BRISTOL - A Bristol man accused of leaving a stolen gun in an SUV after he crashed into a utility pole, rolling the vehicle over on Riverside Avenue in 2017, is seeking a program that would keep his record clean.
Jacob Candelaria, 20, of 65 Bartholomew St., applied for Accelerated Rehabilitation during a hearing on Wednesday. Should the program be granted, he could be placed on pretrial probation for up to two years.
Success in the program would result in the case being dismissed.
According to police, Candelaria took off on foot after a crash on Oct. 12, 2017, at about 7:30 p.m. The accident closed down part of Riverside Avenue for a few hours, as the collision left a utility pole cracked in half and power lines down, police wrote in the arrest warrant.
Police found that the Honda Pilot, which had struck the pole and was left on its driver side door, was registered to a woman who lived on Bartholomew Street. She told police she did not know the vehicle had been taken, and she called her son, Candelaria, the warrant said.
Candelaria then went to the home to talk to police, admitting that he was the one who crashed the Pilot, the warrant said. He complained of head pain and was taken to Bristol Hospital.
After the vehicle was towed to an area auto body shop, an inventory of the belongings inside revealed that a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver was stuffed in a tube sock, inside a black bag, the warrant said. The gun was registered to a Watertown resident, but the owner did not realize it had been taken.
Kerry Robair, Candelaria’s attorney, said Wednesday he believes neither his client nor Candelaria’s mother had any knowledge that the gun was there. Prosecutors added that it would be difficult to prove the weapon charge at trial.
Candelaria, who is free on $2,000 bond, faces charges of illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, carrying a pistol without a permit, evading responsibility, improper turn, operating without a license and failure to wear a seatbelt.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.