Friday, January 7, 2011

Blue Lines and Blood Lines.

Windsor Locks Police Sergeant Arrested for Allegedly Hindering Investigation of Police Officer Son 
Parents will do anything for their kids.  Unfortunately, that mindset can cloud your judgement.  I see it all the time with my clients.  No matter how old the "kid" is, parents seem to have this relentless need to cover for them.  I wish I had a nickel for every time a parent has told me "There is no way Billy did this, they should go after the real criminals."  News flash mom, those were Billy's drugs.  He is the criminal.

I guess I can understand to an extent.  Its instinctive to think the best of your kids and to do everything you can to protect them. Unfortunately, it looks like that protective parental instinct may have gotten a local police sergeant in his own spot of trouble. The Hartford Courant reports that Windsor Locks Police sergeant Robert Kositinen turned himself in to Hartford's Troop H this morning on charges of interfering with an investigation, hindering prosecution and interfering with his fellow boys in blue. Released on 10,000 bond, the 30 year veteran is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

If the name sounds familiar, Koistinen is the father of a recently fired Windsor Locks police officer who is facing manslaughter charges.  While off duty, 24 year old Officer Michael Koisten struck and killed Windsor Locks high school sophomore Henry Tang.  Tang was riding his bike home from a friend's house in the dark.

Investigators are trying to determine the lengths the Windsor Locks Police department took to protect one of its own officers.  The younger Koistinen allegedly spent the day tailgating at a UCONN game and the night drinking at a local Suffield watering hole.  State Police estimate that he was driving 73 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.  Witnesses claim he even threw a Budweiser beer glass out his window.

Koistinen's father was the on duty sergeant that night.  He was present at the scene. Despite his son's alleged apparent intoxication, a standard Brethalyzer was never issued.  A 30 year veteran of the force and a union official, it may not have been the first time Koistinen stepped in to help his son.  FOI records indicate that he was rejected from 5 other police departments due to poor performance on various tests.  Despite his poor record, Windsor Locks PD gave him a shot.  As you can imagine, there is an appearance of impropriety.

Michael Koisten is facing numerous felony charges including negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, manslaughter 1, manslaughter 2, misconduct with a motor vehicle, and two counts of attempting to commit tampering of physical evidence.   His scheduled appearance today in Hartford Superior Court was continued to a later date.  Koisten is represented by the venerable Hartford firm of Noble, Spector, Young & O'Connor.

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