Windsor Locks, Conn. (WTNH) - The 21-page warrant for an off-duty Windsor Locks police officer charged in a deadly crash has evidence of him taking shots at a local bar prior to the accident that killed 15-year old Henry Dang. It also says that Ofc. Michael Koistinen was traveling 73 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Koistinen, 24, has been charged with first and second degree manslaughter, misconduct with a motor vehicle, negligent homicide and attempt to commit tampering with physical evidence.
The accident happened at the intersection of Spring and West streets on October 30.
Surveillance video from the Suffield Tavern shows that at 11:01pm Koistinen had a shot, at 11:16pm a mixed drink, believed to be Jack Daniels Whiskey and Coke, and at 11:33pm another shot. He is then seen walking in an unsteady manner.
The deadly crash happened just 19-minutes after Koistinen left the bar.
Witnesses also told police that Koistinen had been drinking "numerous alcoholic beverages, believed to be beer" before a UConn football game beginning around 5:30pm.
At the accident scene about a half hour later, none of the officers recall smelling alcohol on his breath, just that Koistinen appeared 'dazed.' Koistenin was hospitalized with neck and back pain that night; EMTs, nurses and doctors that treated him all say they did not smell any booze on his breath that night. While at the hospital, Koistenin refused to give a blood or urine sample.
Attorney James Bartolini has been hired by Dang's parents, who believe there was a cover-up. Koistinen's father, Sgt. Robert Koistinen, was one of the responding officers to the accident scene.
"Most of us look at this situation and say that if we were involved in a fatal collision at midnight the first thing we would anticipate an officer to do would be to test us for sobriety," said Bartolini.
Robert Koistinen was observed on the Windsor Locks Police Department's surveillance coming and going from the station several times after the accident.
Koistenin's attorney Elliott Spector says he did not read the warrant yet and had no comment, though he has said in the past that his client was drinking that night, though not drunk. Koistenin also says he never saw Dang riding his bicycle that night, blaming the accident on poor lighting and Henry crossing the street with a red light.
"The family is very distraught that Mr. Koistenin's lawyer is looking to shift responsibility to Henry," Bartolini said.
A neighbor who called 9-1-1 told a dispatcher that Koistenin "threw something in my yard; I think he might be drunk." She also told police that he appeared to be staggering when he exited his vehicle following the crash. Investigators later found a broken "Budweiser" glass in a flower bed. They also found an unopened 30-pack of beer, a half empty bottle of brandy and several bottle caps in Koistenin's car.
The warrant also says that Koistenin was traveling 73 mph at the time of the crash; the posted speed limit is 35 mph.
State Police are still investigating. One of the responding officers, Paul Sherokow, refused to provide a written statement to investigators and has retained an attorney.
Koistinen is on paid administrative leave from the department. He's due in court November 23.
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