Sentencing has been delayed for one of four East Haven officers charged in a federal investigation alleging police bias and abuse against Hispanics.
Jason Zullo had been scheduled to be sentenced to one to two years in prison Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford. A judge continued the sentencing hearing when attorneys argued over sentencing guidelines. No date was set for the next hearing.
Zullo pleaded guilty in October to obstruction of justice, acknowledging he falsified a police report about a motorcycle chase in October 2008.
During Wednesday's hearing, the man involved in the motorcycle incident addressed the judge.
Prosecutors say Zullo failed to mention in his report that he struck the motorcycle with his cruiser three times during the chase and caused it to crash, injuring the rider and a passenger.
"What I wanted to convey to the judge is this is a case of attempted murder," Robert Salatto said. This officer hit me several times in the course of a mile, each time attempting to intentionally kill me. This is not a case of incidental contact."
Zullo's lawyer says Zullo has not admitted bias against Hispanics and notes the motorcycle rider was white.
"From my perspective, I think the government overreached and knows it, but doesn't have the sense to back down after charging the race card of the century and ending up with this case," attorney Norm Pattis said.
Zullo's family said the officer took a plea deal because of his children.
"I'm hoping that (the judge) shows compassion, especially for the two children that will be home with no father," said Pamela Smith, Zullo's mother.