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Seymour Police Tried to Stop Car Before Deadly Crash

Source and radio dispatches describe the incident.

Note: This article is a collaboration between Oxford Patch and the Valley Independent Sentinel. And police audio of the crash is attached to this article as a YouTube video, and a map of the route the car was traveling on Saturday night is also attached as a jPeg file. 

OXFORD - A Seymour police officer had been following a Ford Mustang Friday night because the car had illegal neon lights and had passed another vehicle on Route 67.

That information comes from a police source familiar with the incident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The car didn't stop, drove about a mile into Oxford and then crashed into a building on Old State Road, police said in a statement Saturday. 

One of the passengers in the Mustang -- 15-year-old Brandon Giordano of Oxford -- was killed in the .

Two other people in the car were injured. The driver, 19-year-old Eric Ramirez, was listed in serious condition at Yale-New Haven Hospital Monday afternoon.

A second passenger, Dion Major, was treated and released with minor injuries.

The car hit an embankment and went airborne before it hit the side of the building. The car -- a convertible -- landed upside down on the ground.

State police are investigating the crash, including the police contact information immediately prior. State police spokesperson Lt. J. Paul Vance and Seymour police spokesperson Lt. Paul Satkowski would not comment on the details of the pursuit and the crash Monday.

However, the police source said the Seymour police officer had stopped pursuing the car minutes before the crash occurred. 

The Pursuit

The pursuit started near the entrance to the Klarides Village shopping center on Route 67, the source said. It is unclear at what time this happened.

That's where Seymour Officer Tony Renaldi first noticed the Mustang with the neon lights on the undercarriage of the car. The lights shine a neon glow on the ground under the car as it drives.

Renaldi followed the Mustang along Route 67 toward Oxford without putting on his lights and sirens, the source said.

Near the intersection of Mountain Road, the Mustang allegedly passed another car on the road, so Renaldi put his lights and siren on to attempt to pull the car over, the source said.

The Mustang did not stop, and instead drove off into Oxford, according to the source.

Renaldi followed the Mustang for less than a mile with his lights and sirens on, the source said. 

Near the Tommy K's Plaza in Oxford, the Mustang turned off the neon lights.

Officer Renaldi turned off his lights and siren, essentially stopping the pursuit, the source said.

Renaldi continued driving along Route 67 behind the Mustang. The source said Renaldi was not close to the Mustang, and wasn't able to discern the license plate number.

Radio Dispatch

Dispatch recordings available online at http://www.radioreference.com/ give some insight into what happened Friday night.

The first call heard on the dispatch was at about 11:46 p.m., when Renaldi said he was turning onto Old State Road in Oxford.

"We turned off 67 onto Old State," Renaldi said. "OK he's up here. He's crashed. Send a 106. It's on its back." (106 is police code for ambulance.)

There was no initial call about a pursuit on the archived radio dispatches. That doesn't mean Renaldi didn't call into dispatch -- it just didn't register on the public scanner.

A few minutes after Renaldi called for an ambulance, a dispatcher is heard calling for mutual aid to respond to the crash.

Click play on the YouTube video - above and to the right - to listen to the recordings. The times in the video reflect the times listed on Radio Reference.

Pursuit Rules

Part of the state police investigation will be to determine if Seymour followed procedure in terms of pursuing Ramirez's Mustang. State police also plan to review other details about the incident -- including where the teens were before the crash, and where they were headed.

Vance said the state police will conduct a "thorough and unbiased investigation" and won't discuss it publicly until the review is complete.

Police officers are allowed to pursue suspects across town lines, according to a state police policy on pursuits. The policy applies to all police officers in Connecticut.

However, if the suspect refuses to stop, police officers must weigh whether chasing them is worth the risk.

In making that decision, the officer must consider several factors, including:

  • Road, weather, and environmental conditions
  • Population density and vehicular and pedestrian traffic
  • Whether the identity of the occupants is known and immediate apprehension is not necessary to protect the public
  • The relative performance capabilities of the pursuit vehicle and the vehicle being pursued
  • The seriousness of the offense.
Terri March 13, 2012 at 03:42 PM
My heart pours out to the family members of all involved. Being the mother of an 18-year-old, I can speak first hand that human beings that age DO NOT always make the right decisions. Although, as parents, we can guide them in the right direction; there are no promises. Sadly, at that age (just as we did as teenagers) we believe that we are immortal. We all made very poor decicision in our lifetimes, and you are lying to no one except yourself, if you say this is not true. When parents and others suffer a loss of someone dear to us, before the grieving begans, it is easier to place blame. Perhaps all parties involved were partially reponsible. Looking forward, we can only hug our children, and make them aware of this awful tragedy in the hopes of preventing similar ones in the future. I do, however, agree that authority should be respected. The car should have pulled over, and appeared to be going at a high rate of speed. Heartbreakingly, we do not get "do-overs" in life, so we can only hope by education and fear, that we can prevent similar scenarios in the future. My thoughts and prayers all with all involved.
Ally March 13, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I have to say, when I was 18, I was driving home to begin my college break. I was driving through Woodbridge--minding my own business, when a Seymour officer began tailing me. No reason. I wasn't speeding, there was nothing wrong with my car. He was so close to my car, I got nervous and started to go faster. I was 18 and had no idea what was happening. He didn't have a siren or lights on. He got closer. I drove faster, into Seymour. He pulled me over. He asked for my registration which I couldn't get to b/c I had my huge t.v. in the front seat (like I said, coming home from college). He made me lift the t.v. out of my car (which a boy in my dorm had loaded for me) and get my registration while he stood too close behind me. He yelled at me at the top of his lungs, until I cried. Then he gave me a $300 ticket--he said he added to it b/c of how long it took me to get my registration. Up to that moment, it had been the scariest moment of my life. I had no experience in this situation and felt completely out of control, completely vulnerable. Who knows what those boys were feeling?
Dad in Oxford March 13, 2012 at 04:43 PM
melissa...TK is correct, when a Police Officer turns on his siren and lights, you pull over, no matter what the issue is. There is no scenario where a driver should disregard a public authority.
Dad in Oxford March 13, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I only see that the driver is being said to be responsible, not Brandon, because he did not cause this to happen. It is solely the driver's fault.
Dad in Oxford March 13, 2012 at 04:51 PM
If a Police Office is behind you with lights and siren on, you pull over in all cases. If there are no lights on, whether it is the Police or another driver, you do not speed up either. You either continue to drive the speed limit or you pull over and allow the other car to pass. Ignoring the rules of the road can cause something like this to happen.
Citizen of Oxford March 13, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Melissa, yes, it is indeed, "no matter what." What other situations are there? If a police officer tells you to pull over, you pull over. Period.
Citizen of Oxford March 13, 2012 at 06:50 PM
It doesn't matter what you're feeling, its the law to pull over for the police.
barbie March 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
i just want to say that i am so devastated at what happened, brandon was a wonderful kid, and deserved NONE of this, he will be missed deeply, and for everyone else that has their oppinions about him or his mother, thats exactly what they are "oppinions"
Oxford Mom March 13, 2012 at 08:11 PM
It is heartbreaking for our Oxford family to lose such a young man. As with the other posts yes when you are being ordered to pull over by law enforcement you pull over. Yes, he made a wrong decision. Instead of using the posts to batter - lets show some sympathy for the families. Erik will suffer enough for the rest of his life knowing that he made a bad choice. Try to band together and instead of venting anger, turn that anger into support for Brandons mother and family... please - she does not need to read these horrible posts.
John Tique March 13, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Bullying a 18 year old girl is what he did. He works for the people, he is not above the people and he took an oath to protect and serve. FAIL...as most but not all of cops are guilty of. Learn your rights and stop being sheep and teach them that they can't get away with breaching your constitutional rights.
Craig Zac March 13, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Yeah good rule of thumb is if a cop is behind you, DONT do anything wrong, dont speed, use your blinkers, dont swerve... if the lights come on, pull over, roll down the window, do not get out till instructed to, do not reach for anything until instructed to, keep both hands up on the wheel or just up anywhere that they are visible to the officer, do not crack wise, do not be rude or Obnoxious, do not disrespect the officer (in most cases he / she is a regular person, just that they have an Effed up job) if you feel your rights are being violated, calmly, when all is said and done, get his name and badge number and call a lawyer, standing there arguing will get you no where and believe me, if the cop abused your rights, do you think by arguing with him or challenging him is a good idea? Be safe and dont be a statistic. And no, this isn't conforming or being a sheep, its being smart, respectful and not being stupid... time and place, time and place.
Mary Beth Nelsen March 13, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Perhaps if posters pictured themselves saying to Brandon's mother, in person, what they are thinking of writing, it might be a good exercise in self-editing.
Mary Beth Nelsen March 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM
My dad taught me to drive to the nearest police station if you have any doubts about who's following you. If a cop pulls you over and you feel uncomfortable you can tell him you'll follow him to the police station. (Of course, you need to do so!)
John Tique March 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Craig...Learning and exercising your rights is not rude, obnoxious, disrespectful, etc. In many cases it's the cop who are those things like the cop who stopped Ally. Is that how you would want a cop treating your wife or daughter?
Craig Zac March 13, 2012 at 11:17 PM
your right John, but could it be that the officer who was such an ahole to her was being so because he thought she was playing games with him? maybe he was in a foul mood already? im not saying what he did was right or what she did was wrong but... this stuff happens and believe me, you think you have the right to dispute the officer and you do but not out there on the roads, you need to do it in court. Alot of cops are overstressed and over worked and some yes. are screwed up worse that those they arrest but they are far and few between... all im saying is, use your head and do what the cop says...it doesnt pay to get all righteous and be a hero when its you against him. How many people have shouted "you cant do this, I know my rights!!!" as they are thrown into the back of a police cruiser? lol
Citizen of Oxford March 13, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Haha, I'm with you Craig.
John Tique March 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Craig and Citizen, this is for you! http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Cop-pleads-guilty-for-showing-naked-photos-of-3395652.php
Johnny March 13, 2012 at 11:50 PM
You people have too much time on your hands By reading someone these comments posted by "Oxford's youngsters" I really now do believe Oxford has the worse school system! What a shame a young life is gone I over someone's selfishness Hello........ Obey the police......no accident,'!!!!!!!!!!!!! All there is to the whole issue
Long Time Resident March 13, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Seymour Officer Renaldi. Former Southbury Officer Renaldi, the one who Southbury let leave before having his Statutorily mandated 2 years of service with the town. Why did Southbury allow Renaldi to leave early? Could it be they knew his methods of operation? Could it be they feared a situation similar to this happening in Southbury? Officer Renaldi is well known by teenagers in Southbury for his harassment of them. Following them home because they were kids, pulling them over and illegally searching their cars, stopping cars without calling headquarters....hmmm I see a pattern with this story above. Police car sitting at Klarides plaza, car load of kids goes by, Renaldi follows and at some point enters Oxford (without notifying his superiors or getting permission to leave town), puts on his lights and a pursuit begins and still without notifying his department he's in pursuit of the car, he sees the car turn onto Old State Road and reports the accident. What did they do that required the officer leave Seymour? They had an equipment violation that wouldn't result in any harm to anyone. Why do kids run? They are immature, they are not good critical thinkers until their late 20's. They Panic! Pure and simple, they panic. And you can say the driver should have stopped, yes that's the law. But it's also a law that departments have a pursuit policy and from what is written above, that wasn't followed either. And the cop is supposed to know better.
louis March 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Booom
dave March 14, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Stop blaming a police officer for turning on his lights and siren to attempt to pull over a dopey kid that decides to snub the law of pulling over. Instead, he decides to try to out run the police and kills an innocent kid. He made that choice.....not the police officer doing his job.
melissa March 14, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Paul, let them say what they want to say. Freedom of speech. I can handle it even though their opinions suck. I welcome anyone who questions my parenting skills to spend the day me and my family and then come back and write what they want about me here. God bless all of you and I will lift this up in prayer. -Angela Borrelli, Brandon's mother
Craig Zac March 14, 2012 at 01:25 AM
John, you just arent picking up on what im delicatley trying to tell you... DONT EF WITH THE POLICE.... THEY HAVE THE POWER AND THE BACK UP TO MAKE YOU WISH YOU WERENT BORN... Im not saying all cops are bad cops, most arent but, can you tell which are or arent? I cant.. Sometimes being humble can get you farther than expected. Pride has no place when it comes to staying safe.
Craig Zac March 14, 2012 at 01:31 AM
oh and the cop in the link John provided? one of then Mayor of Stamford, Dan Malloy's "Blue Crew".....lol
Lynn March 14, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I wholeheartedly agree with Terri's post... When I was riding around with some of my classmates, I did tell them to let me out - that I WOULD EVEN WALK HOME when they started showing off and/or driving crazy! Of course when police have their sirens on then it is a different story, cause no matter what I might have said I doubt the driver would have listened!! Hindsight... Unfortunately, the best I can do is use this horrible tragedy to teach my grandkids how to deal with teen pressure, strive to be a RESPONSIBLE DRIVER and wisely choose who you ride with!!! AND MY SIBLINGS AND I DID HAVE A CURFEW...
Steve O March 14, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Upon reading your message, sentence structure,spelling and overall poor grammar lead me to believe you never finished third grade. LMAO
dave March 14, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Well put Lynn.
J. Aviles March 14, 2012 at 05:47 AM
1) The article indicates he DID call state pd and inform them what he aws doing. 2) He left to come to Seymour because he is a Seymour native. 3) He followed the car because it was driving dangerously. Imagine if the car drove head on into another car and more people died? Would you be happy then? No, you would blame the cop for not doing his job. He can't win. In this case, the kid drove so fast, he got out of sight from the cop and flew through the air into a house, killing his friend. That wasn't the cops fault. Listen to the audio, he turned onto Old State and saw the car already overturned. The cop was just doing his job, trying to stop someone from dying. It wasn't his fault.
Tara Hall March 14, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Are we seriously fighting over the police and what not? Seriously? The post was put there to explain what happened and to possibly put closure in some people's wondering hearts. Fact is whether driver stopped or not something horrible happened. At this time the people of Oxford need to stick together not play a game of pointing fingers. On that note please remember The grieving families and children (most of them innocent minors) when you decide to post such nasty and distasteful things. My brother is around that age and is best friends with Brandon's brother. I know both he and Brandon and know that Brandon if here (God rest his soul) would be very upset to hear how you all are acting So let it be and let people mourn PLEASE
Karen Z March 14, 2012 at 08:57 AM
My daughter was Brandon's girlfriend . I find myself yet again , forced to respond to the ignorant know-it alls making comments . I knew all three of these boys and they were not stupid , trouble makers , or how " dave " so eloquently called them dopey kids ! There is no doubt that a bad decision was made that night that had a tragic outcome. But I would love to see how many of you sitting up on your judgemental high-horses have made a bad or risky choice and just had a luckier outcome ? As for a 15yr old being out at 11:30 on a Friday night.....is it really that out of the ordinary ?? Most PG -13 movies get out later than that on a weekend night . If the accident had happened at 9:30, would it have been any less devastating ? So unless you know all the facts , or are privileged to have known these 3 young men, have some respect and let those of us that do , grieve without having to read or deal with the rude and insensitive comments !!!

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