A recent drunk driving arrest in Norwalk has generated a significant amount of news coverage here in Connecticut over the course of the last week due to its surrounding circumstances and, perhaps more significantly, its questions of possible police misconduct.
According to reports, an officer from the Norwalk Police Department observed a car missing a tire traveling at a high rate of speed and swerving at around 1 a.m. last Thursday. Based on these observations, the officer pulled the vehicle over and before exiting her vehicle, saw the driver placing items into the back of the car.
During the initial conversation, the officer noted that the driver bore certain telltale signs of intoxication, including slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. This led her to ask the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed.
Problems appeared to have arisen when the officer went to place the driver under arrest for driving under the influence, as he allegedly adopted a fighting stance and refused to be handcuffed.
While other officers who arrived at the scene sought to restrain the driver, they were unable to do so. In fact, the driver's physical resistance was allegedly so great that officers not only used a Taser on him two separate times, but also punched him in the face.
Once subdued, the driver, later identified as a local high school football coach, was taken to the hospital for treatment and then to jail. He was ultimately charged with DUI, assaulting an officer, interfering with an officer, and possession of drug paraphernalia (two syringes, a marijuana grinder and a container with marijuana residue were found in the car).
The driver was eventually freed after posting a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court today.
Understandably, the attorney representing the driver, whose face was swollen and bruised after the encounter, is looking for answers as to what transpired during the traffic stop.
"This was a routine traffic stop that was proceeding peacefully and escalated through no fault of [the driver]," he said. "He was savagely beaten and we intend on finding out who was responsible for this assault and why no one intervened."
Stay tuned for developments ...
If you have been arrested on drunk driving charges, it's imperative to speak with an experienced legal professional who can examine the circumstances of your arrest to uncover any instances of improper police procedure, and help ensure the protection of your rights and your future.
Source: The Darien Times, "Darien High football coach arrested on DUI, police assault charges," Melvin Mason, Oct. 31, 2013