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A recent domestic dispute that resulted in an arrest and criminal firearm and other charges is the result of a text to 911, boosting efforts by police and others to promote texting the emergency services whenever it’s too dangerous or otherwise impossible to call.
The Federal Communications Commission launched a nationwide campaign, assisted by states, to promote “Call If You Can, Text If You Can’t” and let people know that if for whatever reason they can’t dial 911 then they can send a text to the same number instead. And it doesn’t even have to be a text; police say they’ll respond even to symbols or emoji.
That’s exactly what an East Hartford woman did when she sent an emergency text about an ongoing domestic dispute with a man. State police say the text tipped them that she was being held at gunpoint by the man in his car, and the woman sent her location. The police found the car and saw both people inside, approaching the vehicle to talk with them. But the man sped off, and led the police on a chase in which he was driving at up to 130 miles per hour.
The police lost track of the car for a while, but the woman’s quick thinking led her to once again text 911 and let them know when the car was parked at an apartment building. When the police arrived, the driver once again attempted to speed off but gave up after being chased around the building’s parking lot. Instead, he got out of the car and attempted to run away on foot. Police eventually used their Tasers to bring the man down and arrest him. When they searched the car they found a bag of cocaine and a gun involved in a murder in which the man is also a suspect.
Upon arrest, the man was charged with a total of 10 crimes including illegal firearm possession, theft of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm, first degree reckless endangerment, having a weapon in a vehicle, possessing a controlled substance, reckless driving, and engaging police in a pursuit. His bond was originally set at $1 million but lowered to $250,000.
The woman’s texts are an important reminder of the backup option of using 911 to contact police in an emergency, particularly in domestic disputes where it might be impossible for either partner to make a phone call without the other person noticing and reacting violently. Texts can be short and sent subtly, altering the police without drawing the partner’s attention.
Because domestic disputes naturally involve two peoples’ competing versions of
events, it’s important for anyone involved in such situations to speak with a criminal defense attorney. They can help assess which, if any, of the police charges have merit and work with a defendant as their case moves through the court system toward either dismissal or sentencing.
Source: East Hartford man captured after reportedly kidnapping ex-girlfriend at gunpoint, leading state police on 130 mph pursuit, police say https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-east-hartford-police-pursuit-arrest-20190912-chur7wkfy5cmtj3kvx5567bequ-story.html
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