Thea Digiammerino

Hartford Police Detective Charged With DUI in Plainville

A Hartford police detective was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Plainville early Sunday morning and Hartford police said an internal investigation is underway.

Plainville police said they stopped Robert Lanza, 44, of Wolcott, after Bristol police received reports of an erratic driver swerving and weaving all over Route 72 at 12:18 a.m. Sunday and getting off in Plainville. Witnesses said he crossed over the fog lines and almost hit the guardrail several times.

Officers saw Lanza’s gray Honda Accord pull into 72 Commons and approached the car.

Lanza told police he is a Hartford police officer, according to the prosecutor’s report, and he appeared intoxicated, slurred his words and smelled of alcohol even with chewing tobacco in his mouth, according to Plainville police.

Lanza refused to say whether he had anything to drink and declined medical attention, police said.

Police asked Lanza to recite the alphabet from “D” to “S” and he started with “D,” but stopped and said he couldn’t do it, according to police.

Officers then asked him to count backward from 67 to 55 and he started with 57, then stopped, according to the prosecutor’s report.

Police then asked Lanza to walk to the back of his vehicle and he was unsteady on his feet, according to police.

Lanza also declined to call an attorney and refused to take breath tests, according to Plainville police.

He was charged with DUI and interfering with an officer and released after posting $10,000 bond. He is due in Bristol Superior Court on Sept. 5.

Lanza has been with the Hartford Police Department for more than 11 years and is assigned to the Special Investigations Unit.

Hartford police are working with the Plainville Police Department to conduct an internal affairs investigation.

"HPD Internal Affairs investigators are currently in contact with the Plainville Police Department to gather all documents, audio/video, photographs and other evidence related to this incident. The entirety of the incident will be thoroughly reviewed when we receive those items," Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley wrote in an email.

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