Father of Officer Accused in Crash That Killed Teen Pleads Not Guilty

The father of a Windsor Locks police officer pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges connected to the crash that killed a Windsor Locks teenager.

Sgt. Robert Koistinen, 53, of Suffield, was arrested on Friday on charges of hindering prosecution and interfering with an officer.  He appeared in court on Tuesday, with his son Michael Koistinen by his side, and pleaded not guilty.

Michael Koistinen, a Windsor Locks police officer, is accused of hitting Henry Dang, 15, at the corner of Spring and West streets. He was off-duty at the time.

Sgt. Robert Koistinen, who is also on the Windsor Locks Police Department, was one of the first responders at the scene the night of the crash. His case will go to a jury trial. It was continued to Feb. 10.

According to court records, he and his son were able to speak privately at the crash scene and Robert Koistinen might have transported his son to the police department.

The arrest warrant says Robert Koistinen failed to tell the police chief about a beer glass in the front yard of a home until his son was taken away in an ambulance. 

Previously released court records state that a resident told police that Michael threw something from his vehicle after the crash. Police later found a broken Budweiser drinking glass on the lawn that was wet with beer. 

He was also at the hospital and denied police access to the emergency department, where his son had been brought, according to the warrant for his son's arrest. An officer said he was told Michael would not be providing a blood sample or a statement.

Wang, a sophomore, was a well-respected student who played basketball and ran track.

The Dang family has sued Michael and Robert Koistinen, the bar where Michael was reportedly seen drinking before the crash, and filed a notice of intent to sue the town.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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