Sunday, January 07, 2007

Attack of the Connecticut Secret Police

POLITICS
State Called Man `Threat'
January 6, 2007
By MARK PAZNIOKAS, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

Gov. M. Jodi Rell's security detail only watched when a woman left the sidewalk and quickly walked toward Rell during the inaugural parade Wednesday. The woman shook Rell's hand and melted into the crowd.

But a slightly built man who jumped off a mountain bike and ran into the parade route ahead of Rell was intercepted by a state trooper and arrested by a Hartford police officer.

One difference in the way the two incursions were handled: A state police intelligence unit had previously identified the man, Ken Krayeske, as a political activist and potential threat.

A Hartford police report released Friday by Krayeske says that state police had given them photographs of activists who might be "possible threats" to Rell, including Krayeske, a free-lance journalist and anti-war protester who managed the Green Party's gubernatorial campaign.

His lawyer says Krayeske apparently came to the attention of state police by heckling Rell during a campaign stop in Glastonbury last year over her refusal to debate his candidate, Clifford Thornton.

"Are there little circles of law-enforcement officers who have lists of who is naughty and who is nice?" asked Krayeske's lawyer, Norm Pattis. "What is the criteria for inclusion?"

Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the state police, declined to comment on how Krayeske came to the attention of the state police intelligence unit or a regional police clearinghouse mentioned in the report, the Connecticut Intelligence Center.

"We share intelligence. We share information," Vance said.

Nancy Mulroy, a Hartford police spokeswoman, played down the list, saying Krayeske was arrested for his actions.

"List or no list, if you rush off a bike and start charging toward the governor during a processional parade, you are going to be arrested," Mulroy said. "In this day and age, when security is a very serious matter, you cannot expect to act like that and not have to face the consequences. Our job was to protect the governor, and we took it seriously."

But one witness to the arrest, Eliot Streim, contradicted the police account.

Streim, a Hartford lawyer who was watching the parade with a colleague, said police did not intercept Krayeske as he ran into the parade route. On the contrary, Krayeske photographed the governor without incident and was detained by police only after Rell had passed by, Streim said.

Krayeske, 34, of Hartford was charged with breach of peace and interfering with a police officer. He said he has a record of three previous arrests involving acts of civil disobedience protesting the war in Iraq and the launching of a nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter.

"I'm a pacifist. I see violence as the problem," Krayeske said. "I decry violence, and I never would hurt anybody."

Krayeske acknowledged, however, he also is passionate about his beliefs.

During the gubernatorial campaign, he confronted Rell's campaign staff at her headquarters and heatedly complained about her refusal to debate Thornton. He also questioned Rell at a campaign stop in Windsor about the debates, though reporters who were present recalled nothing threatening about his demeanor.

More recently, he ridiculed Rell on two websites.

"Hey, tickets to see the Fairy Godmother turn herself into Cinderella are only $150," he wrote this week.

Krayeske, a freelance writer and photographer, said his only intent when he ran into the parade route was to photograph her. He was carrying a nylon bag with photo equipment.

Hartford Det. Jeff Antuna wrote in his report that Krayeske drew his attention by rapidly riding up to the parade route near Bushnell Park, dumping his bike and running to a position in front of Rell.

"I immediately recognized the accused as Kenneth Krayeske from the photograph provided by the state police," Antuna wrote.

A state police detective intercepted Krayeske. When Antuna grabbed his arm, police said, Krayeske pulled away.

Courant staff writers Matt Burgard, Edmund H. Mahony and Tracy Gordon Fox contributed to this story. Visit courant.com to read the Hartford Police Department's incident report on the arrest of Kenneth Krayeske.

* * * *

Click Here for pictures and more

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Hit Counter