Police Address Response During Tough Questioning

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An emotional day during the Steven Hayes trial on Wednesday began with testimony from from first responders and tough questioning from the defense.

As the defense attorneys cross-examined the police captain, they began to raise questions about the police response.

Cheshire Police Capt. Robert Vignola was the first to take the stand as emergency crews laid out the timeline from the first call to arresting the two suspects.

Despite the fact that police had cell phone numbers to the house, police waited until everyone was in perimeter before calling -- which took 10 minutes, according to defense.

Vignola said that, at first, police weren’t sure if this was a hostage situation or a domestic situation.

According to court records, dispatchers received the first call at 9:21 a.m. on July 23, 2007.

At 9:25 a.m., there was an initial broadcast to all units. At 9:26 a.m., there was a broadcast with the address.

There are various reports for what happened at 9:27 a.m., including the captain telling units not to approach the Petit house and dispatching calling Vignola about a possible hostage situation.

He said he assigned three detectives to get into gear and respond, he said.

Vignola drove by the Petit home at 9:36 a.m. and got into position, he said.

Vignola describes a confusing system, defended response, saying they followed protocol and that the entire event was confusing and made no sense that day.

“We took this seriously and moved forward based on protocol,” Vignola said.

"If I would have known the violence that was going on, I would have been the first one through the door," he said.

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