One Hartford officer dead, another hurt in crash – Eyewitness News 3

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – A Hartford police officer died and another was hurt in a crash that happened Wednesday night.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin identified the officer who died as Bobby Garten.
The officer who was hurt was identified as Brian Kearney.
City officials held a news conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday to reveal some more details.
“My heart and prayers and the love and prayers of our whole city are with Officer Garten’s parents, family, loved ones, friends and colleagues, and the entire HPD family,” Bronin said. “Bobby Garten loved this city, loved the Hartford Police Department, served our community with distinction, courage, skill and compassion, and this loss is immeasurable for all who loved, served with, and knew him. Officer Garten and his family have our everlasting respect and gratitude.”
Hartford police Chief Jason Thody said the department was devastated.
“[Bobby] was an amazing person that exemplified what it means to be a Hartford Police Officer. His commitment to serve was above reproach,” Thody said. “Our HPD family has come together to support Bobby’s family, honor his memory, and do what he would want us to do, protect and serve the Hartford community.”
Incident began as a traffic stop
Police said the incident began when other traffic officers tried to pull over a blue Honda after the driver blew through a red light. The traffic unit also reported that the car did not have registered plates.
When the traffic officers walked up to the Honda, the driver took off down Broad Street, blew through two more red lights, and slammed into the cruiser that had Garten and Kearney inside.
The crash happened on Asylum Avenue and Cogswell Street, according to Hartford police.
Police said the car was not being pursued before the crash happened. Bronin’s office said the driver had been traveling at a high rate of speed.
Garten, who was in the passenger seat, and Kearney, the driver, had a green light and were responding to a separate call for service. Their cruiser had its emergency lights and siren on at the time.
The cruiser and the Honda were visible in the area when Channel 3′s crew arrived, both with damage. The large area was roped off by police tape. State troopers were on the scene to take photos and look for evidence.
Hartford police confirmed that Garten was pronounced dead at the hospital.
They said Kearney was listed in stable but guarded condition.
Police said there is video of both the crash and what happened before it.
Anyone who witnessed the crash was asked to contact state police detectives.
Teen suspect taken into custody
Channel 3 was told that the suspect, identified as 18-year-old Richard Barrington, of Hartford, was taken into custody.
Barrington suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the crash, state police revealed.
Barrington was arraigned Thursday afternoon. He was charged with interfering with police, failure to obey traffic control signal, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, improper use of a license of registration, and insufficient insurance.
Barrington was held on a $1 million bond.
He is a student in 11th grade with no criminal cases on file. He is set to appear again in court on September 28.
Slain officer was an 8-year Hartford Police Department veteran
Channel 3 learned more about Garten and his commitment to Hartford and the police force.
He was a volunteer for many years in the Police Activity League (PAL) program.
While working as a volunteer, Hartford police said he was also on the job doing dangerous work in the street crimes unit.
They said police work was in his blood as his father was a well-respected detective in Hartford.
Everyone who knew Garten said that he was driven to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“He was different,” said former Hartford police Det. Brian Foley. “He volunteered so much as a cadet and as a police officer in our PAL program. All the kids knew him.”
“The kid was awesome. Always did a great job. Very well respected,” said John Krupinsky, president of the CT Fraternal Order of Police. “And unfortunately [he] won’t be going home today.”
Large police presence at the hospital
A lot of officers were at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford later Thursday morning.
That was where the officer who survived remained.
Dozens of officers could be seen standing together outside of their cruisers hugging, talking, and showing support as they waited for updates.
Police departments, public officials, and others from around the state have sent condolences to the Hartford Police Department.
Garten was taken from St. Francis to the medical examiner’s office in Farmington earlier in the morning
A procession was held for Garten when his body left the medical examiner’s office on Thursday afternoon.
Flags directed to half staff
Gov. Ned Lamont directed flags to half staff in honor of Garten.
“The passing of Officer Garten is heartbreaking, and I express my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues in the Hartford Police Department,” Lamont said. “This tragedy is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers that law enforcement face every day as they protect our neighborhoods. Officer Garten dedicated his life and his career to public safety, and we salute his courage, integrity, and commitment to the people of our capital city. I urge the residents of Connecticut to keep Officer Garten’s family and the Hartford Police Department in their prayers.”
Lamont’s office said flags should be lowered immediately and remain lowered until sunset on the date of interment, which has not yet been determined.
Honoring the fallen
A memorial was created at the Hartford Police Department to honor Garten. The memorial features a Hartford police cruiser. Members of the community and law enforcement came together and placed flowers and balloons around the cruiser.
Linda Laureano, the wife of a Hartford Police Captain, paid her respects at the memorial on Friday. She says her husband was working the night of the crash. Laureano says she will always remember Garten for his passion for the job.
“These guys are out here every day protecting and serving so selflessly, giving their lives, having a family also at home, not knowing if they’re going to come home or not,” said Laureano.
Refresh this page and watch Channel 3 for updates.
Copyright 2023 WFSB. All rights reserved.