Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Continued Connecticut State Police Follies

From WFSB, Channel 3

Complaint Sparks Investigation Of Trooper
School Fight Leads To Woman's Arrest

POSTED: 5:48 pm EST December 11, 2008
UPDATED: 8:24 pm EST December 11, 2008

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. -- State police are looking into a trooper who has been accused of launching his own investigation into an assault after getting a complaint from his neighbor.

The dispute started between two students at Webb Elementary School in Wethersfield, police said. By the time it was over, they said, the mother of one of the students had been arrested, and a state trooper was under investigation for possibly violating protocol.

The Channel 3 I-Team received a copy of the 911 call made by the woman, Sharon Gentino, on Dec. 4. She said in the call that Trooper Justin Lanati had shown up at her Wethersfield home to ask about a schoolyard fight her son was involved in.

Connecticut State Police confirmed to the I-Team that Lanati was on duty at the end of his scheduled shift. He's assigned to Troop H in Hartford.

It's unclear if anyone approved the trooper investigating the fight.

“You know, I would have heard from the principal if this was a real issue, or the nurse,” Gentino said during the call. “I was just standing there talking to the nurse, she would have told me.”

“You need to keep an eye on your child,” Lanati said on the tape.

The I-Team learned that the trooper heard about the fight from his neighbor, who is the parent of the other child involved.

About a minute into the 911 call, the Wethersfield police dispatcher asked to speak with Lanati.

When the dispatcher asked if there was a problem at the residence, Lanati said, “No, it started off as a breach/assault that happened at the Webb school, and this lady, she's the mom, so far she hasn't provided any ID whatsoever, so either I'll take it as an interfering and she can come to the troop with me or you guys can investigate the assault separately.”

The I-Team learned that Lanati lives about a quarter of a mile from the school. Sources said they believe the other child’s parent called Lanati personally rather than report the assault to Wethersfield police.

Wethersfield officers said they first heard about the incident from Lanati.

Representatives from several local police departments contacted by the I-Team all agreed that standard protocol would be for Wethersfield police to investigate the possible assault themselves.

After Gentino asked, “What are you doing wandering around my house?” on the tape, Lanati said, “She's probably going to come to the barracks with me.”

Moments later the line goes dead on the recording. Wethersfield officers said Gentino had already been handcuffed and was in the trooper's car by the time they arrived. They said she was charged with interfering with police and breach of peace.

Gentino is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Monday.

The I-Team spoke with Gentino by phone, but she said her lawyer advised her not to comment.

State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance declined to discuss specifics, but said an internal affairs investigation has been opened.

“As a result of his investigation, an arrest did take place,” Vance said. “The arrested person has made a complaint against the trooper's handling of that case. Whenever that occurs, a complaint is filed; it is immediately forwarded to the internal affairs unit, who independently handles that investigation.”

State police won't release further details about the complaint. They did note that it is legal for troopers to make arrests anywhere in the state if they believe a crime has been committed.

But Wethersfield Police Chief James Cetran said in all his years on the job, he's never seen a situation like this one. The department still has not officially been notified of the fight at the school, he said.

“We don't have any open criminal investigations right now,” Wethersfield Police Lt. Andrew Power said. “We're waiting to hear from state police on whether there were any protocol issues.”

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[click here] for:

The Connecticut State Trooper Gene Pool?


Blogger Mrs. Jodoin said...

Did you know that this Troopers wife was found dead in the Niantic River on Oct. 16, Any investigations into that??

Tue Nov 04, 02:53:00 PM 2014  
Blogger The_SRV said...

Please contact me. stevengerickson at

Eight Six Zero Five Seven Four Zero Six Ninety-Five

Thu Nov 06, 01:35:00 AM 2014  

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