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Sergeant Who Probed Fatal Crash Involving Son Sues State For False Arrest

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Robert Koistinen was charged with hindering prosecution in connection with his actions after his son, Michael Koistinen, struck and killed 15-year-old Henry Dang. (MICHAEL McANDREWS / Hartford Courant / October 10, 2012)

A Windsor Locks sergeant has sued the state police, alleging he was falsely arrested following a 2010 fatal accident involving his son, an officer in the same department at the time.

Robert Koistinen was charged with hindering prosecution in connection with his actions after his son, Michael Koistinen, struck and killed 15-year-old Henry Dang, who was riding his bicycle. Michael Koistinen is currently serving a 64-month sentence after being convicted of manslaughter and tampering with evidence.

Robert Koistinen was acquitted by a jury in October 2012, just a few months after the Windsor Locks Police Commission fired him. A state arbitration panel recently ruled that Robert Koistinen should get his job back, although the town’s police commission has not yet voted on whether to reinstate him.

The lawsuit alleges that Dang was also at fault and that state police detectives ignored a witness statement that indicated “the bicyclist must be drunk based on the manner in which he was operating his bike.”

The lawsuit, filed in Hartford Superior Court, seeks monetary damages. It alleges a biased investigation by state police led to Robert Koistinen’s arrest, which led to him losing his job and reputation.

Robert Koistinen was the highest-ranking police officer to initially respond to the scene of the fatality, which was first investigated by a regional municipal police accident team. A few days later, Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy requested that the state police take the investigation over because she had concerns about how the initial probe was handled.

 

Read more at Courant.com

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