Student freed – will his pursuers be punished?

The ridiculous attempt to slap criminal charges on a Conard student  for refusing to stop taping a senior prank gone a little too far has finally come to an end.

Superior Court Judge Eliot D. Prescott yesterday threw out the disorderly conduct case against Francisco Acevedo Jr. , Conard’s now-graduated senior class president.

The judge ruled that prosecutors failed to present enough evidence to prove their case, showing the entire prosecution was so flimsy that it never should have gone to court.

Acevedo, whose entry to college was delayed while he dealt with this idiocy, deserves to win his civil suit against the town.

But more than that, the school administrators, police, town leaders and prosecutors who kept up this sham crackdown on the kid ought to be hauled before the court of justice now.

They’re all guilty of taking a tiny prank — releasing crickets in the lunch room — and turning it into a gigantic fiasco for our town and one fine young man who had the guts to stand up to an assistant principal who ordered him to stop taping something he had every right to tape.

Bravo to the judge. Bravo to Acevedo. And shame, shame, shame on the adults who didn’t have the sense to back down when they were utterly, completely wrong.



Filed under News, Schools, Town government

7 responses to “Student freed – will his pursuers be punished?

  1. Wow – a court decision that makes sense ! Now I just hope all of the money we just made on new building permits doesn’t go to appeals by the town or for further litigation on this case… but Acevedo I am sure will sue for damages, and as much as I don’t care for him or his politics I hope he wins. He was clearly wronged here.

  2. I suppose the young fellow will wind up with enough to pay for his college education. That’s probably fair.
    What isn’t fair is that the town, school and state officials who gave us this black eye will pay no price at all.

  3. Check out Andy Thibault’s vicious, wonderful column about this. The link is above. It lays out the facts as well as anyplace I’ve seen — and nails it all shut with his analysis.

  4. Peter G

    Members of the Board of Ed were told about the First Amendment implications of this case back in June and chose to ignore it. Moreover, the videotape that Frankie Acevedo took was confiscated when he was arrested and was held by the school, then the police, then prosecutors until about three or four weeks ago. Turns out that the tape shows just what Frankie always said it would – you can see it if you go to the Courant website on this story – he did nothing wrong!

  5. Raven

    This is NOT an isolated case, see what Thibault wrote in 2004 about political arrests by the West Hartford police: This has also resulted in a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Police Chief, Corporation Counsel and Town. Only after the people of West Hartford start asking questions and holding these thugs responsible will this garbage stop. The tape of the Conard incident shows that the supposedly injured officer (accd. to the Courant he was hurt on a greased hand rail) was really not injured enough to book off. Also, it seems like he picked a black kid out of the crowd to arrest for “pushing in the first degree.”

    Cool Justice
    Enemy Of The State In The Crosshairs
    By ANDY THIBAULT, Columnist
    Law Tribune Newspapers
    June 21, 2004

    The odds of attorney James Brewer getting justice in a state jurisdiction in Connecticut are pretty damn low. I calculate odds of 30:1. If this was a horse race, three horses would have to fall down and two would have to die for Brewer to have a chance. At that point, as he appeared to be in the clear, he would probably have to dodge a sniper’s bullet.

    The Hartford state’s attorney realized he has no business prosecuting Brewer, except out of revenge. So the case was handed to the New Haven State’s Attorney, who pursued one of the more ludicrous warrants I have ever read. The fix of all fixes is upon us. It’s a set-up, plain and simple.

    The fix is the arrest of Brewer June 10 by West Hartford police on charges of interfering, breach of peace and assault during a deposition. A lieutenant who claimed he suffered a broken rib and a cervical sprain – from a push or a shove – is back on the job.

    Brewer is no saint. Clearly he was out of line, if not slightly deranged when he went after his foes, shouting and ranting. The pictures on videotape look pretty bad. But, it’s a big stretch to claim his actions were criminal. The warrant in this case could spawn a science fiction TV series. It begs for a reality check. Here it is:

    Is West Hartford police Lt. Jack Casey the only officer in the United States who would allow himself to be assaulted, then wait a month before taking action? When such a felony actually occurs in the presence of an officer, discretion does not apply. Has anyone ever, ever heard of an officer not taking immediate action when he is assaulted?

    Was Lt. Casey so incapacitated by Brewer that he could not call for help? Such a call might have gone like this: “Give me help down here ASAP. I’ve just been assaulted by an angry lawyer. Clear out the neighborhood. Citizens are at risk.”

    Or, is it possible Casey didn’t think much of what happened, figured he broke up a beef in Brewer’s office on May 4 and let it go at that. Then the higher-ups told him to concoct this warrant. They saw it as a chance to nail Brewer. Either way, Casey is the weak link.

    Only part of the incident is caught on videotape. Brewer claims the action started when West Hartford Corporation Counsel Joseph O’Brien pointed a cell phone in his face and called him “an asshole.” O’Brien said he didn’t say that, but the tape of the deposition has someone saying, “That’s enough, asshole,” apparently to Brewer.

    Brewer is a fighter and a litigator who takes on tractor-trailer loads of cops, politicians in robes and the prosecutors who protect them all. He has bad manners. So what? Brewer has accused people I like and admire of wrongdoing. But, unlike the West Hartford police department and the Hartford state’s attorney, they’re all big boys and they can take it.

    Over the years, Brewer has exposed outrageous and alleged criminal behavior by Hartford State’s Attorney James Thomas and the Hartford and West Hartford police departments. Thomas was among those Brewer accused of framing an innocent man for the murder of a gang leader at Hartford’s Pope Park in 1997. Hartford police knew the innocent man, Gilberto Rivera, was not the shooter. But they arrested him anyway. The actual shooter confessed to the FBI. Rivera won a major settlement for false arrest.

    In one of his many cases against the West Hartford police, Brewer showed how a dispatcher who complained about morale was virtually kidnapped KGB style and taken for an emergency psychiatric evaluation. In another case, which was the subject of the deposition May 4, Brewer claims the department ignored a union activist’s obvious problems – which were reported by his wife before the officer shot and killed himself.

    Someone in the official food chain must act to right this wrong. This case is garbage.

  6. Thanks for reporting on a local injustice that does not involve Krayeske.

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