Report Prepared by the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Waterbury Concerning the Use of Deadly Force by the Cromwell Police Department in the Town of Cromwell on March 17, 2020
II. FACTUAL SUMMARY
III. EVENT TIMELINE
Statement of Civilian Witness #1
Statement of Civilian Witness #2
Statement of Civilian Witness #3
Statement of Civilian Witness #4
Statement of Cromwell Officer Ryan Parsons
Statement of Cromwell Detective Peter Pietraroia
Statement of Middletown Adult Probation Officer Bradford Thody
Statement of Middletown Adult Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin
C. 911 Calls
VI. LEGAL ANALYSIS
VII. FACTUAL ANALYSIS
I. INTRODUCTION AND LEGAL AUTHORITY
On March 17, 2020 at approximately 0955 hours, Cromwell Police Officer Sergeant (Sgt.) Ryan Parsons fired his duty weapon one time at a vehicle being operated by Samuel Moore. A single bullet lodged into the engine block of Mr. Moore’s car. Moore was uninjured. Within an hour of the incident, Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. assigned this author the task of conducting an investigation and completing a report as to whether or not this use of deadly force by Sergeant Parsons was permissible under Connecticut General Statute 53a-22(a). At approximately 1155 hours, the undersigned requested the assistance of the Connecticut State Police (CSP) Central District Major Crime Squad (CDMCS) to investigate this matter. Prior to the arrival of the CSP, the scene was initially secured by the Cromwell Police Department and later by Waterbury State Attorney’s Office Inspectors Gary Pelosi and Timothy Kluntz. Members of the CDMCS arrived on scene at approximately 1340 hours and began processing the scene and canvassing the area, securing witness statements, and collecting evidence. The CDMCS then undertook a comprehensive and thorough investigation into this matter which spanned several months. They obtained sworn statements from all officers at the scene and other witnesses to the incident, secured and reviewed body and dash camera video, collected evidence, submitted items to the Connecticut State Forensic Laboratory for examination and testing, conducted an accident reconstruction and reviewed other applicable materials of evidentiary value. On or about October 5, 2020, their investigatory file was delivered to the undersigned for review. Names and identifying information of all civilian witnesses have been redacted. Names of all others have been included.
I would like to acknowledge the effort and assets provided by the Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad. Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad provided experienced detectives who worked diligently assisting my office on this investigation. All factual findings are based upon their investigation. I would also like to acknowledge the Cromwell Police Department and the Middletown Adult Probation Office for their complete cooperation in this matter.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 51-277a, as amended by Public Act 19-90, provides in part:
(a) (1) Whenever a peace officer, in the performance of such officer's duties, uses physical force upon another person and such person dies as a result thereof or uses deadly force, as defined in section 53a-3, upon another person, the Division of Criminal Justice shall cause an investigation to be made and shall have the responsibility of determining whether the use of physical force by the peace officer was appropriate under section 53a-22, as amended by this act. The division shall request the appropriate law enforcement agency to provide such assistance as is necessary to determine the circumstances of the incident.
(b) In causing such an investigation to be made, the Chief State’s Attorney shall, (1) as provided in section 51-281, designate a prosecutorial official from a judicial district other than the judicial district in which the incident occurred to conduct the investigation, or (2) as provided in subsection (a) of section 51-285, appoint a special assistant state’s attorney or special deputy assistant state’s attorney to conduct the investigation. The Chief State’s Attorney shall, upon the request of such prosecutorial official or special prosecutor, appoint a special inspector or special inspectors to assist in such investigation.
(c) Upon the conclusion of the investigation of the incident, the Division shall file a report with the Chief State’s Attorney which shall contain the following: (1) The circumstances of the incident, (2) a determination of whether the use of physical force by the peace officer was appropriate under section 53a-22, and (3) any future action to be taken by the Division of Criminal Justice as a result of the incident. The Chief State’s Attorney shall provide a copy of the report to the chief executive officer of the municipality in which the incident occurred and to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection or the chief of police of such municipality, as the case may be.
On Tuesday March 17, 2020 at approximately 0955 hours, members of the Cromwell Police Department and Middletown Adult Probation Office arrived at the residence of Samuel Moore (DOB 12/24/1983) located at 152 Salem Drive, Cromwell, in order to perform a visit and/or search of the residence. Probation had received an anonymous call on March 16, 2020 that Moore, who was on probation for the offense of Attempted Murder, Robbery in the First Degree and Carrying a Firearm Without a Permit, had three firearms in his possession. The caller had given specific information about two of the weapons describing them as a “9 millimeter…and a .380.” The caller also stated that Moore kept the weapons under his couch cushion.
Given the nature of the information provided, members of the Office of Adult Probation asked for the assistance of the Cromwell Police department in conducting a home visit. Upon the arrival of the officers, Mr. Moore’s Probation Officer, Bradford Thody, contacted Moore, a black male, by telephone and asked him to come out of his residence. Moore exited his home and had a brief conversation with the officers. Moore then retreated back into his home in direct contradiction to the orders of the officers and slammed the front door. A short time later, Moore once again exited the house running and entered his vehicle, a Honda Accord, again in contradiction to the officers’ orders. Moore then attempted to flee and drove rapidly down Salem Drive in an attempt to elude the officers. While fleeing east down the hill of Salem Drive, Moore encountered Cromwell Police Sergeant Ryan Parsons, who was standing outside of his cruiser holding his department-issued rifle. Parsons, a white male, was attired in his full and clearly marked police uniform. Moore drove his car at a high rate of speed towards Sgt. Parsons. In response, Sgt. Parsons, fired one round from his department-issued rifle toward Moore, striking the Honda Accord in the engine block. Moore then drove across the lawn to circumvent Sgt. Parson’s police vehicle that was partially blocking the roadway. Moore continued to flee until he struck another vehicle at the intersection of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road. Moore then fled the scene and hid in some nearby woods. Shortly thereafter, he was discovered a short distance away. Samuel Moore was arrested by the CSP on sight for Criminal Attempt to Commit Assault in the Second Degree in Violation of CGS 53a-49 and 53a-60, Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree in Violation of CGS 53-63, and Interfering with a Police Officer in Violations of CGS 53a-167a. After a search of his residence, he was later arrested by warrant by the Cromwell Police for the additional charges (CSP number 20-2617) of Criminal Possession of a Firearm in violation of CGS 53a-217, Theft of a Firearm in violation of CGS 53a-212, Possession of a Large Capacity Magazine in violation of CGS 53-202w, Possession with Intent to Sell in violation of CGS 21a-277(b)(1) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of CGS 21a-267 and Violation of his Probation CSG 53a-32.
Salem Drive is a short dead end road which runs east to west. The west side of the road consists of a rectangular shaped parking lot with parking spaces along the perimeter. The buildings are situated on the perimeter of the rectangular shaped parking lot. While driving east down the hill, there are two dead end paved parking areas, one on the north side and one on the south side of Salem drive. When traveling east down the hill of Salem Drive, it intersects in a "T" fashion with Blackhaw Drive. On the north and south sides of Salem Drive at its intersection of Blackhaw Drive, there are large grassy areas. Apartments #156-160 are on the north side, and #50-60 are on the south side. #50 is the northernmost apartment, and #60 is the southernmost. There is a sidewalk running north and south in front of those apartments. Tire marks in front of apartments #50-60 begin near the sidewalk's intersection with Salem Drive, and travel southeast diagonally across the grassy area, ending at Blackhaw Drive.
The tire marks from the Honda Accord were approximately 134' in length from Salem Drive to Blackhaw Drive. Measured at the area in which the tire marks began, Salem Drive was approximately 23'3" wide.
CDMCS completed two stretch maps of the scene using a Bosch GLR225 laser distance measurer on March 17, 2020. Reference point #1 (RF#1) was a fire hydrant #313, which measured 26'8,"and reference point #2 was a catch basin, which measured 48'1," both located in the grass to the southwest of the intersection. Stretch Map 1 provides overall view and measurements.
The CSP reported that the incident occurred during daylight hours and the temperature was approximately 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it had rained during the previous 24-hour period, visibility was clear and the roadways were mainly dry with a few wet areas.
The following timeline is constructed from the police body cameras, civilian witnesses’ statements, and officer interviews conducted and collected by CDMCS. All times are given in military time. Names and other identifying material have been redacted for information associated with civilian witnesses.
March 16, 2020 - At approximately 1300 hours, Probation Officer Bradford Thody receives an anonymous and detailed tip that Probationer Samuel Moore is in possession of three firearms, stored under a couch cushion in his residence.
March 17, 2020 - Members of the Middletown Probation Office ask for the assistance of the Cromwell Police Department in conducting a home visit of Mr. Moore’s residence.
March 17, 2020 - At approximately 0900hrs: Cromwell Police Officer Sgt. Ryan Parsons, Cromwell Detective (Det.) Pietraroia, Middletown Adult Probation Officer Bradford Thody, and Middletown Adult Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin attend a briefing at the Cromwell Police Department before heading to the home of Probationer Moore at 152 Salem Drive in Cromwell.
At approximately 0930hrs: Sgt. Ryan Parsons, Det. Pietraroia, Probation Officer Bradford Thody, and Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin leave the Cromwell Police Department.
At approximately 0950 hours: Det. Pietraroia, Probation Officer Bradford Thody, and Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin arrive at Probationer Moore’s residence to search the premises. Sgt. Ryan Parsons drives his police cruiser onto Blackhaw Drive and positions the police cruiser to partially block Salem Drive at the intersection of Blackhaw Drive and Salem Drive.
At approximately 0950-0954 hours: Probationer Moore leaves his residence against officer instructions and flees in a Honda Accord heading down Salem Drive directly in the path of Sgt. Ryan Parsons.
At approximately 0954-0956 hours: Officer body camera footage records the sound of Sgt. Ryan Parsons firing one shot from his duty rifle into the engine block of the Honda Accord. According to witnesses, Moore is then seen turning the car away from Sgt. Ryan Parsons and driving across the lawn into the intersection of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road. Shortly thereafter, Moore is involved in a motor vehicle accident with a civilian vehicle at the corner of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road, Cromwell.
At approximately 1000-1001 hours: Two 911 calls are made to Cromwell dispatch reporting the motor vehicle collision in the area of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road. Cromwell.
At approximately 1047 hours: After fleeing the accident scene on foot at the intersection of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road, Moore is arrested by officers.
At approximately 1340 hours: Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad investigators arrived on scene.
At approximately 1350 hours: Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad begins processing the scene.
October 5, 2020 - Completed Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad investigation materials received by the Waterbury State’s Attorney’s Office.
January 25, 2021 - Waterbury State’s Attorney Report submitted to the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.
IV. WITNESS STATEMENTS
Statement of Civilian Witness #1
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at approximately 1413hrs, Civilian Witness #1 (CW1) provided a statement to Detective Scott Wisner of the CSP-CDMCS. An audio recording was made of this statement. CW1 stated that sometime before l000 hours on the morning in question, she observed a Cromwell police cruiser drive to the intersection of Blackhaw Drive and Salem Drive. She stated she then saw the officer park his vehicle in the intersection thereby preventing traffic from entering or exiting Salem Drive. CW1 stated that she observed the police officer exit the cruiser and stand in proximity to his vehicle. CW1 stated she then observed what she believed to be a maroon Nissan Altima (which is similar body style and size to Honda Accord) approach the officer on Salem Drive at an extremely high rate of speed which she estimated was "80 to 100 miles per hour." CW1 stated the officer hurriedly retrieved "a shotgun" from the interior of the cruiser and fired a single shot at the vehicle as it raced towards him on a direct path to strike him. Civilian Witness #1 estimated the officer was about "25 to 30 feet away," at the time he fired at the Altima. Afterwards, the car jumped the curb and drove across a lawn at an extremely high rate of speed, traveling away onto Blackhaw Drive. CW1 described the driver of the fleeing car who was also the only occupant as a black male.
Statement of Civilian Witness #2
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at approximately 1402hrs, Civilian Witness #2 (CW2) provided a statement to Detective James McGlynn of the CDMCS. This statement was audio recorded. She stated that earlier that day at approximately 1000 hours, she observed a Cromwell police officer drive his police cruiser in a very slow manner on Blackhaw Drive and then turn left onto Salem Drive. She then stated that she saw the officer exit his vehicle, leaving the driver’s side door open and stand close by his cruiser. She stated that the officer was holding a rifle in his hands. CW2 reported that she then saw a burgundy colored sedan traveling at a speed that she estimated to be between 80-85 miles per hour down Salem Drive in the direction of the police officer at the corner of Blackhaw Drive. She stated when the sedan was approximately 30 feet from where the police officer was standing, it "weaned off the road" to the right onto the front lawn. She stated that just about the same time as the sedan was steering onto the grass, the Cromwell police officer fired one shot from his rifle toward the driver's side of the sedan. She stated that she did not see where the shot went or if it struck the sedan. She stated that the sedan never stopped and continued to drive away at a high rate of speed up Blackhaw Drive toward Evergreen Road. Civilian Witness #2 stated that the officer who shot at the sedan got back into his vehicle but did not chase the sedan. She stated that a short time later another uniformed Cromwell police officer and someone in plain clothes walked up to the officer who had shot his rifle and all three of them got into the cruiser and drove away. When Detective McGlynn asked CW2 if she had an opinion as to why the officer had shot at the sedan, she replied, "He absolutely had to because it was heading in his direction. The officer would have gotten run over.”
Statement of Civilian Witness #3
Civilian Witness #3 (CW3) gave a verbal statement to Detectives McGlynn and Wisner of the CDMCS on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. CW3 stated that at approximately 1000 hrs, she observed a maroon colored sedan driving over or on the grass and then speed away on Blackhaw Drive toward Evergreen Road. She did not hear any gunshots or see any officers discharge their weapons.
Statement of Civilian Witness #4
Civilian Witness #4 (CW4) was interviewed by Detectives McGlynn and Wisner of the CDMCS on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Civilian Witness #4 stated earlier in the day she saw a police officer standing at the corner of Blackhaw Drive and Salem Court holding a rifle. She then walked away and heard a gunshot. When she returned to the area where the scene was visible, she did not observe the fleeing car.
Statement of Cromwell Officer Ryan Parsons
On March 25, 2020, Sgt. Ryan Parsons gave the following statement to Detective Christopher R. Meier of the CDMCS:
I, Ryan Parsons, have been employed by the Cromwell Police Department as an Officer since October 15th, 2007. I have not been employed by any other police department. I was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in May, 2013. In addition to my department responsibilities, I have been a member of the Capitol Region Emergency Services Team since 2012 and currently hold the rank of Assistant Team Leader. On 3/17/20 I was assigned as the day shift patrol supervisor. During this shift I was in a marked police vehicle and in a clearly identifiable standard police uniform. It consisted of a long sleeve turtleneck with Cromwell on the neck. The outer layer was a long sleeve navy blue uniform shirt with pins, patches, a badge and nametag. I was wearing the navy blue uniform pants with a black stripe down the side with black boots and black gloves. On my duty belt I was wearing my black TASER, black tourniquet, handgun, two spare magazines, OC spray, baton, and police radio. I was not wearing a hat or any jacket/vest over my uniform shirt. Our schedule rotates every week. We do five days of day shift, three days off, five days of evening shift, three days off, five days of midnight shift, three days off, and then begin the cycle again.
On the morning of 3/17/2020 five members of the Adult Probation Department came to the Cromwell Police Department to request police assistance. Probation officers stated that their target, Samuel Moore, is on probation for murder and other felonies. Moore resides at 152 Salem Dr. in Cromwell. They stated that they received an anonymous tip from a female who stated that Moore was in possession of three handguns. One handgun was described as a nine millimeter, the second handgun was described as a ".380.” There was no description of the third handgun. The person providing the tip indicated that Moore stored one of the handguns under a couch cushion, which would have been easily accessible to him. Based on the particular details provided by the anonymous tipster, I believed this information to be credible. However, Adult Probation did not have enough information at that time to charge Moore with a probation violation. Moore's probation officer indicated that Moore was home and was aware he was coming for a home visit.
I have never had any contact with or knowledge of Moore prior to this incident. Upon reviewing Moore's criminal history, I saw that he was recently released after 13 or 14 years in prison for committing a murder, Moore's probation officer indicated that Moore is a very violent individual and stated he will "Never go in handcuffs again." Moore's probation officer also noted that Moore is very dangerous and hates police officers.
Based on the severity of the circumstances, I briefly discussed with Captain Vandersloot that this would be a SWAT callout if Adult Probation had a warrant (arrest and/or search). I gathered the five probation officers in the community room for a briefing. Also present were Detective Pietraroia, Detective Jones, Detective Tolton, Detective Sergeant Penn, Officer Dean, Officer Wobrock, Officer Alicea (FTO) and Officer Jespersen (in the FTO training program assigned to Officer Alicea). A total of 14 people would be involved in this operation.
I formulated a plan to have Moore's probation officer call him when officers arrived in the parking lot of Salem Dr. The plan was to have Moore go out to the car under the rouse that they could not go inside due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Once outside, Detective Sergeant Penn, Officer Dean, and Officer Wobrock were to position themselves between Moore and his front door, denying him access back into the residence and detain him. Officer Alicea, with Officer Jespersen, Detective Jones, and Detective Tolton were to be on Winthrop Blvd., which Moore's residence backs up to. Detective Pietraroia was with the probation officers in their vehicle. The vehicles assigned were two Cromwell Police unmarked cars, two Adult Probation unmarked cars, and two marked Cromwell Police patrol cars.
It was discussed during the briefing that should Moore make it back into the residence, everyone would take cover and hold the perimeter. I confirmed with the adult probation supervisor that they had the right to search Moore's house at any time, as a condition of his probation. I also confirmed that should Moore go back into the house after instructed not to, they would prepare an arrest warrant, while we were still on scene, for Violation of Probation. I asked them if Moore could be arrested for Violation of Probation without a warrant based on the circumstances. I was informed that they would need higher supervisory approval for that, which would be sought if needed. The final decision was that if Moore went back into his house after being instructed not to, his probation would be violated. The perimeter would be held by officers on scene and it would become a SWAT operation.
Prior to all of this taking place, I was instructed by Captain Vandersloot to bring, "79CW" (license plate) to the town garage as the town mechanic had requested it for routine service. "79CW" is the Ford Expedition assigned to the on-duty supervisor, which was me. The vehicle was dropped off and I grabbed keys to Car 10, which is also a Ford Expedition, I went to Car 10 and started it without a problem, shut it off and went back inside the police department.
Prior to this operation, I was setting up Off. Jespersen's body camera and showed him how to operate it. I took my body camera out and was showing him the on/off switch that is covered by a piece of silicone. The power to my body cam is always left on, even when I take it off at the end of my shift.
Once we were ready to begin the operation with probation, I got into Car 10 and it did not start. I let Detective Pietraroia know over the radio, I went back into the PD and got keys for Car 7 and took that. The only additional police equipment I brought with me, as I thought I would only be in the vehicle for a very short period of time, was my "go-bag" (emergency medical equipment) and my department issued Colt M4 rifle. The rifle is stored in a hard case in the back of the vehicle with the bolt forward on an empty chamber and the magazine next to it, because it will not fit in the case with the magazine inserted, I keep twenty-eight rounds in the magazine.
I turned onto Blackhaw Dr. from Evergreen Rd. and stayed near the south entrance of Watch Hill Cir. It should be noted that there was an elderly woman who smiled and waved while walking her dog south bound on Blackhaw Dr., leading me to believe that there were multiple people out walking in the area. There was also very light vehicular traffic. Detective Pietraroia radioed that he and the probation officers were arriving on Salem Dr. At that time, I saw their vehicles coming from the other direction on Blackhaw Dr. and turn right onto Salem Dr.
Once they were on Salem Dr., I went to activate my body camera and it did not turn on. I looked at it and pressed the button again and it did not turn on. I assumed I had not replaced the battery after showing Off. Jespersen how to use it, or it was malfunctioning. I pulled down Blackhaw Dr. to get closer to Salem Dr. but still stayed out of sight.
Detective Pietraroia indicated on the radio that the door to Moore's residence was open. Detective Pietraroia then indicated that Moore was coming out of the residence. In a separate radio transmission, Detective Pietraroia stated in a more hurried voice that Moore was running back inside. I advised everyone on the radio to take cover and hold their positions. I pulled onto Salem Dr. and parked Car 7 facing in a northwest direction. I put my car in a position to block any traffic from pulling onto Salem Dr. from Blackhaw Dr. I did not activate my emergency lights because I know that people often approach officers to inquire about what is going on when that happens. I asked Detective Pietraroia on the radio if Moore said anything.
Detective Pietraroia responded to me that Moore yelled something like, "I'm not coming out." I took this to mean that Moore was not going back to prison and would respond to police or provoke police in a deadly encounter. At that time, I radioed Captain Vandersloot requesting permission to activate C.R.E.S.T. (Capitol Region Emergency Services Team). Captain Vandersloot approved this request.
I was out of my car at that time. I grabbed by patrol rifle, inserted the magazine, loaded a round into the chamber and turned on the optic mounted to the gun. I slung it across my chest, while calling South Windsor Lieutenant Buonanducci, who is the commander of C.R.E.S.T. I gave the details to Lieutenant Buonanducci, who was going to activate the team. While finishing giving him the details, I heard Detective Pietraroia on the radio yell that Moore was running out of the residence. I told Lieutenant Buonanducci I would call him back and started to walk up Salem Dr. We had officers surrounding the house so I expected they would be going hands on with Moore to apprehend him. I never expected Moore to get into a vehicle.
I then heard Detective Pietraroia state that Moore got into a car and was traveling through the parking lot at a high rate of speed. At that point I was in the road to the west of Car 7 (Car 7 was behind me), facing west toward Moore's residence, and standing in the middle of the roadway. I'm not sure how far I was from my vehicle.
There are two parking areas on Salem Dr. where Moore could have turned off into. I believed that, after seeing my marked cruiser blocking the road, he would have turned into one of the parking areas to attempt to get away and flee on foot. I observed a red vehicle coming down Salem Dr. at what appeared to be a high rate of speed with no vehicles behind it. I could hear the engine accelerating as the vehicle approached me. At this point I had nothing in front of me separating Moore's vehicle from me. I believe I put my hand up in the air to indicate that I wanted Moore to stop but can't exactly be sure. There was no indication that there was anybody in the car with Moore. I do not remember seeing any other vehicles behind it and there was no pedestrian traffic that I could see.
Based on the fact Moore was a convicted felon likely in possession of multiple firearms, the fact that Moore previously indicated that he would never go in handcuffs again, the fact that Moore was previously in prison for murder, the fact that Moore has indicated that he hates police, and the fact that Moore yelled, "I'm not coming out" while running back into his residence, I believed that Moore would do anything, including murdering a police officer, to get away. I heard Moore's engine get louder as the vehicle began to accelerate down Salem Dr. Moore chose not to pull into the other parking areas on Salem Dr. Moore also ignored my hand up giving him a universal signal to stop. I don't remember if I yelled, "Stop" and it was not feasible to inform Moore of any force that was about to be used as this situation was happening so quickly. Realizing that Moore was not going to stop, I feared for my life. I raised my rifle and aimed towards the approaching vehicle. Due to the fact that the incident was happening so quickly, I did not have time to aim at any specific point other than the car in general. Moore's vehicle was coming at me at a high rate of speed and, based on the aforementioned facts, I believed Moore, at this time a dangerous fleeing felon, and was going to hit me with his vehicle as part of his attempt to escape. I fired one shot, which I believe hit the front of the vehicle. As I fired, Moore's vehicle turned aggressively to the right, went over the curb, through the grass, and onto Blackhaw Dr. At the time I fired, I believe the car was approximately 10 yards away. I did not fire a second shot because Moore's vehicle had already passed me by the time I was able to re-evaluate. There was no longer a threat to me, so I did not fire again. The vehicle then proceeded to travel south on Blackhaw Dr. at a high rate of speed. I could see all the way down Blackhaw Dr. and saw the vehicle turn right to travel westbound on Evergreen Rd.
Detective Jones reached me on the radio and inquired if I wanted them to pursue the vehicle if they found it. I advised her that I would like a marked unit with her but that the pursuit was authorized. Just after, either Detective Jones or Officer Alicea got on the radio and indicated that they came upon the vehicle crashed at the intersection of Evergreen Rd. and Shunpike Rd. (Rt. 3). Witnesses stated that Moore got out of the vehicle and ran in a westerly direction. This crash caused two occupants of the other vehicle to be transported to the hospital.
Detective Sergeant Penn remained on scene at the house. Based on the danger to the community, I left the shooting scene to get to the crash scene. It should be noted that the shooting scene was left unsecured for quite some time based on all of the circumstances and the initial lack of available officers.
Once at the crash scene, I contacted Lieutenant Buonanducci again to activate C.R.E.S.T. I also requested our drone operators to respond to assist with the search. I activated the Blue Plan due to the scope of the incident. Cromwell K-9 Officer Carlson was requested to respond to the scene for a track. Once I met with Captain Vandersloot, I informed him that my body camera was not working. I suggested to Captain Vandersloot that the track wait until C.R.E.S.T. officers arrived and to go with no less than four people. Captain Vandersloot asked if I could get an ETA for C.R.E.S.T. operators, which I could not at that time. Eventually, Captain Vandersloot made the decision to start the track without waiting for C.R.E.S.T. operators.
A short time later, a Department of Transportation employee gave information that he saw somebody hiding in the bushes just off of Route 9. I was informed shortly after that Moore was taken into custody by plainclothes DEA agents.
Once back at CPD HQ with Detective Jones, I gave her my body camera to secure in an evidence locker. I opened the back to check to see if there was a battery inserted and the battery was in there. I thought my body camera was simply broken. It then dawned on me that when I was showing Officer Jespersen how the body cameras function, I was showing him how to physically turn the unit on and off. I opened the silicone cover and discovered that my body camera's on/off switch was off. It appears that I turned off my body camera while showing Officer Jespersen and inadvertently did not turn it back on before this incident.
I could not figure it out at the time because I never turn off the power switch under the silicone cover. When my shift is over, the unit is left "on" and placed in the charger to charge and transfer data.
Car 7 is equipped with an in-car video system, but it was not active at the time of the incident. I did not turn on the in-car system because I did not believe Moore would be anywhere near my car. I did not have time to turn the system on after being told he was fleeing his residence. In addition, I am not normally assigned to Car 7 and had to switch into it at the last minute when Car 10 did not start. Therefore, it was not set up for regular patrol, which interrupted my normal routine. I was not physical injured during this incident.
Statement of Cromwell Detective Peter Pietraroia
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at approximately 1541 hours, Detective Peter Pietraroia provided a statement to detectives Brett Attmore and April Moran of the CDMCS. He stated that on the afternoon of March 16, 2020 he was contacted by Probation Officer Brad Thody. Thody had asked for his assistance in making a home visit to Samuel Moore who lived at 152 Salem Drive in Cromwell. Thody told him that he had information that Moore was in possession of three firearms. Pietraroia said that on March 17, 2020 at 900 hours he went to Moore’s residence with Thody and Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin. He stated that as they approached, Moore was coming out of his condominium. Moore seemed to notice Pietraroia’s vest marked “Police” and made a comment about the number of people present. He stated that at this time Moore went back into his residence, shut the door and could be seen peeking out at the officers through the upstairs curtain.
Detective Pietraroia stated that the officers then went back to their vehicle, and Sgt. Parsons requested the SWAT (C.R.E.S.T.) He then saw Moore run out of his door and get into a red Honda Accord. The detective then stated that Moore aggressively and quickly backed out of the parking spot and began driving toward the exit of the complex. Pietraroia next said that Parsons’ vehicle was at the intersection of Salem Drive and Blackhaw Drive, blocking one lane of traffic. He said Parsons was standing towards the front of the vehicle with a rifle aimed towards Moore’s vehicle as Moore’s vehicle was “screaming” and “barreling down” towards Parsons. Detective Pietraroia thought Moore was going to hit Sgt. Parsons. He stated he then heard one gunshot and saw Moore’s vehicle veer away from Parsons towards Evergreen Road going up over the curb. He stated that approximately three minutes later he received a report that Moore’s vehicle had been involved in an accident at the intersection of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road. Pietraroia then went to the scene of the accident. He stated he was not present when Moore was taken into custody.
Statement of Middletown Adult Probation Officer Bradford Thody
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at approximately 1545 hours, Middletown Adult Probation Officer Bradford Thody furnished a statement to a detective from the CDMCS. He stated that he was Samuel Moore’s probation officer and that Moore was on probation for Attempted Murder, Robbery in the First Degree and Carrying a Firearm Without a Permit. He stated that on March 16, 2020 he received an anonymous phone call that Moore had firearms inside of his residence at 152 Salem Drive, Cromwell. Thody said he contacted the Cromwell Police Department and asked for their assistance. Thody reported that on March 17, 2020 at approximately 1000 hours he accompanied a Cromwell detective, Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin and several Cromwell police officers to Moore’s residence in order to search the premises. Thody stated that upon arrival at Moore’s complex he called Moore to let him know he was there. He stated that he and a Cromwell police officer walked toward the front door of Moore’s residence. Thody stated that Moore appeared upset when he saw the police officers at his residence and that Moore then stated, “you got a lot of motherfuckers with you here today.” Thody stated that Moore then retreated back inside of his home and slammed the door shut.
PO Thody reported that some of the police officers retreated back inside the vehicle where they could observe the front of Moore’s residence. He stated that he was in the driver’s seat of his State issued Nissan Altima. He reported that Detective Pietraroia was in the front passenger seat and PO Valentin was in the rear seat. Thody observed Moore peeking out of the second floor windows. He said the detectives began to set up a perimeter of the area. Thody stated that Moore then ran out the front door and got inside his dark red Honda Accord. He stated that while Moore was running towards his vehicle, he was “bouncing” and holding his beltline. He stated he did not notice a weapon. Thody then observed Moore’s vehicle traveling towards the road exiting his residence. Thody reported that the detective then radioed that Moore had entered his vehicle and was leaving the scene. Thody stated he began following Moore’s vehicle from a distance, and observed a Cromwell police cruiser blocking the roadway. He also observed a police officer holding a rifle pointing towards Moore’s vehicle. Thody observed Moore’s vehicle traveling at “full speed” towards the officer and the officer’s cruiser in the road. Thody stated that he heard a gunshot but he did not see the officer firing his rifle. He stated that at the last moment, Moore’s vehicle veered right and traveled on to the curb and continued on the front lawn of the other condominium complex. Finally, Thody reported that probation officers are not allowed to carry firearms when they are performing their duties. Hence, it is the policy of the Department of Adult Probation to contact law enforcement when they perform planned searches on their clients who are on probation.
Statement of Middletown Adult Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin
On March 17, 2020 at approximately 1320 hours, Middletown Adult Probation Officer Vanessa Valentin provided a statement to the CDMCS. She reported that on March 16, 2020 Probation Officer Thody had received an anonymous tip that Samuel Moore was in possession of three firearms. She reported that Moore is on probation for an attempted murder charge which involved him shooting another individual. She stated that Moore served fourteen years in prison and was released last summer and placed on probation for five years. Valentin stated that on March 17, 2020 at approximately 900 hours, she, Probation Officer Thody, Detective Pietraroia and Sgt. Parsons mustered at the Cromwell Police Department to discuss the planned search of Moore’s residence. She stated that at approximately 0950 hours, the group accompanied by some additional Cromwell police officers, traveled to Moore’s residence at 152 Salem Drive. She stated that upon arrival, Thody called Moore and asked him to come outside. She observed Moore outside his front door waiting for them. She stated some Cromwell officers parked around the back of the building in the event that Moore decided to run. She stated that Thody, Pietraroia and she approached Moore. She stated she heard Moore say “you all have a lot of motherfuckers with you today.” She reported that Moore then retreated into his house and closed the door, and that the officers went back to their cars to reassess. She stated she saw Moore moving the curtains on the second floor, and approximately two to three minutes later, Moore left his residence through the front door. Valentin reported that Moore went directly to his red Honda Accord and immediately backed out. She stated Pietraroia then reported on the radio that Moore was on the run.
She stated that she saw Moore accelerate down Salem Road toward Blackhaw Drive. Valentin stated they followed at a safe distance and she could see that Sgt. Parsons had parked his cruiser partially blocking the roadway at the end of Salem Drive and Blackhaw Drive. Probation Officer Valentin observed Sgt. Parsons standing outside of his vehicle holding a rifle. She stated that Moore accelerated toward Sgt. Parsons and that she thought Moore was going to run him over. Valentin stated she saw and heard Parsons shoot his rifle at Moore. She reported that immediately prior to the shot being fired, Moore swerved sharply to the right and drove on to the grass on to Blackhaw Drive, then disappearing down the road. According to Valentin, it appeared that Parsons shot the front driver’s side hood area of Moore’s vehicle. She stated that Moore had come so close to Parsons that she could not believe Sgt. Parsons had not been struck by the vehicle.
C. Probationer Moore’s Statement
Moore stated that he is currently on probation for an attempted murder conviction. He stated that his probation officer, "Brad" meets with him regularly and has had made two home visits in the past. He stated that earlier this morning (03/17/2020) at approximately 9:30 am, he received a phone call from "Brad" who told him that he was going to stop by the house to conduct a home visit. He stated that "Brad" told him that he should be at his house around noon to conduct the visit. He stated that approximately fifteen (15) minutes later, he received a second call from "Brad" who told him that because he was in the neighborhood he was going to stop by in a few minutes.
Moore stated that shortly after receiving that second call, "Brad', a female probation officer and several uniformed Cromwell police officers showed up at his residence. He stated that he walked out his front door and was surprised to see that "Brad" was being accompanied by police officers. He stated that on the other home visits, "Brad" never brought police officers with him. He stated that he thought to himself that his sister must have made a complaint and that he was about to get arrested. He stated that he saw one of the uniformed police officers touching his holster or maybe adjusting his belt, and after serving more than fifteen years, he wasn't ready to go back to prison. He stated that seeing the police officer touch his gun belt, really "nerved him".
Moore continued by stating that he then went back into his house to get his wallet and car keys. He stated as he was walking back into his house, "Brad" asked where he was going. He stated that he then walked back outside and walked directly to his car. He stated that the probation officers and the uniformed officers stood there as he walked past them. He stated that he got into his car and drove off. He stated that there was no doubt he was trying to "evade arrest" and that "evading" is the crime he should be charged with. He stated that the reason why he decided to drive off and "evade arrest" was because he needed time to get his bond money together. He stated that he didn't want to stay in prison without having access to bond money.
Moore stated that as he drove off in his car, he traveled down Salem Drive (toward Blackhaw Drive). He stated that he was only traveling approximately 30 mph, and if someone in the neighborhood said he was traveling at a high rate of speed it was because they were from Cromwell and everyone drives slower there. He stated he is from the projects where everyone drives fast. He stated that as he was traveling down Salem Drive, he saw a uniformed police officer standing outside his police vehicle. He stated that the police officer was pointing a gun at him. He stated that he thought to himself what he did to have a police officer point his gun at him. He stated that as soon as he saw the police officer, he swerved onto the grass to get away. He stated that he wasn't close to the police officer and that the officer knew that. He stated that as he swerved onto the grass he heard two (2) gunshots. He estimated that he was approximately 30' away from the officer when he swerved on the grass. He stated that he did not see the officer fire at him and didn't know where the bullets went. He stated that after he heard the gunshots, he just took off and traveled over the lawn onto Blackhaw Drive.
Moore continued by stating that when he got to the intersection, the light turned green so he proceeded to travel through the light but a female operator of another car ran her "orange light" and struck his vehicle. He stated that his airbags went off and he got out of his car and got into an argument with the female about who was at fault. He stated that he then ran into the woods and was later arrested. He stated that he didn't like the way the officer used forced to arrest him. He stated that he showed the officer his hands and told him that he didn't have any weapons on him but the officer still struck him on his head.
Moore was asked if he had any guns inside his residence and stated that coming from the projects, he has access to guns but there were no guns currently inside his residence. He stated that if any guns were found inside his house, then the gun(s) would not be his. He stated that he has many people from the projects including his brother who come in and out of his house to hang out and smoke marijuana. He stated that the people that come into his residence may carry guns.
V. COLLECTION OF EVIDENCE
A. Recovery of Expended Projectile
Stretch Map 2 shows the location of evidence Exhibit #1, a Rem FC .223 expended shell casing. The shell casing seized from Salem Drive was confirmed to have been fired by Sgt. Parsons's AR-15 rifle, through analysis by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Division of Scientific Services. Sgt. Parsons's Colt IV14 Carbine, with serial #A0176169, along with the Pmag 30 round capacity magazine, containing twenty seven (27) rounds of REM PC .223 ammunition, the same as the expended shell, were seized, as exhibit #2, from the rear of Cromwell Police Cruiser #7. Cromwell Police Cruiser #7 was located at the collision scene, at the comer of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road.
B. Examination of 2009 Honda Accord
On March 17, 2020, at approximately 1408hrs, Sergeant Ralph Soda and Detective Steve Soares of the CDMCS obtained written consent to search the Maroon 2009 Honda Accord, 4 door car with CT registration, which was driven by Probationer Moore during the incident, from the registered owner of the vehicle.
On Thursday. March 19. 2020, between approximately 0930hrs and 1415hrs, CDMCS processed the vehicle. The vehicle's condition was consistent with its age. Obvious damage from the collision on the passenger side of the vehicle consisted of dents, scratches, blue paint transfer and black tire like transfer. The front and rear passenger side curtain air bags were deployed.
One bullet strike (BS#1) was identified on the front driver side of the hood. BS#1 was 6" from the driver side fender edge and 7.5" from the front grille edge, measured following the contour of the hood. Using a trajectory string placed equidistant (9.5 inches) from the top of the driver side front and rear fenders, a trajectory rod was extended from the bullet strike on the hood, across the string on the driver side, and an angle measurement was taken. An Evi-Paq protractor was used to determine the angle was approximately 73 degrees. This angle is approximate due to the fact that BS#1 was irregularly shaped, and the trajectory rod could be manipulated slightly while inserted in the opening. Trajectory analysis of BS#1 indicated the projectile originated from the driver side, penetrated the hood, struck a hose, plastic housing from a vent, the passenger side plastic molding, and finally the passenger side quarter panel. Bullet fragments were located within the engine compartment and seized as evidence exhibit #9.
The trajectory was consistent with Sgt. Parsons's statement and witness statements of him having been in a position in front of the vehicle when firing, as the vehicle began to turn to the right and drove onto the grass.
C. 911 Calls
There are no known 911 calls regarding the use of force by Sgt. Parsons during the incident on Salem Drive. However, Cromwell dispatch received two 911 calls, both at 1000hrs, reporting Moore’s automotive collision near the area of Shunpike Rd. and Evergreen Rd.
D. Radio Transmissions
Police radio transmissions regarding the incident began at 0942hrs as the officers were on their way to Mr. Moore’s residence on Salem Drive. They show that the officers arrived on Salem Drive at approximately 0953hrs. The transmissions reveal that within seconds, officers reported that Moore was outside, then went back inside and said "I ain't coming out." Officers were heard establishing their perimeter and discussing a plan. At 0957hrs, officers can be heard on the radio reporting that Moore had run outside and was fleeing toward Blackhaw Drive speeding in a red Honda Accord. At 0958hrs, one shot was reported to have been fired at the vehicle, which continued eastbound on Evergreen. At l000 hrs, officers reported the Accord was involved in a two car motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Shunpike and Evergreen, and that Moore fled the scene on foot behind 93 Evergreen. Requests for assistance were made for a K9, the State Police, and the Blue Plan was activated. At approximately 1005hrs, officers relayed a description from a witness reporting Moore was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. At approximately 1043hrs, an officer reported a DOT worker saw a person hiding in the bushes near Route 9. At approximately 1047hrs, officers are heard reporting that Moore was in custody. The transmissions ended at approximately 1215hrs.
E. Police Body & Vehicle Cameras
Cromwell detectives and members of adult probation did not have body worn cameras. CDMCS received car camera footage from Cromwell Police cruiser #7, and body worn camera footage from Cromwell Officers Brian Dean, Ryan Wobrock, Sarah Alicea, Coitin Jespersen and Sgt. Parsons.
Video from cruiser #7 and Sergeant Parsons show footage from earlier in the day and prior to the incident. There is no body cam footage from Parson’s body cam from the scene. Parsons later reported that he attempted to activate his body camera. However, he stated that it was not functional at the time. It did not record the crucial moments in which Parsons fired his weapon in Moore’s direction. It also did not record anything prior to or after the time in question relating to Mr. Moore and his conduct. Parsons believed that he had accidentally turned his body cam off earlier in the day when he was demonstrating its use to another officer.
There is however, less important body cam video. At approximately 09:56:12, while standing in the wooded area at the back side of the residence, Police Officer Dean's body camera captured the sound of a shot in the distance. Footage shows Police Officer Dean and other officers running down the hill toward Sgt. Parsons's location. However, by the time they came within viewing range, the Mr. Moore’s car had already fled the scene. The video does show Sgt. Parsons still standing on Salem Drive holding his rifle. Later, Police Officer Dean's camera footage show officers removing Probationer Moore from a cruiser and patting him down before securing him in another cruiser. After responding for backup, footage from Police Officer Dean showed Sgt. Parsons was present as Police Officer Dean captured Probationer Moore. Probationer Moore is heard calling them "chumps," and stating "I'll kill you" as he was escorted out of the woods. During this time, Moore made threats to officers about "fucking" them up "UFO style," and challenged them to grab him without their uniform on so that he could "beat the shit" out of them. He said he was running from the police for a reason, referencing his prior fifteen year incarceration.
Police Officer Wobrock's body camera showed the back deck of Probationer Moore's residence. At approximately 09:54:01, a shot was heard in the distance.
Police Officer Alicea's body camera showed her transporting Probationer Moore in her cruiser from Route 9 to the Cromwell Police Department. Police Officer Alicea's body camera capture Probationer Moore admitting to evading from the accident scene and his intent was to get onto the highway to get away.at the intersection of Shunpike Road and Evergreen Road.
F. Evidentiary Items Found at Probationer Moore’s Residence
As noted above, the primary reason for officers visiting Probationer Moore’s residence was to search for three handguns. On March 17, 2020, at approximately 1408hrs, Sergeant Ralph Soda and Detective Steve Soares of the CDMCS obtained written consent from the owner of 152 Salem Drive, where Probationer Moore had been staying, to search the residence. As later confirmed by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Scientific Services Laboratory Services, officers found a Winchester Luger 9mm bullet, seized as exhibit #3 from the couch in the living room, a Beretta .22 caliber pistol, model #M922 with serial #BM027348, seized as evidence exhibit #4 in the north closet of the south bedroom along with the Beretta’s magazine, containing eleven rounds of ammunition, seized as exhibit #5, a portable scale and various size plastic bags, seized as exhibit #6 from within the CVS bag on top of the dresser of the south bedroom. Five bags of suspected Marijuana, totaling 155 grams, were seized as exhibit #7 from the south bedroom.
G. Personnel Record of Sgt. Ryan Parsons
Sgt. Ryan Parsons has been continuously employed by the Cromwell Police Department since 2007. He had no substantiated complaints against him. He has not been employed by any other law enforcement agency. He was up to date on all trainings related to use of deadly force and defensive tactics. He also received supplemental training in the use of Deadly Force with the Capital Region Emergency Response Team which he had been a member of since 2012. Parsons was a team leader for CREST, and in 2019, completed a SWAT Team Leader Development Course.
Connecticut law specifically delineates the circumstances when an officer may justifiably use deadly force in the course of his/her duties.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-22(c) provides as follows:
A Peace Officer ... is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person for the purposes specified in Subsection (b) of this section only when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to: (1) Defend himself or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or (2) Effect an arrest or prevent the escape from custody of a person whom he reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit a felony which involved the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury and if, where feasible, he has given warning of his intent to use deadly physical force.
Caselaw has further clarified when the use of deadly force by an officer is permissible under Connecticut General Statute Sect. 53-22. In State v. Prioleau, 235 Conn 274 (1995), the court held that under Connecticut General Statute Section 53a-22(c)(1), a police officer may use deadly force when he reasonably believes the use of such force is necessary to defend himself or another from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.The test is both subjective and objective. First, the officer must believe that the use of deadly force is necessary to defend himself or another from the imminent use of deadly physical force. Second, that belief must be objectively reasonable.
The test is not whether it was in fact necessary for the officer to use deadly physical force in order to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force. The test is whether the officer believed such to be the case, and whether such belief was objectively reasonable, based on the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time the decision to use deadly force was made. See, State v. Silveira, 198 Conn 454 (1986); State v. Adams, 52 Conn. App. 643 (1999).
The United States Supreme Court explained this test in detail in a civil rights action:
The “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene rather than the 20/20 vision of hindsight. . . The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance to the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments---in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving---about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 109 S. CT 1865, 104 L. Ed. 2d 443 (1989).
CGS 14-283a further clarifies and limits an officer’s ability to use deadly force when such force is directed at a suspect in a fleeing vehicle and provides:
(d) No police officer shall intentionally position his or her body in front of a fleeing motor vehicle, unless such action is a tactic approved by the law enforcement unit that employs such police officer.
The conclusion reached in this report has been based upon the totality of the investigation and the law. In any investigation, and this case is no exception, there will be factual discrepancies. Often times, witnesses differ as to what has transpired, especially in a chaotic and fast moving scene. A review of the evidence reveals the following:
On March 16, 2020, Samuel Moore’s Probation Officer Thody received an anonymous tip that Moore was in possession of three firearms. Due to the seriousness of Mr. Moore’s criminal record and the allegations, the Office of Adult Probation requested the assistance of the Cromwell Police Department in conducting a home visit. A meeting was held on the morning of March 17, 2020 at approximately 0900 with members of the Cromwell Police Department and members of the Office of Adult Probation to exchange information regarding the planned home visit to Mr. Moore’s residence. Officers were provided with information regarding Mr. Moore’s history of violence, alleged possession of three weapons and threatening comments to police. At approximately 0955 hours, Probation Officer Thody called Mr. Moore on the phone and asked him to come out of his residence. Several officers were stationed outside of Moore’s residence to assist Probation if necessary. Sgt. Ryan Parsons parked his police vehicle down the street from the Moore residence in a manner to partially block the intersection from all traffic exiting or entering the intersection. Mr. Moore exited his residence and briefly spoke with his Probation Officer. Upon seeing the police, and in direct contradiction to instructions, Mr. Moore went back into his house. At this point, believing that Moore was about to barricade himself inside of his home, Sgt. Parsons called the CCRC squad to assist in what he anticipated to be an upcoming standoff by Moore.
Mr. Moore suddenly exited his residence, entered his car and drove away fleeing in his Honda. Witnesses reported that Moore was driving at an extremely high rate of speed and was revving his engine as he drove directly at Sgt. Parsons who at that point was located outside of, but in proximity, to his police vehicle. When Moore was approximately 30 feet from Sgt. Parsons, in order to avoid being run over, Parsons fired off one shot at the speeding car. Moore then veered off and drove up on the lawn to avoid the blocked roadway and escape. Parsons justifiably believed that Moore was about to strike him with his car and fired his weapon in an effort to prevent Moore from running him over. Both Probation Officers Thody and Valentin support this position and reported that as Moore approached Parsons, he was headed right at him and was traveling at a very high rate of speed. This is confirmed by a civilian witness who reported that Parsons would have been struck by Moore’s car, which was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed, if Parsons had not fired his weapon. Moore was then involved in an accident with a civilian vehicle and fled from the accident scene. Moore was located a short time later hiding in the woods.
In a search of Moore’s residence after his arrest, Police discovered various contraband including a .22 pistol, ammo, and narcotics.
Based upon the foregoing factual findings, Sgt. Parsons was both objectively and subjectively justified in his use of deadly physical force on the date and time in question. Parsons had positioned himself and his vehicle in a manner to block the street from vehicular traffic to prevent civilian intrusion in a potentially dangerous situation where a dangerous and known felon who was potentially in possession of three firearms, was about to be confronted by probation and law enforcement officials. Sgt. Parson had no way of knowing that Moore would attempt to flee in his car down the roadway. This is further confirmed by Sgt. Parsons’ request for assistance from the CCRC to aid in what he believed to be an evolving scene where Moore had barricaded himself inside of his residence. It should also be noted that Parsons fired only one shot when he felt that his life was in danger and did not fire, as he could have done, again at the vehicle as it fled the scene. Hence, Parsons did not “intentionally position” his “body in front of a fleeing motor vehicle” and CGS 14-283a is inapplicable. However, as a matter of policy, the importance of the use of body cameras cannot be overstated, and important evidence was lost by the failure of Parsons’ camera to record the scene. Law enforcement officers should and must receive constant instruction and be vigilant in always insuring that their body cameras are fully charged and operational.
Based upon the foregoing, there will be no further action by the Division of Criminal Justice.
Judicial District of Waterbury
400 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
Dated at Waterbury, Connecticut on this 29th day of January, 2021.