Friday, October 09, 2015

Letter to the Editor: Taxpayer not Criminal

I know I can’t be the only one who has had to read, and re- read, and possibly re- read, the story on the 60 year old gentleman, who while paying his taxes at City Hall, forgot he had a child’s toy gun in his pocket, from cleaning his car earlier in the day, and was ultimately arrested for Breach of Peace. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes! I’ll be the first to say that Breach of Peace (and laws alike, Disorderly Conduct, etc.), are over used, but this takes it to a new level.
First, consider the facts we know: The man, Robert Baranowsky, who is 60 years old, was at City Hall to pay his taxes, which he successfully did. When he realized he had the toy, he allegedly, in an embarrassing manner, explained it off to the clerk, concluded his business of paying his taxes, and went home. Folks, I’m here to tell you, criminals do not pay their taxes before they go off to commit whatever shenanigans they may. It just doesn’t happen. And the supposed clerk, who allegedly broke down in tears, and called the police, I’ll just be blunt, and direct my comment at that person, and say, please go get some help. (Preferably not from the Police Department)
I suppose, for arguments purpose, I should at least educate you all, as to what a person has to do, to be guilty of committing Breach of Peace. A person, in Connecticut, is guilty of Breach of Peace if, he or she, (1) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place; or (2) assaults or strikes another; or (3) threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person’s property; or (4) publicly exhibits, distributes, posts up or advertises any offensive, indecent or abusive matter concerning any person; or (5) in a public place, uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or (6) creates a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which such person is not licensed or privileged to do. For purposes of this section, “public place” means any area that is used or held out for use by the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests.
Wow! I feel that was a total waste of ink, but I digress, according to the above law, Mr. Baranowsky is not guilty of any of that! Apparently, the Police officer, Officer Steven Dimassa, in the course of his investigation, apparently couldn’t be bothered to read the above paragraph, about what he was actually charging his “suspect” with. Many don’t realize this, but Officer Dimassa, has now set off a row of dominoes, that very well, could end with Mr. Baranowsky being branded a criminal. I don’t understand how that is right!
The sad fact is that Mr. Baranowsky is already out his bond amount of $1500. If he paid a bondsman, that’s money he’ll never see again, but that’s hardly the issue. Now Mr. Boranowsky is faced with possible multiple court appearances, that could end with him paying a fine, being ordered to do community service, or even, yes, jail time is a reality. There can’t be anyone serving jail time for such a crime, you say? I’ll guarantee someone is, that’s how pathetic and broken the system actually is. A system, Mr. Baranowsky, has no business being in!
Robert Baranowsky has a court date of October 9, 2015, and this City has failed him. What can we do, as a community to say that this is wrong, and we won’t stand for it?

Brian E. Clark, Middletown

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