Internal Affairs report cites 17 Bridgeport cops for misconduct

March 6, 2019

BRIDGEPORT - The response by 46 city police officers to a “chaotic” situation after a noise complaint about a birthday/pre-Halloween party in 2017 has resulting in a finding that five officers and a civilian detention officer used excessive force and that 10 officers were not truthful about their actions, an internal police investigation has found.

In all, the report finds Bridgeport Police Department rule violations and possible criminal activity by 17 police officers and two civilian detention officers.

The 405-page report by the city’s Office of Internal Affairs was released to Hearst Connecticut Media on Wednesday, following a Freedom of Information request in January.

One of the officers accused in the report of using excessive force, Thomas Lattanzio, killed himself in Seaside Park in December 2017 while under investigation.

Sgt. Mark Belinkie, who killed himself in his Milford home on Saturday, was accused in the report of failing to supervise other officers involved in the incident and of failing to provide medical attention in the Police Department’s booking area to a man arrested in the incident.

In addition to Lattanzio, the report accuses Sgt. Paul Scillia, detention officer Jose Figueroa and officers Michael Stanitis, Daniel Faroni and Joseph Cruz of using excessive force. The report states that Scillia, Stanitis, Lattanzio, Cruz, Adam Szeps, Detective Kenneth Fortes and officers Douglas Bepko, Joseph Pires, Linet Castillo and Natalie McLaughlin were not truthful in the information they provided on the incident.

Scillia, Lt. Robert Sapiro and Belinkie failed to supervise other officers under their command; Szeps, Belinkie and officer Steven Silva failed to provide medical attention and Detective Fortes and officer Pires provided inaccurate reporting of the incident, according to the report.

It recommends the officers be referred to the Board of Police Commission and Chief Armando Perez for disciplinary action.