On July 13, 2012, Anthony Mansfield, 50, was involved in a crash involving a Hartford police officer. The police car, driven by Officer Taikwon Dudley, hit Mansfield’s Chevrolet Cavalier as it was moving through the intersection near Albany Avenue and Woodland Street, sending Mansfield’s vehicle into a church at the intersection. Mansfield died seven days later from multiple blunt trauma injuries.
At the time, Police Chief James C. Rovella said in a statement: “The Hartford Police Crime Scene Division, charged with investigating all motor vehicle accidents in the city, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police and State’s Attorney’s Office, is investigating the incident. I ask anyone with information that may aid in the investigation to contact Detective Michael Chauvin of the Crime Scene Division at 860-4299.”
Since that point, it was found Officer Dudley was assisting officers in a police chase when the two vehicles collided. On October 18, the Hartford Police arrested Officer Dudley, charging him with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, reckless driving, traveling too fast for conditions, and failure to obey a traffic signal. The Hartford Police Accident Reconstruction Unit and Hartford Police Internal Affairs Division, with cooperation from the Connecticut State Police and New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office, investigated the incident, and Officer Dudley was released with a Written Promise to Appear in Hartford Superior Court on October 25.
Accounts regarding Officer Dudley’s actions at the intersection vary. While the vehicle was traveling down Woodland Street, through a red light, and hit the passenger side of Mansfield’s car, which was moving through a green light, the officer claims he had slowed down at the intersection, looking east and west before increasing his speed, and Mansfield’s Cavalier appeared in front of his police car. Police analysis, on the other hand, indicates Officer Dudley drove at full speed, increasing for several seconds before hitting Mansfield’s vehicle. Witnesses have added that the police officer did not brake and that the emergency siren and lights were turned on 100 to 130 feet before the intersection.
Trantolo & Trantolo is representing the Estate of Anthony Mansfield, with Keith Trantolo as the attorney. While Trantolo & Trantolo is supportive of law enforcement and works closely with them in the community, we are relentless in seeking justice when a policeman goes against training and harms other lives in the process.