NATIONAL NEWS

Connecticut officer suspended for 5 days after video shows him punching motorist while off duty

Mar 13, 2024, 8:55 AM | Updated: 11:26 am

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut police officer caught on camera punching a motorist who honked at him got suspended for five days and charged with assault but has been allowed to keep his job.

Dashcam video obtained by WTIC-TV, FOX 61, through a freedom of information request shows Meriden Police Cpl. Allen Ganter punching the driver in the face through the driver’s side window of his car after the two argued on Dec. 8.

The officer was off duty, out of uniform and driving his personal vehicle at the time.

The argument began after the motorist, Thomas Brocuglio, honked his horn when the officer didn’t turn right at a red light.

Ganter got out of his car, walked to Brocuglio’s window, displayed his badge and argued that a right turn on red wasn’t allowed at the intersection in Rocky Hill, even though there was no sign indicating that.

Video from a dashcam in Brocuglio’s work vehicle shows Ganter threatening to write Brocuglio a ticket. Brocuglio accuses the officer of having been distracted on his phone and asks for his badge number, just before Ganter punches him.

“You are going to get arrested for assaulting a civilian,” Brocuglio says.

Ganter was charged with third-degree assault and breach of peace. Court records show he was placed in a probation program and is due back in court next January.

Ganter was suspended for five days without pay for violating the department’s rules of conduct, Meriden Police said in a statement. He also is required to attend mandatory de-escalation training for three years and has been removed as a school resource officer from a local middle school.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment at a phone number listed under Ganter’s name.

Ganter took full responsibility for his actions, according to an internal affairs investigative report that Meriden Police sent to the AP in response to a request for comment.

“It was just one of those, you know, moments of just plain stupidity on my part,” he told the investigating officer, according to the report.

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Connecticut officer suspended for 5 days after video shows him punching motorist while off duty