Evidence in Darien coach's arrest to be preserved
Updated 4:36 pm, Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The attorney representing Christian Garnett, the Darien coach who was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated in Norwalk last week, successfully obtained preservation of all evidence from Norwalk police.
Garnett, 32, of Stamford, was arrested at 12:41 a.m. Oct. 31 after police saw him speeding on three tires and one rim on Connecticut Avenue.
Mark Sherman, Garnett's attorney, asked that all video and audio recordings, 9-1-1 calls, dispatch tapes and any other evidence relating to the case be preserved, which is standard procedure when allegations are made that an officer is assaulted. Norwalk Superior Court Judge William Wenzel agreed to his request.
Police said Garnett, who is the assistant football and junior varsity lacrosse coach, failed field sobriety tests and then "violently struggled with the officers attempting to handcuff him."
He also was charged with interfering with a police officer, assault on a police officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
He's accused of kicking an officer who was trying to arrest him. According to the report, Garnett was punched in the face by another officer and subdued by a stun gun.
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Police said he was still belligerent when taken to Norwalk Hospital and was handcuffed to a bed.
"We believe the tapes will help us in this case and that Christian did not intentionally take a swing at any law enforcement officer," Sherman said. "Any injuries, if they exist, were incidental in Christian's arrest. We strongly believe the tapes and recordings will help us in proving Christian's innocence."
Sherman told reporters outside the courtroom that he doesn't know what the recordings will entail.
Additionally, a complaint was filed against the Norwalk police to investigate the arrest.
"Our complaint is asking for a fair investigation of what happened to Christian," Sherman said.
He noted that he is confident that Norwalk Police Internal Affairs will "do their job fairly," but has also asked the state police to investigate.
Garnett is due again in court Dec. 10.
The Darien school administration placed Garnett on administrative leave Nov. 1.
"The Darien Public Schools take seriously the duty of coaches and other adults to serve as role models and to comply with the laws," acting Superintendent of Schools Tim Canty said in his message to the community.
According to court records, police found two grinders, one pipe, two syringe needles and a container with marijuana residue in Garnett's vehicle.
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