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


  1. Mr B is a victim of today's society. the liberal left has made people paranoid. Don't blame the officer for doing his job. If he let it go, he would have been accused of not doing his job.
    Mr B was wrong when he took out and showed the gun. You can't expect someone to know if it was real or not. You can't take someone's word for it. When he realized he had it, he should have excused himself and discreetly brought it out to his car.
    Both sides can be argued in this unfortunate situation, but welcome to 2015.

  2. I heard the MAYOR wanted him arrested! He's the one who pushed it and the chief was to much of a coward to tell him to go crap in a hat. The officer didn't want to do it. They made him even full Custody the guy. Legally it was a legit arrest, as the victims requested and gave a statement for an arrest. Don't blame the cop, blame the mayor. He thinks he's a cop and drives around in his cop care with read and blue lights which is illegal!

  3. Thanks for posting the statute concerning breach of peace.

    I wrote a letter to the prosecutor's office stating my opinion of this, an email to the chief of police and to the mayor stating the same; which is not much different than yours. The Middletown Press also published the letter stating my thoughts on the matter.

    Let's hope the prosecutor tossed it. Maybe we will learn in tomorrow's press.

  4. To both Anonymous's, and Mr. Boylan, I say this: As a previous pistol owner, whether you are experienced or not, you can instantly tell the difference when you lay and actual piece of hardware on a counter, and between a plastic toy. The reality of the situation is the clerk overreacted, and from additional research I have done, in the end, the arrest was pushed from the top. Officer Steven Dimassa, allegedly, did not want to make a custodial arrest, and was again, allegedly over- ridden, and told to make a custodial arrest. I also, think that this is ridiculous, and it's not a far stretch of the imagination to think the order came from the Mayor's office. Apparently, no one at the top has enough sense to realize that arresting someone, is royally screwing with someone's life, and is nothing to be easily decided, and in this case, no, it was not a legal arrest. Maybe Dan Drew doesn't care, but this is just another situation in which the dividing line between myself and him, have become that more vast.


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