Bristol man who applied for program on charges he left stolen gun in vehicle now appears headed for trial

Published on Friday, 5 August 2022 15:33


BRISTOL - A Bristol man accused of leaving a stolen gun in an SUV after he crashed it into a utility pole off Riverside Avenue could be heading to trial.

This comes as Jacob Candelaria, 23, applied for a diversionary program in 2019.

Since then, his case has been in such a state that would indicate the application was pending or had been granted. Cases are sealed during program application periods and during the program itself. 

The matter against Candelaria remains sealed, though judicial records indicate it has been added to the trial list following a hearing this week in New Britain Superior Court.

According to police, Candelaria ran off after a car crash on Oct. 12, 2017. The incident 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 hit the pole and was left lying on its driver side, 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 went to his mother’s home to talk to police, admitting that he was the one who had crashed the SUV, the warrant said. He complained of head pain and was taken to Bristol Hospital.

After the vehicle was towed to a body shop, an inventory of the belongings inside revealed a Smith & Wesson Model 10 stuffed in a tube sock inside a black bag, the warrant said. Two bullets were also in the bag.

The gun was registered to a Watertown resident, but the owner did not realize it had been taken.

The gun owner spoke to police on Oct. 19, 2017, and said a home health aide had been fired after stealing food from him a few months before. At the time the warrant was signed, in September 2018, investigators had not tied anyone to the theft of the gun.

Candelaria, police said, denied any knowledge that the gun was in the vehicle.

He was later charged with 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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, 5 August 2022 15:33. Updated: Friday, 5 August 2022 15:36.