CT Freedom of Information case 2013-775
ISAAC AVILUCEA, ANDY THIBAULT, REGISTER CITIZEN V. CT STATE POLICE
Hearing conducted Wednesday, July 30, 2014 in Hartford
Around the time of a police-involved shooting at the Interlaken Inn in Salisbury, a state police source said: “They are trying to keep a lid on this.”
A state police report was available the night of the incident, Nov. 16, 2013.
Information about the case was requested multiple times by The Register Citizen beginning on Nov. 22, 2013.
State police finally produced the report sometime after April 10, 2014.
Connecticut’s FOI law demands prompt production of documents. Generally, prompt means immediately unless the public agency can demonstrate that production of the public records would interfere with the normal course of business.
Following is one of the documents suppressed today by hearing officer Matthew Streeter and coverage of the hearing by news outlets including The Connecticut Network and ABC affiliate WTNH Channel 8.
Other highlights of the hearing include State Police Lt. Paul Vance's denial under oath that he ever claimed to be the decider of what prompt means under the FOI law.
FS13-00716978 Domestic arrest / discharge of a firearm Salisbury 11/16/2013, 2229 hours
On the above date and time, Troop B personnel were dispatched to 74 Interlaken Rd in Salisbury for a report of a domestic between husband and wife. Dispatch advised the husband is an off-duty Sergeant for Newtown P.D. and a firearm was accidentally discharged in the hotel room. Upon arrival, it was determined through the investigation that Johnny Cole (DOB: redacted by Cool Justice) and his wife Ellen Cole (DOB: redacted by Cool Justice) were at the Interlaken Inn on a retreat with several other Newtown Officers and their spouses. A verbal argument ensued after a comment made by Ellen Cole. While in their hotel room, Johnny was packing his belongings to leave for the night and in so placed his loaded service pistol on the bed to be packed. While Johnny was packing, Ellen picked up the pistol and fired one round in the opposite direction of Johnny Cole into the wall leading into the bathroom. The round exited into the bathroom and proceeded into the bathroom ceiling. The floor is separated by concrete flooring and did not penetrate the second floor upon investigating. Subsequent to the investigation Ellen Cole was arrested and charged with Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm, Criminal Mischief third degree and Disorderly Conduct. Interlaken Inn night manager on scene and aware of the incident. Newtown Sgt. David Kullgren of Newtown P.D. was on scene and was present. Capt. Rios of Newtown P.D. was notified of the incident and will handle a department inquiry as well.