Bristol man to serve 18 months after pleading guilty to assaulting 2 police officers

Published on Thursday, 19 September 2019 17:21
Written by Charles Paullin


BRISTOL - A local man pleaded guilty in New Britain Superior Court Thursday to assaulting two police officers.

Max Svenningsen, 43, of Collins Road, pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to assault on public safety personnel in exchange for seven years in prison, suspended after 18 months, with three years probation. He was previously facing additional charges of another assault on public safety personnel charge, interfering with an officer/resisting and first-degree criminal mischief.

Svenningsen will have a right to argue for a lesser penalty at sentencing. He is due back in court on Nov. 19.

An Alford plea is when a defendant doesn’t agree with all the facts in the case but pleads guilty to avoid going to trial, which could result in a harsher sentence.

If found guilty at the end of a trial, Svenningsen could have received up to 10 years in prison for the charge, Judge Maureen Keegan said when accepting the plea.

Svenningsen’s attorney, William Gerace, said the plea was under the Alford doctrine because his client had no recollection of what happened during the offense.

Svenningsen was accused of kicking one police officer in the groin and another in the legs outside his home around midnight on Oct. 17, according to a police report.

Police noted in the five-page report that Svenningsen was very uncooperative, kicking a police cruiser window, causing about $5,000 worth of damage, and at one point tried fleeing from officers.

Police were called to his home shortly before midnight on the report of Svenningsen trying to break down the front door. The police report does not elaborate on why he could not get into his own home.

Police who spoke to Svenningsen said he could barely talk and appeared under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the report states. He began walking away from the home, where officers were trying to talk to him, and “began to slowly jog in what appeared to be him attempting to flee the scene,” the report said.

Officers then ran to Svenningsen and grabbed him. They tried to handcuff him, but he resisted and tried to pull away, according to police.

After struggling with Svenningsen for some time, police were eventually able to get him into a cruiser. There, he allegedly pushed his legs against the bars that protect the window, bending the metal and cracking the glass, the report said.

Police opened the cruiser door and Svenningsen tried to get out before wrapping his legs around one of the officer’s legs, according to police.

The officer struck Svenningsen’s thigh, causing him to release his leg. Svenningsen then allegedly kicked one officer in the leg two times and kicked another in the groin, according to the report.

Svenningsen was hit with pepper spray before he was brought to the police department and held in custody.

Staff writer Justin Muszynski contributed to this story.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 19 September 2019 17:21. Updated: Thursday, 19 September 2019 17:24.