Hartford Firefighter Was Almost 3 Times Legal Limit: Cops

Police said Hartford firefighter Jeffrey Vendetta left the scene of the crash.

A Hartford firefighter accused of driving drunk, crashing into a car in Farmington and fleeing the scene is on administrative leave and this is not the first time he's been arrested for a similar incident, according to court records.

Farmington Police arrested Hartford firefighter Jeffrey Vendetta, 41, on Thursday night, and said he was found to be almost three times the legal limit after crashing into a car on Farmington Avenue, near the Interstate 84 on-ramp at 9:37 p.m. on Thursday.

When police responded to the scene, officers found a car that had been hit from the back and sustained heavy damage. The driver was complaining of some neck pain, but did not need medical attentions, police said.

A witness told police that the driver involved left the scene and directed investigators to Brickyard Road, around four miles away, where they found a car with fresh damage to the front end.

Officers identified Vendetta as the driver, took him into custody and administered breath tests. 

The first one registered .2368 and the second registered at .2362, according to police. which is almost three times the legal limit of .08.

Vendetta was charged with driving under the influence, evading responsibility, restricted turns and following too close.

Fire officials said Vendetta, the son of retired Hartford fire captain and nephew of a current fire chief, has been with Ladder Company 6 at the South Green Station for nearly 20 years.

He was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the case, police said.

Vendetta was released on bond and is due to appear in Hartford Superior Court on Nov. 19.

This crash comes eight years after Vendetta hit a parked car on Park Road in West Hartford in November 2006, according to court records. When officers responded, they found Vendetta "passed out" behind the wheel of a van and smelling of alcohol, the records state.

When police asked if he had been drinking, he admitted that he had, but refused a breath test, according to court records.

Sources also said Vendetta was also arrested in West Hartford in 2001 and charged with DUI.

Vendetta was charged with illegal operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alohol or drugs, failure to drive right and evading responsibility in the 2006 case.

It was his first offense, according to notes on the court records, and he was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and was placed on probation for 10 months.

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