By William Kaempffer, Register Staff
December 2, 2009
NEW HAVEN — A city police officer faces criminal charges from his own department in connection with an alleged drunken outburst at a bar in October on a night that he allegedly called off sick.
Jason Bandy, 24, who has been a police officer for just over a year, was booked this afternoon on charges of second-degree breach of peace, disorderly conduct and interfering with police and was released on a promise to appear in court.
“He’ll be held accountable like any other citizen for his conduct,” Police Chief James Lewis said. He added that Bandy also could face administrative charges for any violations of department rules and regulations.
Bandy allegedly flashed his badge to a club bouncer who was attempting to throw him out. Further, it appears he was supposed to be working that night as a patrolman and instead, police say, was urinating on the bathroom floor of a downtown club and verbally abusing staff.
The incident happened after bar closing on Oct. 30 at the Center Street Lounge at 84 Orange St. According to witness and police accounts, Bandy walked into a bathroom that a female employee was cleaning and started urinating on the floor near the urinal. When the employee objected, Bandy allegedly cursed at her and told her to shut up.
Over the next few minutes, the situation deteriorated: Bandy, who police say was intoxicated, allegedly said, “Do you know who I am?” and flashed his badge at a bouncer who had ordered him to leave. Then, when an extra-duty police officer working at the bar confronted him, Bandy refused to answer his questions, initially denied that he was a police officer and dismissively told him, “Don’t worry about it,” police said. As he left the bar, he allegedly kicked a pile of garbage and spat toward the bar, police said.
Even a month after the incident, Jason Cutler, the owner of the Center Street Lounge, was still fuming. Generally, he said, he would give a police officer the benefit of the doubt and stressed that he has the “utmost respect” for the New Haven Police Department, but added, “this guy, he really acted badly.”
“I’m not really sure what to say at this point. I feel disrespected. I think anyone who comes into my bar should act appropriately but this was a police officer.”
He said all Bandy had to do was leave when he was told to.
“This man had every option to walk out ... and instead he thought he could get away with this all by waving his badge.”
Lewis said the decision to proceed criminally was based on witness accounts and the extra-duty officer’s observations.
“It was one of our officers who reported the misconduct,” Lewis said.
Bandy is due in court on Dec. 10.