HARTFORD — An advocacy group is inviting the public to a hearing on the recent “overzealous, hysterical arrest and prosecution” of a Hartford fireman found with 29 guns in the presence of a child at his house on Canaan Street.
Hartford Police on Oct. 1 arrested 42-year-old Michael Patterson (pictured below)of 251 Canaan St. in Hartford and charged him with breach of peace, threatening in the second degree and 29 felony counts of risk of injury to a child. The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. in the Hartford-GA14 courthouse. It is open to the public.
Connecticut Carry members said the hearing should be “educational and enlightening.”
Hartford Police Sgt. Brian Foley said that police investigation is ongoing and Major Crimes Division- Domestic Violence Detectives are still trying to track down and account for firearms at addresses in Hartford, Bloomfield and South Carolina. Detectives are working with the State Firearms Unit to review this incident as well as locate and account for all firearms registered to the accused. Police said Patterson is cooperating with investigators.
Connecticut Carry questioned Hartford Police’s rationale for Patterson’s arrest, saying the police’s cause for the 29 felony charges is for 29 unloaded firearms being allegedly left accessible in the home where they claim a child resided with ammunition in close proximity is “based on the circumstances that they have used to publicly smear Lieutenant Patterson.”
The group organizers said the Connecticut General Statutes are “quite clear on this issue, and the legislature did not change the relevant elements of the ‘safe storage’ statute when they repealed it and substituted new language on 4/4/2013.CGS §29-37i specifically addresses the storage of loaded firearms, not unloaded.
Patterson faces a potential sentence of 1 to 10 years and up to $10,000 for each charge, which is twice the potential penalty of criminally negligent storage of a firearm.
The group said it plans to monitor this case to make sure that justice prevails and Patterson is given his fair day in court.