The July 4th holiday weekend chaos in CT sparked talks about reforming juvenile justice


Conn. (WTNH) – A weekend of youth chaos has renewed efforts to focus on youth justice reform in Connecticut.

Hartford Police made an arrest on a case attributed to gunfire fired at a Glastonbury mother last week. She was trying to evict a group of teenagers from their property when she saw them try to steal the family car in the middle of the night.

The Hartford Police Department Car Theft Unit, Violent Crime Unit and Fugitive Task Force made a major arrest on July 4th. Lt. Aaron Boisvert says a 17-year-old was seen driving a stolen car on May Street.

Detectives say the car has been linked to the recent Glastonbury shooting.

Lt. Aaron Boisvert stated, “You [detectives] could secretly follow the vehicle and finally stop it. The inmate paid bail and there was a brief chase. The operator was taken into custody; he was a 17 year old teenager. And a firearm was secured. “

RELATED: Juvenile Detained After Driving Stolen Car Involved in Glastonbury Gunshots

The night before, Enfield officials captured a chaotic scene of a similar incident with their body cameras. News 8 has received the video. It shows blue headlights approaching the police using stopping sticks on I-91. Authorities tracked the stolen vehicle – three teenagers were in it.

Enfield Police Department Chief Alaric Fox told News 8, “At around 2:35 a.m., local residents notified us that there were people who appeared to have broken into cars and were trying to break into cars.”

The stolen Southbury car eventually rolled to a stop with flat tires at Exit 45. After a chase to a nearby hotel in East Windsor, police arrested the teenage driver for burglary and theft.

But there was more to the stolen car. News 8 Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina asked, “Do I understand these were bullet cases that were found in the car?” Chief Fox replied, “An empty case was found in the vehicle and it was confiscated.”

In the Enfield case, the arrested New Haven teenager was turned over to his parents. In the Hartford case, the teenager was taken to a detention center in the capital. Police accused him of carrying a pistol without authorization and possession of a large capacity magazine.

CONNECTED: The state police publish statistics on the enforcement of the holiday weekends

A recent report by the judiciary shows that youth vehicle theft increased from 2019 to 2020. In 2019, 738 arrests of stolen cars with minors were logged. A year later that number rose to 910. Almost half of the young people had never stolen a car before.

Ken Barone of the CCSU Local and Regional Policy Institute says the pandemic caused a major change in behavior. “It’s a crime of opportunity; the opportunity has increased a lot. “

Barone also says the data is more. Cars are made with key factories, not real keys. Technology makes it easier for budding thieves.

He says there is no link between raising Connecticut’s age laws to count 18-year-olds as teenagers and the increase in car thefts.

In addition, his data shows that brain development and thinking in men aged 25 and under require a different approach when policymakers seek to prevent bad behavior.

“I am not convinced that a ‘tough dealing with crime’ / ‘imprisonment’ approach will be effective because all the data shows us that it is unlikely to be an ineffective policy change,” said Barone.

This Wednesday, the House of Representatives will meet at the State Capitol to reform juvenile justice.

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