attorney's Office. James Rovella gave birth to Hartford's Shooting Task Force when he was directed to "do something" about the gun violence in Hartford.

The results have been phenomenal , even though STF is a shadow of what it once was when Rovella put his initial team together. The original team was a great, and very effective, combination of local, State and Federal authorities working together in a unique partnership that produced very solid results. The reputation of "STF" quickly grew and people carrying illegal guns on our streets felt the results. Very few people, both criminals and law abiding Citizens alike, didn't recognize the initials "STF" and what they were doing on our streets.

A main part of that success is not only the law enforcement aspect, but the court system follow through and sending penalties that show we are serious about illegal guns and shootings on Hartford's streets Unfortunately that message from our State courts is not as strong as it used to be. Budget cuts are hurting everyone and that may be p[art of the reason, but it also seems as though there is a reluctance on the part of the States Attorney and the court to relinquish control of some of these cases to the Federal level for more severe attention.

Sources from both the State and Federal level familiar with the two Court systems have described a type of "turf war". Federal prosecutors are apparently more than willing to take on gun prosecutions that meet their thresholds, but the State courts are unwilling to make that transition or allow the cases to move forward federally. I am told that criminals are more fearful of the Federal system than they are of the State prosecutions with the main reason being the sentences. Apparently a person convicted under Federal law is required to serve 80% of their sentence, no deals , no second chances.

I tend to agree with that, since many of the people winding their way through our State courts seem to be frequent flyers with numerous felony arrests. If we are going to be serious about ridding our streets of illegal guns, more creative partnerships need to be created. A good start to that would be calling upon our Federal Government  to be real partners, not just talking heads at election time. The FBI, ATF, DEA, Homeland Security, US Marshall's. Hell, any Federal agency with powers of arrest that carry a badge and a gun should be part of a reconstituted STF.


We know most municipalities are stretched pretty thin with staffing and the State law enforcement is going to get worse before it gets better. But we don't want to get caught sending the message to criminals that their chances of getting caught are less likely, they need to know their odds of getting caught are better than ever.

Beefing up the Federal involvement would also serve another purpose. Federal agents making the arrests would enable the cases to go Federally right from the start. No turf wars, no jurisdictional bickering.  Federal prosecutions and Federal jail time right from the start. I'm pretty sure that is a message that would be taken seriously by our local criminals who have gotten used to terrorizing our neighborhoods with a slap on the wrist. I am pretty sure that local officers  could be "cross sworn" as Federal agents also allowing them to make Federal arrests

It would probably also serve the purpose of identifying the pipelines used for getting these guns on our streets with Federal agencies cooperating in the investigations and sharing information

It might be a novel idea, but it is also the creativity and "thinking outside the box" we need if we are going to be serious about gun violence

WILL WE EVER GET THE TRUTH ON THE STADIUM DEAL

Forgive me for being skeptical, but I have a hard time trusting the word of the Hartford Stadium Authority's Chairman I. Charles Matthews or Mayor Luke Bronin when it comes to the truth behind the stadium project.

I don't think Chairman Matthews or any of the Stadium Authority members has been accurate on any of their time lines or projections from the start.

I am even more skeptical as I read the proposed minutes to be approved at today's Stadium Authority meeting. I question the motivation behind the change of contractors and the necessity of calling the bond. I also question the need to bring in another consultant to oversee the project. I'm sure we could figure out some sort of joke to go with this project, " how many consultant's does it take to oversee completion of a minor league baseball park?" 

Attached are the meeting documents for the meeting scheduled for today, except that meeting was abruptly cancelled .

As I said before, I have a hard time believing anything Matthew's or Bronin say when it comes to the stadium. Read the meeting minutes that were up for approval from meetings right before Centerplan was kicked off the project. Matthews is quoted as saying Mr. Rudnick of Centerplan provided a tour of the facility for him and others and Matthews said "that was impressive" . Mayor Bronin is also quoted as saying "Centerplan had made very good progress over the past few weeks".

These are statements from the HSA's own documents not from another media source or and outsider. So what brought about the hissy fit that resulted in Centrplan's abrupt removal from the project? Was Mayor Bronin offended by something?

Mr. Greene, the owners representative also stated that , he believed, that substantial completion for the May 17th date "was achievable"

Were all of the additional legal fees and additional costs really necessary. How much has been spent on attorneys for this mess and where is the money coming from in a City that is claiming it is broke.Where was the money found to hire another consultant to oversee the project, Cashin, Spinnelli Ferretti. More importantly where is the $3 million dollars plus to pay the recent eminent domain judgement coming from?

What is the plan? And one final question, since today, December 13th was the reported final day for the Solomon's to be able to pull out, did they and was that maybe the reason the HSA meeting for today was cancelled?


Saturday, December 10, 2016

I'LL PROUDLY ADMIT IT, SEAN SPELL IS A FRIEND OF MINE

It is funny how things work out. Several years ago,,I was upset by the actions of an HPD Sergeant. I eventually complained to Chief Roberts about that Sergeants actions and eventually that Sergeant was moved out of his position back in Patrol. I am not sure if the transfer was made to shut me up, but none the less the move was made. That Sergeant was Sean Spell.

Luckily since that time, I'll admit I have matured and broadened my vision, so not everything is clearly defined in black and white to me now. Another good friend of mine intervened a few years ago and asked me to trust him when he told me what a great cop Sean Spell was. He also asked me to trust his judgment and could he make an introduction for me and Spell to get together to clear the air and maybe understand each other a little better.

I reluctantly agreed, but I figured myself and Spell had the same desires for Hartford, just maybe a little bit different way of getting there. I was set in my ways of strictly interpreting policy and procedures and there was no gray are  or ambiguity.  We met, we talked liked civilized adults do, and we both came away with a better understanding of each other.

I gave Spell a clean slate as far as I was concerned and we started talking. Eventually James Rovella came in from the States Attorney's Office when violent crime was out of control in Hartford with this crazy idea of something called the Shooting Task Force. Rovella, who eventually  became Hartford's Chief, has an unusual knack for seeing things in people that not everyone else may readily see.

Rovella assembled a team for the Shooting Task Force, all handpicked by him to get the job done. That team included  ,now retired, Lieutenant Lance Sigersmith and Sean Spell at the helm. That team they built seemed at many time as though they would follow Rovella, Sigersmith and Spell off a cliff if that was what the mission required. They produced some phenomenal results over the next few years , taking a huge number of guns and violent felons of Hartford's Streets.

Sean Spell played a huge role in that success. Some days it would seem like he was her constantly, and that overtime made him one of the highest earners in the Police Department. His earnings didn't sit well with everyone and created some tension between him and other officers, but I can honestly say that the money was probably the best single investment Hartford could make to reduce crime

Any hour of the day or night, if there was a gun call or any violent crime happening anywhere in the City it seems as though it would only be a matter of seconds  before you would hear Sergeant Spell chime in on the radio "570 , I'll be responding". And many times it was 570 , Spells radio designation that would be proclaiming the situation under control ,another suspect in custody, mote guns taken off Hartford's streets.

After becoming friends with Spell  and following the efforts of STF, I had a better understanding  of the lack of black and white , clearly defined  clarity we all hoped would exist. Criminals operate in a grey area, and it is officers like Spell who could also operate in that grey area while still staying in bounds and not crossing into foul territory.

Some of you are probably screaming at your monitors now that "Spell did cross into foul territory". I disagree. I was with a Hartford Police Officer that night  during the entire time that the Flatbush Avenue incident  was unfolding. It moved quickly and it was chaotic The radio traffic was moving rapidly and 570 was there during all of it.

I spoke to Spell a couple days after the incident and he gave me his version, the same version that is being recounted to this day. He explained arriving at the scene and seeing an HPD Officer with a large amount of blood on his uniform shirt,. The officer explained to Spell that one of the suspects injured in the crash was bleeding heavily from a head wound and was spitting blood.

Apparently, even though the suspect had already been handcuffed, Sgt. Spell approached him and some words were exchanged. Spell readily admitted to me he looked at the suspect and said "you better not have F***ing  AIDS". The suspect moved to spit at Spell and he used his foot to push the  suspects head away to avoid his attack. Was it an assault or a logical move to protect himself from potentially hazardous contamination?

Let me pose a hypothetical question that might be easier to understand for many. You are out for a walk and a loose pitbull charges you. Do you stand there and take the bite and a potential mauling or would you use whatever is available to defend yourself. You raise your foot and attempt to push the dog away before he bites. Are you now guilty of animal abuse for assaulting the dog, or did you do what was necessary to defend yourself reasonably? Just something to think about.

Sean Spell was able to operate in that gray area I mentioned earlier. If I ever felt that he was crossing the line, I would have been one of the first people to say "Sean , you screwed up". Being able to navigate in that gray area is what made Sean Spell a good cop. No, actually let me say a great cop, and we will never know fully the violent crime his efforts interrupted on our behalf.

Thank you Sergeant Spell, I for one appreciate your efforts and will stand by your side as you clear your name and redeem your reputation as a great cop like so many others at HPD that serve us day in and day out

SOME THINGS NEED TO BE SAID

I am going to try to stay focused so this posting makes sense, but it might be tough.

As I have said here before, and many others have said, it seems more and more that it is open season on Police Officers in our towns and cities and across the Country. Police Officers across the nation are being executed almost on a weekly basis for no other apparent reason than the fact they wear a uniform and a badge.

In this current climate, many Departments are facing a severe problem in recruiting and hiring qualified Police Officers, and quite honestly, I don't see it getting any better anytime soon in this environment

This may sound like I am falling for the police rhetoric,,but I think more likely I am being a realist.

 Who in their right mind would want this job now a days. If the physical danger and the number of illegal guns on our streets waiting to be used against officers and civilians alike isn't a deterrent, the risk of doing their jobs is even worse. Police Officers in Hartford are risking losing their homes and livelihoods over civil judgments now that the City Administration has decided not to indemnify officers in the course of their duty.

I am also not sure that people, I hate to say many of them "cop haters", really look at what officers go through. It takes the toll on their families being away working odd shifts on most holiday, birthdays and special occasions, working when they would prefer to attend the sporting events or school concerts for their kids. Someone has to do the job, 24/7. Maybe there is a reason that divorce, alcoholism and unfortunately even suicide are higher among police officers.

Anyone that wants to second guess an officers use of deadly force or why they did what they did should be asked to step inside a shooting simulator and see how it goes. I think they will come out dripping with sweat and remorseful for the innocent people that  they shot during the scenarios. Fortunately, they would have the luxury of hitting reset button and starting over again,A luxury   which an Officer on the street  doesn't have when reacting to a deadly high stress situation

Two Hartford officers recently lost a jury decision. Not because of any willful misconduct, but because they shot and killed a dog charging them when they were inadvertently in the wrong yard looking for a suspect. Tragic that a families aggressive  dog got killed, but as I have also said before here previously, the nature of police work and criminal activity isn't always pretty. We don't hire robots with computer chips for brains, we have human beings patrolling our neighborhoods. Human beings that have to make split second decisions based on the information available to them at the time. And hopefully the best decisions being made based upon the best training as well as supervision available to them.

We tend to pack the front page when a Police Officer does something wrong, but the good deeds are hard to find. Not because the good deeds aren't happening, but who wants to read good news about something a cop does. Dozens of drunk drivers are taken off Hartford's streets every month by HPD Traffic Officers and patrol Officers. Even though the officers risk their lives out on the checks points of being struck by a drunk that can't navigate in a stupor, they still do it to keep our streets safe.

Last night a state Trooper rescued a driver from fiery vehicle to save the life of someone he probably didn't even know. He wasn't required to do that, he could have sat on the shoulder and waited for the Fire Department, but that is not what good cops do.

 One of the finest police officers I know serving the people of Hartford crawled out onto thin ice on the Connecticut River wearing a dry suit and secured to the shore by only a piece of rope between him and potentially drowning. He rescued the man from the ice, a man who had jumped in an  attempt to take his own life, but our officers risked their own lives to save someone else's, but that is what good cops do.

That same Officer and his wife buy numerous bikes every year to give away to children in the South End  who might not have a bicycle otherwise, you probably don't hear much about those good efforts

You don't hear a lot about these things , but let a cop be accused of doing something wrong, whether proven or not, and all hell breaks loose.

It is amazing to me that most of the comments on-line regarding the arrest of Sergeant Spell focused on the amount of his pension and retirement benefits. Then today the story was about the amount of money being spent on Trooper overtime.

Can anyone honestly say that if the Union for reporters at the Courant negotiated a contract that allowed reporters to retire after twenty five years with pensions of  $130,000 a year that they would say "no thank you"? The pensions for police officers and State Troopers as well as the potential for overtime were negotiated in good faith and no one is doing anything illegal by collecting them.

Maybe we should just say we don't wan the pensions or putting the cops on our streets and we are willing to go without . Maybe we should be asking our Mayor where the 70 new officers he promised us at election time are. A class of 45 new officers was promised for October and another 25 for January. Neither class is even close to happening and looking at my calendar I see we are well past October. I am sure that many applicants  have already found jobs in other agencies by now as Hartford talks a big story but quietly drags its feet.

Maybe it is more about jealousy that people didn't choose law enforcement as a career path. But until our so called political  "leaders" start paying attention, this is the way it is. As far as the overtime for Hartford Officers like Sergeant Spell and State Troopers, that is what happens when politicians bury their heads in the sand and ignore staffing for years. IF HPD is over 100 Officers short and by accounts CSP is at least a couple hundred troopers under where it should be, overtime happens, wake up.

I think this is enough for this posting, I wanted to get more into the Spell incident, but that will be another posting

Friday, December 9, 2016

RETIRED HPD SERGEANT SPELL ARRESTED, WHERE IS THE PROBABLE CAUSE?

Retired Hartford Police Sergeant Sean Spell was arrested tonight on charges of Assault 3rd degree and Breach of Peace after an extensive investigation by the Connecticut State Police.

The charges resulted after Spell's alleged involvement in an incident which occurred on June 4, 2016. The warrant application, prepared by CSP Sgt. Brian L. Narkewicz is below. Please take a few minutes to read the 9 page affidavit and make your own determination as to who was at fault Don't stop at section 2, read the entire application .

Now I know that some days it seems like it is open season on our police officers, and I have no problem holding police officers accountable for their actions, and I have done it numerous times on this blog.. I am fully aware that there  are some bad police officers out there, probably in much smaller numbers than the mainstream media would lead us to believe.

Let me say for the record, Sean Spell is not one of those bad officers. I would hate to think what our violent crime numbers in Hartford would be like without officers like Sean Spell and others out there in our neighborhoods. I doubt anyone could quantify the amount of violent crime that has been prevented over the last twenty five years through his efforts and the efforts of other officers he has mentored.

Police work, by its very nature is not always pretty. Add onto that dealing with people who by their very own admission were high on PCP, and Hartford Hospital medical records confirmed that . Hartford Hospital , according to Sgt. Narkewicz, verified the presence of cocaine, opiates, PCP, and cannabinoid in Diaz's system. Do you think that drug cocktail might even cause a fine citizen to act a little stupid?

 It nauseates me to see Diaz listed as a "victim". Victim of what, his own stupidity and drug use? Let me direct you back to section 2 where Sgt. Narkewicz details actions leading up to the incident.

Where Diaz was apparently operating a stolen car, "the driver struck and injured" a Hartford Police detective on Affleck Street, the stolen vehicle was operated without regard for other vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Add onto that when the pursuit was finally ended, the driver and the passenger both refused to follow verbal commands and violently resisted arrest. Officers used physical force and even the use of a Taser ,a baton, and combative techniques. Both arrestees suffered injuries during their apprehensions.

Now take a moment and put aside section 2 and look at the requirements for a charge of Assault in the 3rd degree as detailed below from the Connecticut General Statutes: A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when: (1) With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or (2) he recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person; or (3) with criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon, a dangerous instrument or an electronic defense weapon. (b) Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor and any person found guilty under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year which may not be suspended or reduced.

Who do you think "caused" Diaz's injuries ? The words "cause" and "intent" figure prominently in that statute. Was it Sgt. Spell pushing Diaz's head away with his foot and rubber sneaker or was it Diaz's own actions and stupidity running from the Police in a stolen car  while high on PCP , Cocaine and who knows what else that may have precipitated a less than fortunate outcome to his night...

Victim, no. Out of control drugged up felon, yes.. As a society lets start putting these criminals accountable for the results of their actions and also identify and deal with clearly abusive police  officers when it is found to be factual. In the meantime, lets not bow to political pressures to create scapegoats from good police officers just to say the system did something. The ensuing effect will prove to be chilling to good police officers doing their jobs.

The Warrant:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MORE POSITIVE NEWS FROM HPD

This needs no commentary other than to read the letter sent out by Chief Foley tonight,

Please see the letter below, it is about a kind gesture by an observant HPD Patrol Officer. Officer Agustin Flores (pictured)  is a great representative of the amazing women and men of HPD.

“Deputy Chief Foley, I hope you’re the right person to contact with this message of appreciation, and that you’ll distribute it as you think appropriate:

My family and I would like thank the officer who stopped traffic on Maple Avenue last Saturday evening, November 26, at about 5:30 PM, so that my very elderly aunt and her two only somewhat less elderly assistants could cross to reach First & Last. There is no question that this group would have been well advised to handle accessing F&L some other way (like a legitimate crosswalk). Suffice it to say that there was no parking on the F&L side, and my 96-year-old aunt insisted she was “fine to walk” across Maple rather than to be dropped off next to the restaurant.

It was dark by then, and traffic was steady and fairly heavy, including cars exiting the holiday light show on the golf course. The three ladies started across Maple, but there was zero chance they were going to make it without dodging cars.

A Hartford PD cruiser heading north on Maple obviously saw this scene. Thinking quickly, the officer turned at an angle to traffic, stopped his (her?) vehicle and hit the blue lights. Traffic in both directions stopped, and the ladies made their slow way across the street safely. The officer wished the group a nice evening, but there was no chance to get his (again – her, possibly, the group did not get a good look) name or other identifying information.

My family and I very much appreciate this quick and most courteous assistance. I (originally from Wethersfield) along with my son were visiting from North Carolina, and were impressed but not surprised by this example of Northern hospitality and holiday spirit. The same went for family from PA, MA and CT who heard about this when our relatives made it into F&L

Compliments from Hennessey’s from four states to your officer, and best wishes to all of the Hartford PD for a safe and peaceful holiday season”

BLAZING SADDLES LOOK LIKE THEY ARE STAYING IN HARTFORD

A man and his horse

It is not too often we see common sense working in Hartford, but here we go.

According to several sources, a tentative deal has been struck to save the Hartford Police Mounted Unit. This after word came out that Hartford's mayor was in the process of selling off the Mounted Units assets to the Rockland County New York Sheriff's Department for $500.00. There was apparently a large outcry by people caught off guard by the potential sale, including the Hartford City Council.

After I first posted that story, the calls came in fast and steady expressing outrage at the deal. You can read that original story here  http://wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com/2016/11/hartford-police-mounted-unit-riding-off.html.

Now it seems that a regular reader of the blog , and a horse lover, has come up  with a creative plan to save the Mounted Unit.

According to sources, a deal is close to being signed off on that would place the maintenance and care of the horses under the direction of the Governor's Foot Guard enabling HPD to overcome the budget difficulties  it is facing related to maintaining the unit.. Much of the work of the Governor's Foot Guard is done by volunteers and would free up regular Hartford Police Officers who currently maintain the horses 7 days a week.

I will be posting much more on this as the plan becomes formalized., but it is a great start and a win-win for both HPD and the Governor's Foot Guard. I  understand that there have been numerous offers from the private sector to maintain the Unit also.

Here is some information from the Governor's Foot Guard's website as to who they are:
The First Company Governor's Foot Guard is a military unit of the State of Connecticut, although with a vibrant and active National Guard, the primary function of the Governor's Foot Guard is mostly ceremonial.   Statutory authority for the existence of the First Company comes from C.G.S. 27-6,  which authorizes the existence of and the organizational structure of the State Organized Militia Units.   As a military unit, the First Company follows policies and procedures set forth by statute, the policies, and orders of The Governor, and those set forth by The Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard.   These are the same rules that apply to members of the state National Guard and among other things, require members of the First Company to attend annual training each summer at the National Guard installation in Niantic and authorize the First Company for call-up to active duty by order of the Governor to assist in times of natural disaster and civil emergencies..

You can view the entire Foot Guard website here:http://governorsfootguard.com/info/index.html

DON'T GET RIPPED OFF BY MDC IMPOSTERS

MDC WARNS OF SUSPECTED IMPOSTERS

November 30, 2016
For Immediate Release

HARTFORD -- The Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) is advising customers to be cautious of an individual posing as a water company employee in an attempt to enter residential homes.

On Tuesday, November 29, a male suspect claiming to be from the water company attempted to gain access to several Hartford apartments in the vicinity of James Street, telling the residents there was a problem with their water bill. No further details are available at this time.

The MDC urges all residents, especially those who are home during the day, to be alert for imposters by following these tips:

  • MDC field employees wear clothing and drive vehicles clearly marked with the MDC logo.

  • The MDC encourages customers to stay secure within the home while asking for identification from anyone who comes to their door.  All MDC employees have photo identification badges and will gladly display them upon request.  The policy is “No Identification - No Entry” .

  • If someone comes to your door claiming to be from the water company and you do not have a previously scheduled appointmentdo not allow access to your home until calling the MDC Command Center at 860-278-7850 ext 3600 to verify their identity.

  • If you have any doubt about the individual’s identity or motives, or authenticity of their credentials, do not allow them entry into your home and call the police.

Maybe the next step should be to distribute a flyer of MDC Chairman Bill diBella and the MDC Commissioners to our suburban neighbors. The MDC's plan to shove Hartford's debt off onto member towns will cost residents more than any imposters ever could. 

FOUR YEAR OLD "WANDERS" AWAY FROM HARTFORD SCHOOL


A 4 yr old was sent to the office at Milner School for early pick up today.

After not seeing her mother she apparently left the school and walked home to  Bedford St.

A citizen who happened to observe the unattended child followed her to ensure she arrived safely.

The child got home safely and her mother called the school and the Hartford Police to report the incident.

No criminal action was taken at the time.

But an internal investigation at the school is being conducted.

Both the school and HPD called DCF who will also conduct their investigation.

How could this happen? I know the investigation is only just starting, but someone needs to be held accountable, it just seems crazy that a system that is supposed to protect and educate children allows a 4 year old on the streets unsupervised.

Monday, November 21, 2016

FROM HPD: ANOTHER FELON WITH A GUN

On November 19, 2016 at 1:24am, Hartford Police Department Officers were dispatched to the area of Franklin Avenue and Annawan Street for a 911 report of a person with a firearm. Upon arrival, Officers located a suspect matching the description given by the caller. During the investigation the suspect attempted to elude officers. Officers gave the accused a verbal command to stop, but the accused ran north on Franklin Avenue. Officers caught up to the suspect who ran into a darkened back yard. The officers heard a sound which they immediately recognized as a pistol slide loading a round into a gun. The officers gave verbal commands again to the accused. The Officers then heard something metal being thrown to the ground and the suspect walked to the officers with his hands raised. A canvass of the area located a 9mm TGI pistol with four live rounds inside of it. The accused was then debriefed by STF (Shooting Task Force) detectives. No one was injured during the incident. The accused was then arrested and transported to booking.

The accused is from Bloomfield CT, he is a convicted felon several times over, with 10 previous arrests in Hartford.
Accused: Dunker, Arcenio 6/21/89 27 Forest Ln Bloomfield CT
Charges: Disorderly Conduct (53a-182), Possession of a Pistol Without a Permit (29-35), and Criminal
Possession of a Firearm (53a-217)
Firearm: 9mm TEG

THE TICKET PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT CHEAPER



From HPD: Hartford Police Officers deployed  "stop sticks" today to disable a motorist fleeing to avoid a stop belt checkpoint as part of the "Click it or Ticket " campaign.

Stop sticks are used to deflate the fleeing vehicles tires and render it immobile

Instead of an infraction ticket for not wearing a seatbelt, the motorist now faces additional charges as well as the cost of four new tires and tow  charges for having the car towed from the scene.

Not a smart decision to flee from the Police, and a costly one as well.

HPD Traffic Units will be out as part of the Click it or Ticket program this week, so be sure to wear those seatbelts and also stay off the cell phones.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

HARTFORD POLICE MOUNTED UNIT RIDING OFF INTO THE SUNSET





One of the best, if not the Best, public relations tools available to the Hartford Police Department is on the chopping block if Mayor Luke Bronin has his way.

According to several sources familiar with the deal, , Bronin was prepared to sell off the equipment from the HPD mounted unit to the Rockland County New York Sheriff's Department for a staggering figure of $500.00. Yes, you read that right, Five Hundred dollars. That should put a huge dent in the City's deficit.

The sale includes a large horse trailer as well as at least 4 custom made saddles and two highly trained horses According to sources familiar with the equipment, the custom made saddles originally cost the City approximately $10,000.00 each  and could most likely be sold for several thousand dollars each. The tires on the trailer alone are most likely worth well more than $500.00 .

NBC Connecticut confirmed the sale Friday through Council President Thomas Clarke, you can read their web story here .http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Hartford-Selling-Police-Departments-Horses-for-Few-Hundred-Dollars-401973905.html  City Council President TJ Clarke told NBC Connecticut on Friday that the horses and equipment were sold, but the city council was not aware of the sale until Friday. Mayor Bronin now appears to be back pedaling now that the poorly conceived deal has become public. Mayor Luke Bronin said Saturday that it’s not a done deal according to NBC Connecticut.

Now I am not an expert on City procedures, but I thought that any disposal of City property had to be approved by the City Council, which apparently was not done in this case. Bronin also stated to NBC Connecticut that disbanding the mounted unit would allow him to create more CSO or Community Service Officer positions. It is interesting he used the plural, because there is currently only one officer assigned to the Mounted Unit.

And although Bronin stated that "it wasn't a done deal", according to sources, the only thing missing was Police Chief Rovella's signature on the paperwork which was waiting on his desk.

I am not sure what the plan is here. Anyone that has seen the horses at events knows that they quickly break down the barriers between police and the community. People, especially childr3en that would never approach a police officer , flock to the mounted officer, asking if they can pet the horse. How do you put a price on those relationships?

Some days I think Bronin's crash and burn scenario is intent on removing anything that has helped given Hartford its identity. Riverfest and the July fourth fireworks, Winterfest was only saved after Bronin had put it on the chopping block through private donations, and now the Mounted Unit.. I am not sure if First Night celebrations survived the Mayor's budget ax

I would venture to say that the money spent on lawyers fees for the Ballpark alone  and other legal issues would more than sustain the Mounted unit for some years to come.

I also know that there is large corporate support for the Mounted Unit , but no one is asking for it. I recently had a conversation with a high level leader of one of Hartford's Corporations, and this person said they would gladly adopt the unit or share costs  if asked, but their communications with the Mayor's Office were very limited.

The "Sky is falling" scenario from Bronin drew attention at the beginning of his term, but now we need to start seeing a plan and some solutions. Cutting and slashing everything that has made Hartford what it is is neither a plan or a solution

It is inexcusable that Council President Clarke and the rest of the City Council were caught offguard by this latest move. Communication between the Mayor , the Council and residents is extremely important to the success of our community, and it is time for Bronin to be building bridges, not barriers


Saturday, November 12, 2016

BRINSON LAW LICENSE SUSPENDED, MORE TROUBLES COMING

As reported here first last week, former Hartford City Councilman and now former attorney, Corey Brinson has had his law license suspended by the State of Connecticut. You can read the original posting here https://wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com/2016/11/more-trouble-for-former-hartford.html

The suspension order was signed on November 10, 2016 by Superior Court Judge, the honorable  Antonio Robaina. The suspension is apparently effective immediately and the Court appointed a trustee to oversee Brinson's accounts and client funds.

 The suspension would seem to be the least of Brinson's worries now though. Brinson is allegedly embroiled deep in a federal investigation over Federal Charges of alleged money laundering, stock fraud  and other illegal schemes involving millions of dollars You can read more about the Federal allegations in this article in the Journal Inquirer http://m.journalinquirer.com/mobile/article_e2f1cb7e-a666-11e6-980d-3b8a69ac1b87.html

According to sources familiar with the Federal investigation, it is expected that Brinson will plead guilty to charges resulting from the investigation. That guilty plea will also apparently involve incarceration in a Federal Prison , according to sources, for potentially 2 years. That plea could be as soon as next week in Hartford Federal Court.

The choice of the trustee is also somewhat surprising. Judge Robaina appointed attorney Devaughn Ward as the trustee to oversee Brinson's matters. Devaughn Ward was recently apparently let go from Hartford City Hall where he served as the Inter-Governmnetal Affairs Liasion for Mayor Luke Bronin for less than a year.

. Although Ward is supposed to bring some order to Brinson's financial affairs, Ward is currently subject of a lawsuit by People's Bank for a loan People's claims Ward defaulted on. Ward \has also apparently ignored court orders for weekly payments to People's Bank. Ward and his finanacial records will be the subject of an "EJD" hearing in December.

 EJD or Examination of Judgement Debtor  is a legal procedure that will force Ward to present all of his financial records to attorneys for People's bank to help determine why Ward has not repaid the loan and what financial means he has available to repay the loan, under oath and supervision of the Court. Hopefully Ward can have better control and management over Brinson's finances. You can read that order below for a better understanding of the EJD process

Also interesting is that even though Ward is a licensed attorney in Connecticut, he is not affiliated with an actual law firm and appears to operate out of his apartment at 55 Trumbull Street, as reflected in the documents on the Connecticut Judicial website.

You can read and review the Ward vs People's Bank complaint here http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=HHDCV156058463S
Brinson Suspension  on Scribd



Ward Ejd Order  on Scribd

Friday, November 11, 2016

FROM HPD: MORE GUNS OFF THE STREETS

On November 9, 2016 Hartford Police Department Detectives from the Vice and Narcotics Unit conducted a surveillance operation within the Branford Street area of Hartford. This was in direct response to the numerous and recent shooting incidents from the area.

While conducting surveillance, Detectives observed a known suspect who was recently involved in a shooting,
traveling in a vehicle which was involved in a hand to hand drug transaction. HPD Detectives covertly followed the suspect vehicle. Detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop after a traffic violation was observed and to further the investigate the possible drug transaction. During the M/V stop, the passenger was observed to have a handgun magazine protruding from the front of his pants. Both the operator and passenger were removed from the vehicle and both were found to be in possession of a loaded handgun. Both the passenger and operator were charged with various weapons charges, including possession of a stolen handgun.

Arrested: Williams, Johnathan 31yo, 23 Ashley Rd. Windsor, CT
Charges: Possession of a high capacity magazine, Failure to use traffic signal.

Arrested: Weaver, Johnathan 27yo,  123 East Morningside Rd. Bloomfield, CT
CHARGES: Carrying pistol w/o a permit, Weapons in a M/V, Possession stolen firearm, Possession high cap.
magazine, Possession of controlled substance.

(R) Recovered: (1) Ruger 9mm pistol, (12) rounds in the magazine. (Pistol permit holder/Williams).
(R/E) Recovered stolen: (1) Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol, (9) rounds and a second loaded magazine containing 14 rounds. Stolen 6-30-2009 Westbrook Troop F

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

FROM HPD: HOW DO GUNS END UP ON HARTFORD'S STREET'S

On July 28, 2016, at approximately 10:28pm, Hartford Police Department Patrol Officers responded to the area of 146 Mather Street in response to a Shot Spotter activation reporting the detection of seven gunshots (HPD case 16-21465).

Detectives from the Hartford Shooting Task Force responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. The  subsequent on scene investigation led to the development of a suspect, Felix Tosado, as the shooter. On the same date STF Detectives located Tosado at his residence, 68 Pliny Street, and during the investigation he was placed under arrest and charged in connection to the shooting. Further investigation led to the recovery of the firearm utilized
during the incident, a Berretta Tomcat .32 caliber handgun.

A second firearm, a Colt Task Force Corsair .45 caliber handgun, was also recovered. The recovered firearms were found to be reported stolen in connection to two separate incidents. STF Detectives developed information regarding Tosado illegally purchasing the firearms during two unknown dates in July of 2016. Detectives learned that Tosado purchased the guns from a person he knows only by the nickname "Electrical Man." Detectives also learned that “Electrical Man” is known to be drug dependent as he sold the firearms  to Tosado for a combined payment of narcotics and money on two separate occasions.

STF Detectives then initiated a secondary investigation in regards to the origin and illegal sale of the recovered firearms.

The recovered Beretta Tomcat .32 caliber handgun was found to have been stolen during a burglary that occurred in Bristol, CT sometime between the dates of July 19, 2016 and July 25, 2016. It was found that a suspect had been listed in the initial burglary investigation, Patrick Cistulli. Cistulli was found to be a convicted felon with an extensive arrest history who resides in Bristol, CT. The Hartford STF Detectives were able to further investigate the incident resulting in the positive identification of Cistulli as the suspect in the illegal firearm sales to Tosado.

On October 12, 2016, an arrest warrant was drafted and submitted to G.A. 14 charging Patrick Cistulli with
Illegal Transfer of a Firearm (2 counts), Criminal Possession of a Firearm, and Pistol without a Permit. The
arrest warrant was later approved by a Superior Court Judge with a judge set cash bond of $50,000.

On November 4, 2016, at approximately 1140 hours, a Hartford Police Community Service Officer observed a man
panhandling in the area of 255 Asylum Street. As the Community Service Officer approached the panhandler he immediately recognized the man to be Patrick Cistulli. The HPD CSO took Cistulli into custody without incident.

Patrick Cistulli was found to have two other active arrest warrants for larceny related charges with a combined
bond of $55,000. Cistulli was transported to the the HPD  PSC to complete the booking and processing procedures.
Cistulli declined to provide a statement in reference to the illegal firearm sales investigation and is currently
being held on a combined bond of $105,000.

Arrested: Patrick Cistulli (dob 3/6/87) of 78 Constance Lane, Bristol, CT
Charges: Illegal Transfer of a Firearm (2 counts), Criminal Possession of a Firearm, and Carrying a Pistol
without a Permit.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

MORE TROUBLE FOR FORMER HARTFORD COUNCILMAN , ATTORNEY COREY BRINSON



On August 22,2016 I posted about former Hartford City Councilman and Hartford Attorney Corey Brinson apparently running afoul of Federal Authorities who had searched his home and office.You can read that posting here http://wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com/2016/08/it-must-run-in-family.html

Now it seems that Brinson has more issues in the form of the State of Connecticut's Chief Disciplinary Counsel's move to suspend Brinson's law license. The details are below.

More on this as details from the suspension hearing are released


Sunday, October 30, 2016

DODGING THE BIG "C"

Over the years, I have taken pride and satisfaction in the results and change this blog has brought about. With this posting today, if just one person is affected, it will all be well worth it.

My health problems over the past two years have been no  secret. Anything I can do to prevent people from going through the same things I have faced will be well worth it.

This past Monday morning I noticed I was bleeding internally, I will spare you the details, but it was a warning sign that couldn't be ignored. So back to my new vacation home, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

The preliminary assessment was that I was definitely bleeding internally and losing enough blood that my blood counts and red cells were very low. I was admitted and the the process began to find out why and where I was bleeding.

Die to my previous strokes and my October heart attack, the blood thinners I am on became an issue, especially the Plavix. Normally from what I was told, to be safe they had to wait at least 5 days for the Plavix to get out of my system before any procedures that could cause bleeding.

Luckily my cardiologist , Doctor Thomas Freund impresses me more and more every time I deal with him. H recalled hearing of a new study that involved a platelet mapping study to gauge the level of Plavix left in my blood, That result was critical before any endoscopy or colonoscopy could be performed to look for the source of the bleeding

Doctor Freund's knowledge, and the completion  of the platelet mapping test moved the endoscopy and the colonoscopy up by several days. Thus the source of the bleeding could be located, hopefully, several days sooner and the healing process could begin sooner.

I was given a blood transfusion on Wednesday, That was an interesting process. Just the thought of having something that potentially could save your life ,being pumped into your body from a donor you have never met is a strange feeling. My heartfelt thanks to all the people out there that take the time to roll up their sleeves and donate blood.

After the platelet mapping study and the blood transfusion, it was determined that it was safe to schedule the endoscopy and the colonoscopy.The endoscopy was to determine if the blood was coming from my upper GI tract and the colonoscopy was to look for blood sources i the lower half.

Before I get too far ahead, let me just sing the praises of the Doctor's and Nursing staff at Saint Francis. A  far as my day to day care while I was hospitalized, Doctor John Hanna has my voted for doctor of the year. His willingness to listen, pay attention to what I was telling him and then take the time to explain everything in depth until I was comfortable ,was a huge comfort, and he truly seemed like he cared . Thank you Doctor Hanna.

Now here is the part I hope everyone pays attention to.

My colonoscopy and endoscopy were  scheduled together for Friday at 11:00am. I was a nervous wreck, thinking the worst,  but tee was not much I could do at this point now, just deal with it.The process , which was supposed to take about 45 minutes, ended up taking a little over two hours.

Another great team of Saint Francis doctors, Dr. Kang and Dr. Shaumberg, who performed the procedures, had an emergency procedure immediately after mine,, so their report to me was delayed. Later that evening they came to my room with the results. I was a very lucky man. They had apparently been able to identify and stop the bleeding, from both ends.Several polyps were found and removed during the colonoscopy.One of them was rather large and contributing to large amount of my bleeding internally. It was removed and the bleeders were "clamped" off. Apparently the growth was definitely pre-cancerous and will be tested for any cancer cells. At the very least it was identified and removed.

And here is the part to pay attention to. If I had not paid attention to the bleeding, which I admit would have been hard to ignore. I would not have had the colonoscopy, and 6 months to a year from now I would be dealing with a diagnosis of colon cancer.

COLON CANCER IS PREVENTABLE AND TREATABLE WHEN FOUND EARLY. Do not be afraid of the colonoscopy. The prepararation is still uncomfortable. I will admit that, but it has gotten better. Two 32 ounces of Gatorade mixed with the the powder and two small pills you swallow beginning the night before the procedure 32 ounces at 6PM and 32 ounces at 6AM

Check with your doctor, but if you are over 50, younger if there is a history of Colon Cancer  in your family, get scheduled for a colonoscopy.It is much better than the alternative of  a diagnosis of colon cancer.

And a few special thanks. First and most importantly to my Mother, my rock and my support  during these adventures. I love you Mom. To my sister Sheryl who understands the importance of family even with her own family to care for. She has sat by my side for more hours than I care to think of during difficult times.  And Sheryl thank you for being there for Mom also as  she worries about me

And to all the people that  have called, e-mailed and come in to visit me, It means more than I can ever say to know caring people are there to support me. My good friend Len Besthoff, Hartford Fire Chief Reggie Freeman, my State Rep  Doug McCrory , Judge Bob Killian and several others that took the time to stop in, Mike, Theresa, John, Thank You

And a special thanks to my friends at HPD. When I found out late Thursday that I was scheduled for Fridays procedures, I needed to start the Gatorade prep. The hospital doesn't stock Gatorade and I needed to get two bottles. I made arrangements with a buddy at HPD to bring me some after his shift. Apparently the word got out, and not only did I get the original two bottles of Gatorade, but by the end of the night, I had enough orange Gatorade to open a convenience store in my room Thank you guys.

So thank you all, and for anyone reading this get a colonoscopy if you are at the age, it may just save your life

Friday, October 14, 2016

FROM HPD: ANOTHER JOB WELL DONE

During the month of October, Detectives from the Hartford Police Department Vice and Narcotics Unit conducted an investigation into a narcotics dealer known to sell large amounts of Morphine and Quinine. Both drugs were identified as a primary source, which is utilized as a cutting agent for heroin. A increased quantity of the mentioned drugs with the heroin are known to cause overdoes. From the narcotics investigation, Detectives were able to obtain an arrest warrant for the target and a search warrant for his business at 737 Maple Ave. “The Mini mart”. On October 13, 2016 the HPD Detectives conducted a narcotics operation prior to executing the warrants. During the operation investigators obtained information that the target, Harwinder Singh was in his vehicle with a large amount of Quinine/Morphine.

Surveillance was established on the target and with the assistance of the Hartford STF Officers, he was subsequently stopped in the parking lot area of 736 Maple Avenue. During the stop, Detectives located the following; (501) grams of suspected Quinine/Morphine and a Ruger .357 Magnum revolver. After the target was arrested, investigators executed the search warrant at 736 Maple Avenue, seizing 20 Viagra pills and 89 Herbal Viagra pills. During the investigation, investigators learned that Singh was "stashing" more Morphine/Quinine at 104 Whitewood Road, Newington, CT. A consent was obtained and an additional 2,500 grams of suspected Morphine/Quinine, box of .357 and .38 caliber rounds, numerous packaging materials and approximately $6,964 in U.S. currency.

Arrested: Harwinder Singh DOB 8/2/91 LKA 104 Whitewood Road, Newington CHARGES:
1.       Illegal obtaining or supplying of a prescription of a drug
Arrest warrant: Served for Conspriacy/Illegal obtaining or supplying of a prescription of a drug.

Evidence: 2500 grams of Morphine/Quinine, 109 Viagra pills, numerous packaging materials
Evidence: $6,964 in U.S. currency.
Evidence: Silver Ruger .357 Magnum revolver containing (4) live rounds

AGAIN, I STAND BY MY SOURCES

I have taken some heat over the last few days after I posted details regarding the East Hartford plane crash. I even was called a racist on Facebook because I identified the suicidal pilot as Jordanian. How is that racist, it is a fact, that is where he is from and crashing a plane intentionally doesn't change that.

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I have some great Law Enforcement sources. Those sources regularly talk to me and they know I will protect their identities as I do for all my sources and they tell me things that they may not tell to other "media" people And as I said I protect my sources and sometimes I have to use great discretion with the information provide to prevent unintentionally "outing" a source. As much as I enjoy being first, I can't always put all the details I am given out there because they could lead right back to an Investigator especially when a limited group of people have the limited knowledge being developed.

Such was the case Wednesday after the crash, I would have loved to lay it out there and explain how or why details were developed, but there is a lot more to this story still to come out.

As the layers of the onion continue to get peeled back, the scenario will become clearer.

One example is further information broken by the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters today regarding the East  Hartford Police going to an East Hartford Motel 5 weeks ago  at the request of  the Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force. According to a State Police report a Jordanian student pilot was found in the room with flight manuals, computer equipment and a large amount of  cash. When questioned, he apparently told State Police he was "on a mission".

You can read the NBC Troubleshooters story here.

Again, I stand by my sources. They are not gossips on a street corner, they are professionals with credible facts and information and I think that will be shown once again as information develops.

We, or more correctly, some of us, may not want to face facts because they are unpleasant, but to ignore those facts would be dangerous to all of us.

Late this afternoon, the FBI office in New Haven issued the following statement:
It is imperative at this time to relay that there is no known connection between the aircraft incident on Main St. October 11th and the E. Hartford hotel search many weeks ago. Any attempts to make such a connection  of the two incidents prior to the conclusion of this investigation into the crash would be reckless at a minimum. Again, this incident is an isolated incident.”

The wording is interesting. Rather than saying that the incidents "are not related" it seems more like a CYA statement. "Connection of the two incidents prior to the conclusion of this investigation", and what will that conclusion eventually show?. I guess in the end we will see.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

HERO PILOT OR TERRORIST STUDENT?

I am not sure many of us would consider East Hartford Connecticut a potential terrorist target, but it may well have very been one Tuesday, according to sources.

Sources have detailed a Federal search warrant that was served on a residence at 29 Annawan Street in Hartford after the crash of a small plane on Main Street in East Hartford yesterday afternoon.

The story began to come together as a pilot and a student pilot left Brainard Airport in Hartford Tuesday afternoon. The student, according to sources, was a Jordanian national here in the US on a Visa.

 During the instruction, the plane began to return to Brainard for a landing. The pilot noticed that the plane was off course and the student claimed that he wanted "to go around"for another landing attempt. During the second attempt , the student continued off course, headed toward the Pratt and Whitney plant in east Hartford.

The pilot, realizing something was wrong, attempted to take over control of the plane from the student. A physical struggle ensued  in the cockpit as the pilot tried to correct the course. According to sources, the student began yelling in what is believed to be a Islamic or Arabic dialect.  During that time, the pilot apparently was able to get off a radio transmission  declaring a "mayday" advising that his aircraft was being hijacked.

The pilot, according to sources, was able to gain enough control of the aircraft to direct a crash landing on Main Street in East Hartford, avoiding the Pratt and Whitney buildings which were the student pilots intended target.

Due to the pilots actions, the only fatality in this incident is the alleged Jordanian hijacker, and a much greater disaster was averted by the hero pilots actions. The pilot is currently at the Bridgeport Burn Center being treated for his injuries from the crash.

As of this afternoon, apparently Federal authorities are denying any terrorist connection, but the facts would seem to say differently.

HPD  also put out this statement today:

After many calls from residents, and in an effort to keep our community well informed, I am writing you to keep you updated on an ongoing investigation that is impacting a neighborhood our city. Yesterday October 1, 2016 a plane crashed in East Hartford CT. That East Hartford plane crash is related  and has led to an ongoing investigation at a specific apartment at the 29 Annawan St apartment complex.. The Hartford aspect of the investigation involved HPD detectives, HPD SWAT and many other outside local, state and federal partners. However, it has lasted through the night and into today. Many law enforcement personnel and media are present and will be visible in one of our densely populated neighborhoods. We understand the stress, impact and concern this can create on a neighborhood and community. We want to ensure our residents, they are not in danger. The scene is safe and secure. Please be aware the neighborhood may be impacted throughout the day. If you have any questions or concerns relating to HPD please feel free to reach out