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Judge Places Restraining Order On Stratton; Did He “Punch” Or “Push” His Romantic Partner?

by Paul Bass | Aug 13, 2014 2:13 pm

(40) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Paul Bass Photo Prominent attorney and former city Alder Michael Stratton Wednesday was ordered to surrender any firearms he owns and to avoid “assaulting” or “threatening” his romantic partner, as new details—and denials—emerged about the incident that set the case in motion.

The new details raise a question: Did Stratton “punch” his partner in the lobby of the Kelly House apartments in the early morning hours of June 13, as the state alleges? Or did he merely “push” her shoulder and refrain from hitting back when she subsequently bloodied him, as Stratton insisted Wednesday?

Both sides argue that a surveillance video—at this point absent from the public record—proves their case.

Stratton, who’s 49, made his first appearance in the case, in Room F on the third floor of the Elm Street courthouse, on charges of third-degree assault and breach of peace. Police had arrested him Tuesday after he turned himself in at 1 Union Ave.—a day after his prominent personal-injury law firm announced that he was resigning as a partner.

Stratton had intended to plead not guilty Tuesday. He never got the chance. Instead, Judge Jane Grossman issued an order protection against Stratton that he “surrender of transfer all firearms and ammunition” and “not assault , threaten, abuse, harass, follow, interfere with, or stalk” a 20-year-old woman identified as his “intimate cohabitant.”

“You know who this person is?” the judge (pictured) asked Stratton.

“I live with her,” he responded.

Then the judge set a September court date for him to respond to the charges. Stratton said afterwards that he plans to plead not guilty at that point. He also said he plans to file a “malicious prosecution” lawsuit against the state to recoup an estimated $7 million that he claimed this incident has caused him. He also said the only weapon he owns is a taser, which he promised to surrender.

“This is a layup,” Stratton said of his potential suit, which he’ll have to wait to file until he can get his criminal charges dismissed. “I’m not here to be a gold digger.” But the state “brought a case” with no merit, he argued, a case that “caused me to lose my law firm. It’s a $7 million deal.” He calculated that that figure after accounting for what he called a generous severance payment he received from the firm, he said.

“Closed-Fisted” “Punch”?

Stratton based his malicious prosecution argument on details in the arrest warrant affidavit, which was made public Wednesday.

The affidavit was written by Officer Jason T. Jackson. The first part describes the events of June 13, when he and another officer were called to the Kelly House between midnight and 12:30 a.m. (Previously police had reported that the incident took place a little more than an hour later.)

The officers encountered Stratton in the lobby with a 20-year-old woman with whom he had been living in the Kelly House, which is at 196 Crown St. at the corner of Temple. At the time, Stratton was in his sixth month as a city alder representing the Prospect Hill neighborhood. (He has since resigned the seat, citing family concerns.)

Stratton told police that his partner has repeatedly punched him in the face; his lip was bleeding. His partner told the police the same story. (She told the same story later that day to the Independent, as well.)

The report quotes the partner as stating that the couple had “had some drinks,” then hit the Owl Shop on College Street. “While at the Owl Shop someone said something to Stratton which got him upset so he stood outside. [The partner] said they decided to go home and they began to argue. She said that when they got back to 196 Crown Street he was threatening to break up with her. She said that she did not want him to leave so she grabbed him and in doing so ripped his shirt.”

The file released Wednesday includes a victim’s statement Stratton handwrote that night. It describes how the fight began in the lobby, then continued in the elevator upstairs.

“She said, ‘You think I’m a dumb black girl from Bridgeport.’ I said, ‘No I actually love you but you can’t act like this.’” He wrote that he had taken out a two-month sublease on the apartment “to see if the relationship worked. The age difference was clearly a problem. But I did care for her. She struck me in the room and tried to keep me there. I fought to get out. She punched/kicked. I yelled.” He returned to he elevator, called 911, went downstairs along with her to greet the cops.

That night the officers arrested the girlfriend on assault and breach of peace charges. They did not charge Stratton.

For days after that incident, rank-and-file cops spread a story that two officers had gone upstairs to the couple’s apartment, saw a small amount of marijuana, and failed to write a report about it. Rumors circulated of a cover-up. In the face of the rumors, Police Chief Dean Esserman ordered an internal investigation into the officers’ conduct; the investigation ended with the chief ordering two cops to undergo retraining because they hadn’t filed a written report. The amount of marijuana found in the room was reported to be “very small.”

In the course of the investigation, officers reviewed surveillance video from the Kelly House lobby. That is the subject of the second part of Officer Jackson’s affidavit.

Jackson wrote that the video shows the couple “stop[ping] at the door of the elevator. Stratton then punches [the partner], closed fisted, on her left side. Stratton hits her, but she does not move. It should be known that the video does not have sound, but it does appear that Stratton is yelling at [her]. Stratton then throws a punch with his right hand, closed fisted, but does not hit [her]. He stops his hand right before it makes contact with [her]. After that Stratton then pushes [her], with his right hand, in her left should forcing her body to move to the right of the screen. There is a short period where Stratton appears to be arguing with [her] about something. He then grabs at [her] bag with his left hand trying to take it from her. Stratton pulls the bag towards him, but cannot get [her] to let go of it. As he pulls at the bag [she] won’t let go and she is swung to the left side of the lobby. At this point [she] begins to fight back and punches Stratton in the face closed fisted. After [she] hits Stratton in his face he walks around the lobby of the building for a few seconds holds his upper lip ...”

The affidavit notes that the woman “never stated that Stratton had hit her.”

Assistant State’s Attorney David Strollo reviewed the videotape, then applied for the warrant to arrest Stratton. Judge Anthony Avallone signed the warrant on July 2. Rather than go looking for him, police waited for Stratton to turn himself in, which he did this Tuesday morning—determined to fight back.

An Open-Handed “Push”?

Outside the courtroom Wednesday, Stratton said he had viewed the video for the first time the afternoon before at the office of his attorney, Alphonse J. Balzano of the firm Balzano & Tropiano. (“It’s an honor and a privilege to represent Mr. Stratton. He is one of the most benevolent people I know; everyone I know in the legal community looks up to this guy,” Balzano made a point of telling a reporter.)

Looking over the warrant for the first time, Stratton called it packed with lies.

He never “punched” his partner, he said. He never closed his fist, he said. And he noted that the affidavit notes that his partner was never moved from her position when he supposedly hit her.

“If I hit somebody with a closed fist,” he remarked, “they’re going to move.”

He acknowledged that, yes, he made contact with her before she hit him. They were arguing, he said. He wanted to get the keys to his car show he could leave. The keys were in her pocketbook. She refused to hand them over, he said. So he reached for the pocketbook.

“I’m then seen [on the video] touching and pushing her on the shoulder twice,” Stratton said, demonstrating several times with a firm open-handed shove to a reporter’s shoulder (a demonstration he repeated for a courthouse lawyer in the hallway later in the morning).

“There’s a tug of war. She wins the tug of war. I step back. There’s no further contact.”

Yes, he said, he made the “first physical contact—in an effort to say, ‘Give me my keys.’ She doesn’t go backwards. It’s not a hard push or shove.” When she subsequently punched him hard, repeatedly, in the face, “I don’t respond.”

Reviewing the affidavit, Stratton and attorney Balzano then made his case for a malicious prosecution suit: The authorities knew there was no basis to charge him with either breach of peace or third-degree assault. The former charge requires that it occur in a public place, they said—and, they argued, the hallways of a private apartment building with no one else in it is a private place. The latter charge requires intent to hurt as well as evidence of physical injury, they continued—the state never had evidence of the woman being injured.

“There certainly wasn’t an intent to cause injury,” Stratton argued. “The wasn’t an injury. It’s like Rihanna and Bobby Brown. You have to show a black eye, a broken nose.” (Prosecutor Strollo has declined comment on the case. His boss, New Haven State’s Attorney Michael Dearington, said his office doesn’t comment on pending cases.)

Sec. 53a-61 of the Connecticut General Statutes defines third-degree assault this way: “(a) A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when: (1) With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or (2) he recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person; or (3) with criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon, a dangerous instrument or an electronic defense weapon.”

Elsewhere in the state statutes, “physical injury” is defined this way: “‘Physical injury’ means impairment of physical condition or pain.”

Meanwhile, Stratton vowed, he will file a motion to have the case dismissed—and then, he said, proceed to making the state pay.


An earlier version of this story follows:

Thomas MacMillan File Photo Michael Stratton emerged from the police lock-up Tuesday afternoon determined to fight back against domestic-violence charges—by pleading not guilty and perhaps by filing a malicious prosecution lawsuit.

He didn’t enjoy spending hours in a cell with “a hundred flies on a piece of balogna in the toilet” while waiting to post bond after police arrested him, he told the Independent.

But one way he no longer plans to fight back: He no longer plans to mount a campaign for mayor next year, he said.

“Once I got perspective on it, I’m not running for mayor. I’m not running for dogcatcher. New Haven has to wake up and pay attention to people who try to do good things for it,” he said.

He announced that he has formed a new law firm, in the meantime. On Monday, he resigned as partner in the prominent law firm Stratton Faxon.

Stratton, a former city alder representing the Prospect Hill neighborhood, surrendered to police for arrest on a domestic-violence charge Tuesday, a day after resigning his post as a partner in one of the state’s most prominent plaintiffs’ law firm.

Stratton, who’s 48, had been wanted since July 2, when police issued a warrant for his arrest on misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace in connection with an argument he had with his girlfriend on June 13 at the Kelly House apartments.

Without making prior arrangements with the police, Stratton showed up alone at the front desk at police headquarters alone Tuesday. He said he arrived at 7:15 a.m. He told the sergeant on duty that he had a warrant out for him, according to Assistant Police Chief Al Vazquez. He was subsequently arrested.

He was then placed in the police lock-up and held on $2,500 bond.

Like others generally arrested at the time he was, Stratton was too late to make it to arraignment, and an earlier release, Tuesday. His arraignment is expected to take place Wednesday.

Maureen Keegan, the presiding judge at the state courthouse, told the Independent that marshals came to her after 11 a.m. Tuesday to see if they could bring Stratton in to be arraigned, as a special case. She said no. “I have a standing order,” she said: She doesn’t process any new arraignments after 10 a.m. on Mondays through Thursday (11 a.m. on Fridays). She said she refused to make an exception in this case.

Bail bondsman “Big Steve” Tracey arrived at the lock-up around 11 a.m., Stratton said. But Stratton wasn’t able to post bond and be processed until 1:30, he said.

“I’m ready to go. Big Steve was there. I’m ready to do the paperwork. “I’m in the cell. I’ve got a hundred flies on a piece of balogna in the toilet.”

Upon his release, he went home to a new apartment he’s renting in the Prospect Hill neighborhood. Soon after arrival, he was served with divorce papers, he said.

And “my law firm dissolved yesterday. I’m a free man,” Stratton declared. “I don’t have the same sense of doom when life changes. I think it’s an opportunity.”

Arraignment—& Lawsuit?—Loom

Police originally went to the Kelly House, on Temple Street, at 1:41 a.m. on June 13 in response to a domestic violence call. Stratton had been in an argument with a 20-year-old woman with whom he was living at the apartment building. He said the woman repeatedly hit him after he told her he was breaking off the relationship; she subsequently told the Independent the same story. Police arrested her that night.

For more than a week following the arrest, the police rank-and-file were abuzz with rumors that officers at the scene had gone into the couple’s apartment, noticed marijuana present, and filed no report about it. Those rumors prompted Chief Dean Esserman to order an internal investigation into the officers’ conduct that night.

In the course of the investigation, police reviewed video surveillance footage from the Kelly House. They said the video showed Stratton repeatedly striking the woman. Based on viewing that footage, Assistant State’s Attorney David Strollo applied for the arrest warrant, which a judge, former state Sen. Anthony Avallone, signed.

The internal police investigation ended with the chief ordering two cops to undergo retraining for their handling of the response, because they hadn’t filed a written report. The amount of marijuana found in the room was reported to be “very small.”

“Feel bad for responding police. Bogus reprimand for not giving me a $75 ticket for having half a joint in the sublet,” Stratton wrote on his Twitter feed on July 13. “New rule:smoke it all.”

He also wrote, in reference to his case: “I Am in full trial lawyer fight mode. It’s not in me to back down.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Stratton said he planned to review the surveillance video for the first time, at his lawyer’s office. He declined to name the lawyer.

Based on that video, he will decided whether or not to file a “malicious prosecution” suit based on his arrest. In either case, he plans to plead not guilty in his criminal case, he said.

He said his arrest warrant left out key exculpatory information about his case: “It doesn’t mention the witnesses on the fourth floor who saw me receiving punches and giving none. It doesn’t mention my calling 911 twice. No mention of [his girlfriend] saying at no time did I strike her. It doesn’t mention that I was bleeding as I came off the elevator.”

Thomas MacMillan File Photo

“True Stratton” Formed

Whether or not he files that suit, Stratton intends to continue filing suits on behalf of other people, he said.

On Monday his employer, Stratton Faxon Trial Lawyers LLC, based at 59 Elm St. in downtown New Haven, announced that it has a new name: the Faxon Law Group Trial Lawyers.

“He hasn’t left the firm. His role here has changed,” the firm’s main partner, Joel Faxon, told the Independent Tuesday.

Stratton will continue trying cases, Faxon said. “That’s what he does. He’s very good.” But rather than a partner, he will work for the firm “of counsel” so that he can concentrate more on his political activities, according to Faxon.

“He has flexibility” this way, Faxon said. “This [running the firm as a partner] requires full-time effort.”

Stratton and Faxon have worked together since 1994, originally at the Birdgeport firm of Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder. They started their own firm in 2003, building one of the most successful practices in the state focused on multimillion-dollar wrongful death and catastrophic injury lawsuits. It has also sponsored New Haven’s annual labor day road race.

Stratton told the Independent that he has formed a new firm, called True Stratton, which will specialize in trial work. He said he’s scouting for a space in New York City to open a satellite office. He will also work out of his old 59 Elm St. office in New Haven, he said.

“They gave me a very generous buyout package,” he said of this old law firm. “I don’t have to work anymore. But I’m going to do more public-interest work and personal injury cases. When somebody’s case come sup for trial, and they don’t feel they have the skills or time to devote to it, they hand it off to me. That’s what I’m good at.”

 

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posted by: Brutus2011 on August 12, 2014  12:31pm

to Mr. Bass:

Re: the mstratton debacle

You and the NHI need to do some investigative reporting into the financial mismanagement of education here in New Haven.

There is a compelling story here that if revealed will shock the nation and help the most vulnerable among us.

You can start by not censoring this post.

posted by: JustAnotherTaxPayer on August 12, 2014  12:47pm

Et tu Brutus. Fantastic suggestion about trying to really examine all the waste and fraud in the NH BOE funds. The money handed to them from not only the taxpayers of New Haven, but the state funds from all of Connecticut’s Taxpayers, and the Federal Dollars sent their way via the pile of money ponied up every year by all the taxpayers of this country. Sad, but I don’t think the NHI has the resources to tackle a job this big, nor a true understanding of how every dollar is supposed to be spent, and how it is misspent or stolen.

posted by: CityofElms on August 12, 2014  12:51pm

I second that… there must be some type of investigation into the financial MISmanagement by the BOE and Elected officials in our lovely Elm City.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on August 12, 2014  12:57pm

To: Brutus2011

Re: Your 1:31pm Post

I try to avoid making comments about post with which I mainly agree. I am violating that practice herein.

Remove the word “financial” from your statement (thereby suggesting a COMPREHENSIVE investigation), and you will have made a more perfect suggestion.  In my humble opininon, of course.

posted by: Anderson Scooper on August 12, 2014  1:18pm

One would hope that Mike left the firm to get his personal life together. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I, for one, will not be supporting a Stratton run for Mayor next year. Way too much drama, for what needs to be a serious enterprise.

posted by: connecticutcontrarian on August 12, 2014  1:22pm

Interesting that all of the above posts focus on allegations of BOE mismanagement rather than addressing the focus of the story.

Do people really believe that city leaders set up Stratton a la Marion Barry in DC as some sort of smoke screen? Or is video of him repeatedly striking his girlfriend simply a private matter that doesn’t warrant comment?

posted by: jeffreykerekes on August 12, 2014  1:33pm

You do not need to be a member of the press, a police officer, accountant or alderperson to do an investigation.  A group of citizens can do such a task.

A citizen’s group in Enfield and Trumbull did it there.  Here is one article: http://www.educationnews.org/articles/27775/1/An-Interview-with-Armand-Fusco-A-Simple-Audit/Page1.html

posted by: cttaxpayer on August 12, 2014  2:55pm

He has been wanted since July 2nd- how do you avoid a knock on the door for 6 weeks? Good to have well placed friends if you are going to punch up your girlfriend.

posted by: Elizabethaiken on August 12, 2014  2:56pm

To Connectivutcontrarian: Have you seen the video? How did you manage to do that?

posted by: TAP7 on August 12, 2014  3:08pm

I agree with the BOE comments.  As a parent of a child with special needs, it’s been a constant struggle to get appropriate services.  Thanks for the link jeffreykerekes .

posted by: Dwightstreeter on August 12, 2014  3:29pm

It is sad to see Stratton flame out in such a public way. The issues he raised as to the education budget shell game were never satisfactorily answered by city officials.

Where is the transparency a democracy is supposed to owe its citizens?

The issue of what the video shows to justify a criminal charge will be interesting to watch. It is likely that in defending himself from blows, he could have tried pushing the assailant away. Self-defense and assault are very different matters.

Will the video be ambiguous? It will soon be public record and we can decide.

For now, Stratton’s denial and the girl friend’s confirmation raise questions as to the motivation for charging him with a crime, which often happens in domestic violence matters, i.e. both parties are charged, even when one is obviously bloodied and victimized and the other is not. What a system!

Stratton is right not to run for public office.
His personal situation has to be resolved so there are no distractions. His focus is rightly on resolving the charges and re-designing his professional demands.

There is also a divorce and children to raise, both of which are more important than running for office.

He sure challenged the establishment, but it’s back to basics for a while.

posted by: webblog on August 12, 2014  3:38pm

“Stratton emerged from the police lock-up Tuesday afternoon determined to fight back against domestic-violence charges—by pleading not guilty and perhaps by filing a malicious prosecution lawsuit”.

Ah com’on Stratton, knock it off already.
You’re stone cold busted man. Let’s go to the video tape.

Now…

If you’re good the prosecutor might agree to give you accelerated rehab, and you will receive probation for one year, after which your record will be erased. Cool….

Exculpatory information?

Forget about it.

Otherwise, Just think, they will sweat the 20 year old women just to get take you down. If she lies for you, she goes down too, where she otherwise might get acc.rehab.

“But one way he no longer plans to fight back: He no longer plans to mount a campaign for mayor next year, he said”.

Now that the best decision you have made to date. Stop trying to blame Harp for a fire you started. Two police officers are not happy; they didn’t report the smoke, but how about the coke- a- cola?

Not kicking a man when he’s down…just some friendly advise.

posted by: robn on August 12, 2014  5:06pm

Irony alert. Not only is it undisputed that Marion Barry chose to smoke crack (and served time for it), its is also undisputed that the citizens of DC chose to re-elect him. Welcome to America and be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on August 12, 2014  6:39pm

Mr./Ms Connecticutcontrarian,

Perhaps we’re sending the message that as citizen we are more interested in the public affairs of our government than we are the private affairs of our neighbors.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on August 12, 2014  6:58pm

Weblog’s analysis and advice is as good as his/her spelling!

posted by: webblog on August 12, 2014  9:29pm

@posted by: Dwightstreeter on August 12, 2014 7:58pm

DwightStreeter, kettle calling the pot black?

Correction:
Webblog, not Weblog’s

Correction:
Spelling(.)not spelling(!)

Not only do you have a spelling problem, but also, a punctuation issue.

I offered a comment to the posting board not an analysis.

OUT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

posted by: HhE on August 12, 2014  10:45pm

Has any member of the New Haven Commentariat seen the video tape?  How does one get from “The state based its decision to charge a former city alder with domestic violence-related assault on a review on surveillance video that allegedly showed Stratton also striking the woman. Authorities have not released the video.” * to “…video of him repeatedly striking his girlfriend simply a private matter that doesn’t warrant comment?” or “Good to have well placed friends if you are going to punch up your girlfriend.”

* As reported in the NHI 3 July.

posted by: Walt on August 13, 2014  8:50am

Webblog

The problem with being picayune re someone else’s minor goofs is that the favor may easily be returned.

I know that too often in my own posts some weird extra keystroke shows up in the final copy that I never noticed before sending

It is frustrating but makes those   striving to win the NHI cup for finding errors happy, I would guess.

Could be wrong but I would believe that “c’mon’  is the correct replacement for Dwightstreeter’s post for “come on”  not the one you chose, and that “Webblog’s ”  should replace “Weblog’s”, not your choice without the possessive.


Being picayune, of course

I would be happier if the Editors   just removed the extra keystrokes,  or,  if they just replaced “too nasty”  words rather than dump the whole post as is the custom, but then the cup contest would lose.

Nitpick if you wish.

posted by: anonymous on August 13, 2014  2:49pm

Hopefully this will be resolved soon. Unless someone was hospitalized from their injuries, it certainly doesn’t seem like this merits coverage in the New Haven Independent any longer, given that Stratton is no longer an elected official and there are dozens of far more serious cases happening right now in New Haven that need to be covered by journalists.

It is worth pointing out that $7,000,000 is a good chunk of change to have if you want to run for elected office.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on August 13, 2014  5:29pm

As anticipated, Stratton admits to pushing but not striking or assaulting the girl friend.

In the absence of her accusation that he hit her and the absence of any injury to her, Stratton is the only proven victim by virtue of his bloodied lip.

Did he really say he still lives with the girl friend? Insert head shake here.

My prediction: case against Stratton dismissed.
2nd prediction: Stratton sues and City cuts a deal rather then spend money on prolonged litigation - which it could lose.

I hope the NHI continues to follow the case because it does appear that this is about a political subtext.

And surely the issue of tiny bit of marijuana is laughable at a time when 90% of the American public favors the repeal of the Prohibition 2 drug laws and the failed war on drugs.

posted by: Walt on August 13, 2014  6:21pm

Dwightstreeter

With those like Webblog and me nitpicking your posts at the present,  making outlandish claims like yours re   90%  of the American public favoring your view re drug controls are so obviously BS that they are almost sure to be cited by someone as false.,

If you say 90%  of your   friends   are pro-drugs we might believe it,  but your current claim is ridiculous. 

What reputable outfit made your survey, and can   you post a citation we may use?

Thanks

posted by: Theodora on August 13, 2014  10:15pm

Not sure I see the political subtext to a 50-year-old man, who according to the police report, close-fist punched a 20-year-old woman. I think you have to live a different reality to see that.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on August 14, 2014  7:42am

Since I read a wide variety of sources, I seldom keep a file on them, but you can do your own research and find that politicians and government officials at all levels acknowledge that it’s time to decriminalize marijuana possession.
Why is it ok to drink alcohol and not light up a joint? Because the government says so.
The people disagree.

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on August 14, 2014  7:51am

It’s Rihanna and Chris Brown.  Bobby Brown wishes he could get with Rihanna.

posted by: FacChec on August 14, 2014  9:14am

Stratton’s comments when compared to officer Jackson’s report confirms for me ..never hire Stratton as a defense lawyer.

His defense goes like this:

1.Yes, he said, he made the “first physical contact. ( proves intent).

2. “If I hit somebody with a closed fist,” he remarked, “they’re going to move.”
(acknowledges a result before it happens).

3.“I’m then seen [on the video] touching and pushing her on the shoulder twice,”

4. He acknowledged that, yes, he made contact with her before she hit him.( initiated the physical contact.

5.“There’s a tug of war. She wins the tug of war. I step back. There’s no further contact.”

Officer Jackson wrote:The couple “had some drinks,” then hit the Owl Shop(really)

1. The video shows the couple “stop[ping] at the door of the elevator. Stratton then punches [the partner], closed fisted, on her left side. Stratton hits her, but she does not move.

2.Stratton then throws a punch with his right hand, closed fisted, but does not hit [her]. He stops his hand right before it makes contact with [her]. After that Stratton then pushes [her], with his right hand, in her left should forcing her body to move to the right of the screen.

3. As he pulls at the bag [she] won’t let go and she is swung to the left side of the lobby. At this point [she] begins to fight back and punches Stratton in the face closed fisted. After [she] hits Stratton in his face he walks around the lobby of the building for a few seconds holds his upper lip ...”

4.He then grabs at [her] bag with his left hand trying to take it from her. Stratton pulls the bag towards him, but cannot get [her] to let go of it. As he pulls at the bag [she] won’t let go and she is swung to the left side of the lobby. At this point [she] begins to fight back.

5. Assistant State’s Attorney David Strollo reviewed the videotape, then applied for the warrant to arrest Stratton.

{END}

posted by: robn on August 14, 2014  9:25am

I’m with DS on case dismissed. If the security tape was acquired because the chief sent cops back to re-investigate based upon post-investigation locker room gossip, whatever truth he found is a second bite at the apple; and that apple is fruit of the poisoned tree.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on August 14, 2014  9:28am

Walt polls vary from 55% to 82% (90% if people were being honest).
Here are the next states to most likely go totally legal.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/18/states-legalize-weed_n_5162737.html

We saddly are not on the list. Which means the the first state will own the industry. We will just be buyer. If was can get the political stick out of our ass’s and legalize now we can become suppliers for other states…and remember alot of this cultivation happens with hydroponics so we will not have fields. But we will have alot of jobs. any where from 6000- to 10000 if we jump on board now. Conn. has already done the study on how we would go about making it legal
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/rpt/2013-R-0442.htm

Just last week the New York Times came out for it! That is a big deal for such a large paper. And several other large papers have done the same.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/high-time-marijuana-legalization.html?_r=0

As far as Stratton goes I can not even read this stuff. I feel for him and he partner and his family. I will wait for the courts to decide. And then I still may not comment because it is his personal issues not mine. I will comment on anything he may have done as a Alder. Which I think he was amazing.

posted by: Brutus2011 on August 14, 2014  10:08am

I read all these posts that assume that the man punched the woman.

When our child was born, her mother punched me in the face while I was holding our new-born infant.

Why?

Because I asked her why it took her all day to go get a pack of cigarettes.

So you all better back up and actually view the facts before you convict this man of abuse.

posted by: Walt on August 14, 2014  12:18pm

Cedar Hill

Thanks,  but nothing other than your own biased guess supports Dwightstreeter’s statement re 90% country-wide approval of marijuana legalization

Not being a weed user, I earlier understood   his “Prohibition 2 drug laws”  to be drugs per se.  , not just marijuana,  but even with the restrictions you apparently put on the definition,  his statement is still untrue and so is your\  statement re majority   80 or 90%  support for legal weed.

Your own post citing the   Huffington Post,  shows several instances where those States you mention   as the most likely to legalize, still can’t reach a majority with either their legislators or their surveys and does not back- up either Dwightstreeter or you.,

—and of course allsurvey response relates heavily to what questions are asked or voted on,

I would vote “Yes” myself if asked whether marijuana should be available for appropriate illnesses as a prescription with proper controls


If I were asked , on the contrary whether I support full legalization for pot which would increase the number of incapable drivers on the road, my vote   would be a   strong “NO”

I have no idea how many folks would agree with me, and apparently neither do you folks,

Thanks for trying to help,  but to me it is just more BS

posted by: robn on August 14, 2014  1:26pm

WALT,

90% is hyperbole but recent reputable pollsters have found that a majority of Americans are in favor of decriminalization and legalization.

Pew
http://www.people-press.org/2014/04/02/americas-new-drug-policy-landscape/

Gallop
http://www.gallup.com/poll/165539/first-time-americans-favor-legalizing-marijuana.aspx

Quinnipiac
http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1820

posted by: BillSaunders1 on August 14, 2014  1:26pm

Prosecutor Strollo has a bad reputation amongst lawyer circles, as being over-reaching and bull headed, especially in ‘high profile’ cases.

The justice system would be better served without Strollo. 
Maybe Stratton should sue him personally….

posted by: Dwightstreeter on August 14, 2014  2:39pm

Walt was right to challenge the 90% for legalization of marijuana. It is actually more than 50% nationwide and 90% in some state, such as CT.
And the stats are for medical marijuana.
Although don’t smoke, much less use pot, the science indicates it is a benign drug and not a “gateway” drug as feared. It’s continued prohibition and prosecution are a waste of resources.
Alcohol is statistically responsible for more deaths.
Our schizophrenic policies on mind-altering substances (and happy hour to you too!) is slowly changing.
Decriminalization of marijuana will happen in our lifetimes.

posted by: robn on August 14, 2014  3:13pm

DS,

Past tense. Its decriminalized in CT.
Also:
Alaska
California
Colorado
District of Columbia
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oregon
Rhode Island
Vermont

Its legalized for medical use in 23 states.

I believe it is currently legal for recreational use in Washington and Colorado.

posted by: Walt on August 14, 2014  4:12pm

Not an expert, but it looks like marijuana may lead you folks to lie, or to mislead

Even robn, as well as [CHR]  surprisingly seem part of the deal.

According to NORML, which I thought was sort of a bible for you folks,  CT law   decriminalizes pot only slightly, covering basically first time users and a small amount. Not the full deal which robn tries to make it appear i

Or is my computer out of date when it still shows up to 20 years   for carrying a load of   pot?

I quit,  as I was just protesting Dwightstreeter’s original false claim, and she/he now says I was right.

I’ll just have to be extra alert now that I can expect so many potheads driving our highways,—-just what we need?

posted by: BillSaunders1 on August 14, 2014  5:33pm

Walt,

From what I read on the NORML site, a first time offense of less than 1/2 ounce in CT is a fine no greater than $150.  Subsequent offenses of less than 1/2 ounce are a no greater than $500. 

An officer writes you the citation, and off you go…  Pay it, or send it in and plead Not Guilty, just like a traffic ticket…...(from what I understand—(I know no one who has been affected by this new law).)

That sounds pretty decriminalized for, what I would call, ‘recreational use”.

However, I believe possession in a DRUG FREE SCHOOL ZONE’, still carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years.  That is inconsistent, and does unjustly target inner city folks.  The bill to reduce the size of the zones failed on the State level, despite Gary Holder Winfield’s efforts

Anybody know how many Marijuana Citations the NHPD has issued since this policy went into effect, and if anybody has been caught in the DFSZ Dragnet???? 

Or is the Policy to just look the other way, unless you are black and poor, and living in a school zone?

posted by: cedarhillresident! on August 14, 2014  6:10pm

Walt love ya :)

I did not mis lead, read I said polls vary from 55 to 80% I gave a link of states that are trying to legalize and some poll numbers are on that link.

I think Maine, DC, VT, Oregon, and Alaska will be legalized in the next year. And NYC (first city trying to do it). I also gave you a link to a state report showing how (if we ever do) we would legalize it here. 
It was decriminalized because reality is…it is safer than alcohol and peoples lives were being ruined over a joint. They are still going after dealers because it is still illegal. I do not hide my pro legalization stand.
Ask any legislative rep. I do bug them. Did written testimony for medical (although I think that it does not cover all the medical uses it should). If it was legalized then it would. I have lost to many friends in the past to pharmaceuticals, when, if MJ was available these people would not have gone down that path. So I will continue to fight for legalization and or a more inclusive medical law.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on August 14, 2014  6:24pm

oh and Walt and anyone else take a minute to watch this http://goo.gl/0r6HQq

posted by: Dwightstreeter on August 15, 2014  7:42am

Excellent short video history of how marijuana came to be falsely demonized and outlawed. Thank you CedarHill.

Walt is typical of the people who have never done any research on the effects of marijuana and swallow what they are told.

To get back to the Stratton matter, observing a small amount of marijuana in someone’s home should not have been a big deal in the first place.

The political subtext is the revisiting and re-investigation of a situation where the victim of an assault is now charged with a crime. That victim threw sand in the face of city officials in challenging the school budget and what is really being spent.

Yes, this is worth following.

posted by: Walt on August 15, 2014  8:23am

CedarHill

CedarHill

Did not mean to connect you with the false statements, just to those who are surprisingly pro-marijuana.  Sorry

To tell the truth I am much closer to agreeing with you now than when this started Recent posts seem to make more sense

Hyperbole however just seems a more pleasant definition than just a word for mistruths which have been exposed.

Bill S

My source for the 20 year possible penalty is a “CT Statutes re marijuana”  search as it now shows up   on my computer,  As mentioned in my earlier post,  I do not guarantee its   current accuracy

As asked before ,—- if it is no longer accurate, please say so.

If I still smoked, maybe I would try it now

” Ninety percent of NHI posters favor marijuana.”  may be an accurate statement from reactions here.

posted by: Threefifths on August 15, 2014  10:11am

This is the real deal on full legalization.

Pot-related VC firm to close $50 million funding.


http://fortune.com/2014/07/18/pot-related-vc-firm-to-close-50-million-funding/

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