Officer's Firearm Accidentally Discharged During Arrest

No one was injured, Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy said.

[Editor's note: Arrest information is supplied by the Fairfield Police Department. It does not indicate convictions.]

Fairfield police responded to a report of a burglary on Old Post Road late Tuesday that results in the arrest of a man with "extensive criminal history," department spokesperson Sgt. Sue Lussier said.

During the struggle to detain the man, an officer's firearm was accidentally discharged, according to Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy. No one was injured and the bullet hit the pierced the ground. The incident remains under investigation.

The call began when a complainant said he saw a man open his unlocked garage door, and steal a bicycle. The resident called police as the man began to flee down Old Post Road on the bicycle.

Responding officers saw the suspect on the bike and noted that, upon seeing police, the suspect turned around. Officers pursued the man on foot and commanded him to stop, but he reportedly did not comply.

Police managed to detain the man -- identified as Leonard Morelllo, 58, of Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport-- and took him into custody. He was charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly taking the bicycle from the garage and sixth-degree larceny because police found on Morello's person a credit card holder with ID of an Old Post Road resident.  Officers determined that Morello had reportedly taken the credit card holder from an unlocked vehicle on Old Post Road.

Morello was further charged with criminal trespassing for allegedly entering the open garage of a third Old Post Road resident who told police he did not give Morello permission to do so and requested his arrest.

He was also charged with interfering with police for reportedly resisting arrest and refusing to be fingerprinted, police said. The department also served an outstanding warrant out of Hartford for failure to respond to a violation, Lussier said.

Morello was held in lieu of a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court for his Fairfield charges on Jan. 29 and for the Hartford arrest on Jan. 18.

According to Lussier, Morello has over 56 prior arrests on his record, including other burglaries and larcenies.

Ann Mahoney January 17, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Why is the fact an officer had his gun out, safety off and finger on the trigger brushed over? In the world we live in those who are privileged to carry weapons can't do so correctly. As if its ok that "it discharged into the pavement". Is that now the norm? Why is there no talk of quality review, education for the officer, etc. Obviously the suspect has a record. He stole a bike from a garage in broad daylight or he's 60 on a bike not for exercise. This is not only dangerous, it's embarrassing. Ann Mahoney, Fairfield.
itraininghere January 17, 2013 at 11:00 PM
jee Ann you got all that out of this story?? I didn't read anything like that what you just commented on. And Fairifeld Oldtimer that sounds like a word outa the Letsch (sp) listeners guide.
Ron Nassef January 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Ann how did you know the gun was out,finger and finger on the trigger? Did you witness the event? What was brushed over? Since the bullet hit the pavement could there have been a struggle, to take the officers gun from him? Police officers are shot for alot less than a bicycle. The olfficer shoule be commended for the capture of a fellon with an extensive arrest record.Your comment should be focused to him rather than the officer. Ron Nassef
Igor January 18, 2013 at 08:46 PM
I have another question. After 56 arrests why is this guy still walking the streets? Once again.... The laws are there but the courts are letting us down.
Nonsense January 21, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Wow Ann, you are so so smart... The call was for a burglary.. in the middle of the night ... involving a FELON...IN SOMEONES HOME! THAT is what the cop was responding to. What the guy stole is irelevent. Interesting you drew the conclusion that the cop did something wrong. The article said the guy was fighting with the cop and the gun went off... the guy could have done it, or It could have gotten caught up on something, or maybe the cop did fire it. Its interesting you are more upset with the cop than with a guy with a huge record, going into peoples homes while they sleep... If he shows up at your house, dont bug the cops...just make him something to eat.


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