Former officer could have illegal stop charges dismissed

December 17, 2019 GMT

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — A former Connecticut police officer charged with making an illegal traffic stop could have his charges dismissed.

William Lacey, 64, was granted accelerated rehabilitation Monday, which is a diversionary program that could lead to the dismissal of his charges if he stays out of trouble for two years, The Day reported.

The retired New London lieutenant told police he pulled someone over in November for what he deemed to be erratic driving. Lacey told police he announced he was a retired police officer, showed the driver his retirement badge and asked for a driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance and the key to the vehicle.

Police said that during the confrontation a car accident occurred when another vehicle attempted to avoid hitting Lacey’s pick-up. There were no injuries reported from the crash.

Lacey was charged with impersonating a police officer, first-degree reckless endangerment and first-degree unlawful restraint.

“Mr. Lacey did not knowingly violate anybody’s civil rights in this action,” said Lacey’s attorney, retired New London Deputy Police Chief Marshall Segar. “As to impersonating a police officer, whether the moment got the better of him is for you to decide.”

Judge Hunchu Qwak said while the charges were “a serious matter,” he factored in the defendant’s three decades of service into his ruling.

Prosecutor Rafael Bustamante objected to Lacey’s admission into the diversionary program.