The following information has been updated on June 3, 2012.
Connie Chen, a 17 year old high school senior student at Hopkins School, a prestigious private institution in New Haven, CT, was involved in a near-fatal single car accident in the midst of her college application and swimming recruiting process. Later, the professional accident reconstruction report indicated that her car had been tampered with prior to the accident and the crash was caused by a slashed front right tire. Connie was a National Merit Scholar Finalist, an accomplished swimmer, an award-winning pianist and artist. She miraculously survived the car crash but it completely changed this talented young woman's life.
Despite the heinous crime committed against a minor at a nationally top ranked private high school, local law enforcement failed to conduct a proper criminal investigation. Connie's family is seeking every honest citizen's help and support to ensure that this crime will be solved and the persons involved in the cover-up scandal identified and brought to justice. For further information and story details, please visit the "Justice for Connie" public page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforConnie
The following are highlights from the New Haven Police Department's inadequate investigation of this on-campus crime.
1. The New Haven Police Department opened their criminal investigation in April, 2009, but they abruptly closed the case after interviewing only one individual on Hopkins campus--the Director of College Counseling. No other persons were interviewed or questioned, including the victim.
2. On July 20, 2009, the NHPD's incident report was signed by NHPD Officer Manware, but his incident report (NHPD file #08-57401) was not released to the victim's family until September 25, 2009.
3. In January, 2010, the NHPD ignored the victim’s family's complaint, which had been forwarded to the NHPD Police Chief's Office by former Connecticut State Police Deputy Commissioner, Colonel Davoren.
4. On January 5, 2010, Connie’s family contacted Connecticut Chief State Attorney Kevin Kane to seek help from the State Division of Criminal Justice. Chief State Attorney Kane forwarded the family’s request to New Haven District State Attorney Michael Dearington.
5. In February of 2010, New Haven District State Attorney Dearington dismissed the victim’s family’s request, and told Connie’s parent: “I took interest in [your daughter’s case] because my son went to Hopkins” and in a letter, said “It would be impractical to commence interviewing on the Hopkins campus particularly since a quarter of the then student population has graduated and moved on. I agree that if someone did deliberately cut the tire such is a serious criminal act.”
6. In February, 2010, NHPD Officer Manware admitted to the Connecticut Office of Victim Advocate that Sergeant Johnson (who works in the NHPD Police Chief's Office) had told him to close the case.
7. In July, 2010, the NHPD ignored Connecticut State Senator Slossberg and State Representative Klarides’ written requests for their consideration of re-opening the case.
8. On July 14, 2010, the victim's family filed a formal complaint (File#102-1-C) with the Connecticut State Police Internal Affair Unit, but the complaint was dismissed by NHPD Sergeant Marcucio. In his letter, dated July 26, 2010, Sergeant Marcucio wrongfully indicated that the victim's complaint was filed beyond the NHPD's one year statute of limitations.
9. On July 14, 2010, the victim’s family also filed a formal complaint with Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Colonel Labonte against NHPD Sergeant Johnson. However, this complaint was ignored by Colonel Labonte, who was in charge of the Connecticut Police Officer and Standards Training Council Certification Division.
10. In August, 2010, the victim's family retained an Attorney to obtain the NHPD's investigation records. The NHPD disregarded this Attorney's multiple requests and failed to provide said records. Based on the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, the New Haven Police Department should have released the records within 30 days.
We the undersigned, plead you, as Connecticut State leaders, to reopen the New Haven Police Department's case #08-57401 regarding the unsolved on-campus crime at Hopkins School in New Haven and require that Connecticut Law Enforcement conduct a thorough investigation.
On November 6, 2008, Connie Chen, a senior student at Hopkins School in New Haven, was involved in a near-fatal single car accident less than half a mile away from the school entrance. Later, the accident reconstruction report indicated that the front right tire had been tampered with and had caused the crash.
The New Haven Police Department failed to conduct a proper criminal investigation on Hopkins School campus and abruptly closed the case after interviewing only one person- the Director of College Counseling. The NHPD's actions are inexplicable and unacceptable for such a serious crime committed against a minor.
School safety is a critical issue in our society. We must send a strong and clear message to the public that there shall be zero tolerance for this type of crime!
We greatly appreciate your time and effort dedicated to reopening this case and conducting a proper investigation, solving the crime and identifying the persons involved in its cover-up.