Hartford Firefighter's Attorney Questions Charges

The attorney representing a suspended Hartford firefighter is questioning the criminal charges filed against him.

The attorney representing a suspended Hartford firefighter who's facing criminal charges after a domestic violence dispute is questioning the charges filed against him.

Lt. Michael Patterson was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Hartford Superior Court on charges of threatening and breach of peace, along with and 29 counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Police responded to Patterson's Canaan Street home on Tuesday after his mother-in-law, Cynthia Chevannes, called for help.

Once inside, they found 29 firearms and say most of them were unsecured in a child's bedroom with ammunition nearby.

Patterson's attorney, Rachel Baird, spoke about the case briefly outside court.

"This case is about the Hartford Police Department using a phone call from a family member to seize firearms from this gentleman," Baird said. "It's because he's a firearms owner and we're gonna fight these charges."

Police said Patterson has 65 guns registered to him and that he stores them in other locations besides his home.

The police investigation is ongoing. At this point, Patterson has not been charged with any weapons violations.

"The firearms are prohibited from being around children only if they are loaded," said Baird. "There was no loaded firearm in this man's house. It is a complete fabrication that those firearms were in a child's bedroom. It was the parents' bedroom."

The details of the domestic dispute that brought police to Patteron's home are still unclear. The incident report is not part of his court file and police have declined to release it.

Police have said the dispute centered around Patterson's demand that his mother-in-law pay rent.

NBC Connecticut has also learned that Chevannes claims Patterson threatened to punch her.

The court ordered Patterson to stay away from his mother-in-law. Patterson was also ordered to surrender all his weapons and ammunition.

He's now suspended from his job at the Hartford Fire Department. Police said Patterson was on medical leave at the time of the incident.

The city's mayor, fire chief and police chief all declined to comment.

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