Police detective no-shows Bristol court date

Published on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 22:42


BRISTOL - A Hartford police detective accused of driving under the influence in Plainville last month was ordered to be arrested again on Tuesday after not showing up for his first court hearing.

Robert Lanza, 43, of Wolcott, was scheduled to be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court. According to court officials, an attorney representing the 11-year member of the Hartford Police Department contacted the court and requested that the case be continued, as Lanza has checked himself into an “intensive” inpatient substance abuse program.

A state prosecutor read the request aloud in court and objected to a continuance, as the program was not coordinated with court officials.

A judge ordered that Lanza be rearrested when he is found and charged with failure to appear in court.

Lanza was arrested Aug. 27 on charges of operating under the influence and interfering with police. Early that day, at about 12:18 a.m., Bristol police received reports that a vehicle was swerving all over the road, nearly striking the guardrail, on Route 72 before driving into Plainville.

Plainville officers then found Lanza parked in the entrance of 72 Commons with his engine running. He appeared “extremely intoxicated,” since his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol, police said.

According to police, Lanza admitted that he is a Hartford police officer and refused to answer questions on whether he had anything to drink or where he was coming from.

Lanza, police said, couldn’t perform simple tests like counting backward from 67 to 54 or reciting the alphabet by starting with the letter “D.” He failed sobriety tests that he couldn’t perform without swaying and then had to be brought to the ground to be handcuffed, according to police.

Hartford police have said they are conducting an internal affairs investigation into Lanza’s conduct.

Staff Writer Lisa Backus contributed to this story.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at jmuszynski@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News, Plainville on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 22:42. Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2017 22:45.